• By: Kat Walcott

Ottawa’s NLN shares new single “BALLIN ON ICE” and plans for 2022

When we last chatted with rapper, producer, and songwriter NLN, he was fresh off the release of a new single and was celebrating getting airplay on the region’s biggest radio station, Hot 89.9. Seven months later, NLN has only continued his upward trajectory.

The talented teen has gained even more streams, and his latest single “BALLIN ON ICE,” released just a few weeks ago, has already gotten spins on the city’s most popular local radio station CHUO 89.1 FM.

The track was even added to Spotify’s “Northern Bars” playlist – a prestigious playlist curated by Spotify’s team that features various artists from Canada’s hip-hop scene.

NLN took some time to catch us up about the important message behind “BALLIN ON ICE” and what’s to come in 2022.

Ottawa Life: We last chatted with you back in May and it seems you’ve stayed quite busy since then! How have you grown musically over the past year?

NLN: Dramatically. This year was full of so many ups and downs but I’m so happy that it resulted in my overall growth sonically and spiritually. This is the year where I really levelled up in my beat-making. Finding my sound vocally was a code I had already cracked. Now I get to hear the maturity in my beats. Maturity because it’s more selective now and that takes discipline and experience.

Ottawa Life: Congrats on all the streams and airplay the new single is getting! What was the inspiration behind “Ballin on Ice?”

NLN: Thank you so much! Ballin On Ice was inspired by the troubles I’m facing along the journey. You’ll notice the very first bars all fall along the lines of deserving respect. For the longest time, I’ve been swept under the rug by people disregarding my talent. This song is just me expressing that in a vulnerable yet boastful way. Even when I’m not speaking on it exactly, you can hear it in my voice. The title “Ballin On Ice” means to perform under nearly impossible conditions (social pressures, doubt, hate).

Ottawa Life: As this year comes to a close, what can we look forward to in 2022?

NLN: I have very high expectations for next year. One of those was to finally start up my clothing brand BSMNTROOM with my manager and see people wear our creation. Live performances are something I want to dive into headfirst because it’s essential to my growth as an artist. Shows are where you build long-term die-hard fans. Start off with festivals and eventually host my own show towards the end of the year! I’ve also submitted for the JUNOs so I'll be waiting to see the results of that. Getting nominated would be game-changing. And just a whole lot of new music and new milestones. Not slowing down yet.

NLN’s single “BALLIN ON ICE” is streaming now on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube.

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Photo: NLN