An artist to watch coming out of Jacksonville, Florida is young phenom Nardo Wick. The 19-year old MC has a small sample size of music out, but has accomplished so much in his youthful career. His track “I Declare War” is featured on the highly acclaimed Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack. His biggest song to date is his first release of 2021 titled “Who Want Smoke”, which helped get the emerging rapper recognized by two of Chicago’s finest, G Herbo and Lil Durk. Those are quite the accomplishments for an artist who can’t even legally drink.
Nardo Wick sat down to talk about his musical upbringing in Jacksonville, landing a spot on the Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack, almost being signed to Lil Durk’s OTF imprint, what’s next for the young artist, and more.
So you’re from Jacksonville, how was life there growing up?
“It was regular. It wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t that good either. It was just regular, to me.”
When did you actually start making music?
“I’m 19. I made my first song like two years ago, I just never put anything out due to the fact I was just perfecting my craft and just getting better. I dropped my first song 11 months ago.”
Who were some of your musical influences?
“I really didn’t have any influences. But, the people I listened to growing up were a lot of Lil Wayne, Future. I used to listen to a lot of older Future when I was a jit, like my dad used to listen to him. Also old Gucci, and Eminem. When I started listening to music by myself, it was Kodak (Black) and YoungBoy (Never Broke Again).”
What talent made it out of your area of Jacksonville?
“We got (Yungeen) Ace, Julio Foolio, Lil Poppa, SpotemGottem, Tokyo Jetz. We also got people that are finna make it out soon, like Spinabenz. We got some that are locked up.”
How do you feel about the unity within the city in terms of music, does everyone work together, or is there beef?
“You know it’s beef. (laughs). Yeah there’s beef. They’re beefing right now, there’s a war going on. I be chilling though. If we all worked together, it would be crazy.”
Your biggest record is your latest single “Who Want Smoke”. Can you talk about making that song?
“Shit, I was at the house, I recorded that one at the house in Jacksonville. I played the beat, I listened to it in my ear. That’s how I was feeling, and I recorded it.”
How did G Herbo & Lil Durk hear about you and reach out?
“Herb, he heard me from his little brother, he showed him me. Then I went down there to link with him. Durk heard of me from one of his brothers too. Durk’s brothers wanted to sign me to OTF, they were actually the first people to reach out. I reached out to them, but by the time they hit me back it was already too late.”
Your song “I Declare War” was featured on the Judas and Black Messiah soundtrack, how did that come about?
“One of the executive producers texted me, and sent me the trailer, and then sent me the beat, saying ‘I need a song for this, for this soundtrack’. It was simple like that”
Was there any pressure making that record?
“Yeah, but no. There was, because I knew I had to make the song about the movie, like I couldn’t just rap regular, like how I usually rap, I had to make it about the trailer that I saw.”
Did you realize how many people were going to tap in to the soundtrack?
“Nah I didn’t know until the shit was happening, until everyone was posting it. I also didn’t know who I was going to be on it with. There’s a lot of big names on there.”
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all of this coming so fast?
“Nah not really, because this what I prayed for.”
Can we expect a project from you this year?
“F’sho, I’m probably going to drop something like this month. Then I’m going to drop a project next month, or the month after.”
What can you speak about that project (title, features, production)?
“The title is going to be like ‘Who Is Nardo Wick’ or something like that. Everyone’s like ‘who is this lil nigga’, so that’s why ‘Who Is Nardo Wick’. And yeah there’s going to be some features on there. I can’t really say who just yet.”
What are your goals for 2021?
“My goal is to keep elevating”
You can stream Nardo Wick’s latest single “Shhh” which is out now on all streaming platforms, as well as the music video out now on YouTube.