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Karis Pierre

‘Don’t hold yourself back’: Enny is making music to uplift you

Another one to watch for 2021, south-east London rapper Enny talks family, self-care and self-belief

29 Jan 2021

Enny Integrity’s career has sky-rocketed during this strange and peculiar time. Since releasing her first single back in April 2020, ‘He’s Not Into You’, this south east London rapper’s work has played an important role in uplifting the voices of young Black women in music and beyond. Enny has grown from strength to strength and now, less than a year on, she is becoming one of the most exciting names in the UK scene with songs exploring themes of identity, self-love and positivity. With a background in a wide range of arts such as film, directing and scriptwriting – this multifaceted lyricist has been honing her craft to continue her journey into stardom. 

“Do not hold yourself back because of what other people may think or say. Live your life for yourself”

With her profound lyrics and witty verses, Enny gives her audience some much-needed food for thought, challenging the stereotypes of the Internet age. Reaching new heights in 2021, we have the pleasure of watching Enny flourish while simultaneously showing her appreciation for Black women far and wide. Her song ‘Peng Black Girls’ ft. Amia Brave uniquely amplifies this message and gently pushes listeners to keep going no matter the anxieties we, as Black women, may face on a daily basis. 

The song was an instant hit, dominating various playlists and airwaves across the country even before it caught the attention of the global award-winning artist, Jorja Smith, who hopped on the remix. For all the colourism debate (which Enny, to her credit, addressed on Clubhouse), the track has opened doors to a bigger audience than Enny originally imagined. 

I caught up with Enny before all that though – the night before her Colors Berlin was released. We spoke about family, self-care and advice for getting into the music industry.

gal-dem: What was your first introduction to music growing up?

Enny: When I was younger, I listened to lots of different music. I always wanted to be a rapper. I was surrounded by so much music growing up, especially having siblings. My dad listened to a lot of Stevie Wonder, while my brother and sisters listened to various things such as grime, garage and hip-hop. I was a creative child, I always wanted to do music and I had hobbies like street dancing and acting… [laughs] but I used to just think you can’t take a degree in being a rapper.

Have your family and friends been supportive of the journey you’re about to embark on? 

Absolutely. My mum and dad have always been supportive of any creative interests I have. My friends have been like “finally, she’s taking it seriously”. I started off wanting to explore film and scriptwriting as I studied film in university. They’ve all been waiting for me to do music. 

What has the response to ‘Peng Black Girls’ been like, and how was it working with Amia Brave and producer Paya on the track?

Instantly, I knew the beat was for me. It all came together really organically and working with Paya and Amia was great. We worked on the song during the pandemic and the plans were finalised in April. At first, I didn’t think I had said anything really profound – like, I knew I liked the song but I didn’t expect this. I was happy to see it had connected with people; yeah, I was shocked at the response. It’s all been really mad. 

‘Peng Black Girls’ is a self-care anthem, what do you do for self-care? 

Erm, not loads really. It’s just the process of writing for me, I find it very therapeutic to write. I’m trying to get back into playing the keys myself, I took a long break from it. The last time I played I was around aged 10 or 11 – I started when I was younger. I’m not amazing though, I have no beef with Beethoven. [Laughs]

So prior to ‘Peng Black Girls’, I had first heard you on The Silhouettes Project. What was that like to work on?

Working on the song ‘For South’ for The Silhouettes Project was really sick. I met them last summer [2019] and by September they had asked me to be involved. During that time, I had hurt my foot and I was in and out of A&E (this was pre-pandemic) and those guys waited in the car park for me for over three hours whilst I had my bandages changed. Moments like that behind the music are really special to me. 

How was the response to releasing the ‘Peng Black Girls’ remix with Jorja Smith been? 

The response has been more than I expected, especially during the pandemic. I only released my first single in April 2020, so this has been a shock. Working with Jorja was really organic, I liked the fact that it wasn’t forced and she liked the song and wanted to be involved. Jorja then wrote a verse for it and it just fit, she said she hadn’t heard anything like that in a while and what she did on the song was even sicker than I could have imagined. 

For the potential readers who want to get into music or a creative sector, do you have any advice as a woman starting out in the music industry? 

I’ve had to think about this a lot recently. My advice would be to just go for it. As women, we always end up facing a lot of pressures, especially in a society of always looking good, being on point and going into these structured artist lanes. Do not hold yourself back because of what other people may think or say. Live your life for yourself and just make sure you’re ready. It’s coming. 

Enny is one of gal-dem’s Ones to watch for 2021. You can read the full list here.