Atlanta Artist Moves From Fear to Purpose

By Kadejah Brathwaite, Intern

“On the other side of my fear, I felt so much fulfillment,” said Nigel Wallace, an aspiring artist, describing what it was like for him when he released his first single. The 25-year-old West Virginia native, who goes by Nigeldarius, made Atlanta his home just two years ago and began to dive into his creative talents, expressing himself through spoken word, poetry and most recently music.

Nigeldarius grew up in a home saturated with beautiful sounds from an array of great artists, like Whitney Houston and Hall & Oates. “I tried to carry a tune as early as I started to form words,” he said.

But, his first time in a recording studio as an artist wasn’t until last year when he put verses from paper into actual sound and unleashed a desire to “give people life in the composition of the music and in the richness of lyrics,” he explained. With this newfound desire to produce songs with a message came the challenge of maintaining a pure character — one that wouldn’t change based on audience or industry demands.

A lot of hits playing on the radio or in clubs contain explicit language, sexual innuendos or references to material possessions, Nigeldarius added. In his opinion, music like that crowds the airways in a way that prevents artists like rapper Tobe Nwigwe who grew up in the proverbial hood and whose tracks conjure images of gang violence and drug deals, but who is also beacon of positivity from radio broadcasts and J. Cole from winning a Grammy.

Nigeldarius believes that his music will reach the ears of many but not by the traditional way. His musical expressions balance between comfort and contemplative, and his goals are to enhance the listener’s experience – causing them to think, to act and to remember.

Atlanta as a hub for all things creative fuels Nigeldarius. He enjoys being surrounded by other artists because it inspires him to grind harder for when his time rolls around. And when it does, he wants his music to be so substantial that people can’t believe what they have been missing.

Earlier this year, Nigeldarius released his first single “Runaway, Pt. 1”, which intermingles rhythm and blues, soul and spoken word. When he penned the song, he was fresh out of a frustrating relationship, so he used multiple creative talents to articulate everything that he was experiencing. “Runaway, Pt. 1” led to several live performances and a submission to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert.

“Nigeldarius has such soulful energy,” said Original Hue, a fellow artist.

His second release “In Between” has garnered even more fanfare than “Runaway, Pt. 1.”

“That’s the beauty of creating, releasing and opinions,” Nigeldarius said. “When they collide, you grow.”

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