NoLay

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NoLay
Birth nameNatalie Athanasiou[1]
Also known as
  • Isabella
  • Bella Gotti
OriginCroydon, London, England
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
Years active2005-present
Websitewww.nolay.world

NoLay,[2] also known as Isabella or Bella Gotti, is a British rapper of Greek-Cypriot and Caribbean background.

Career[edit]

NoLay first officially landed on the UK urban scene as a member of a collective called Unorthodox. Unorthodox released "No Help or Handouts" in 2005,[3] which grabbed the attention of major labels leading to NoLay's first solo release "Unorthodox Daughter".[4] The track was included on Warner imprint label 679 Recordings' Run The Road compilation (2005) showcasing UK grime and featuring Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Kano and others. The label also released a vinyl to record shops with just Plan B and Nolay on it to promote the release. Run The Road's success led 679 to release a second volume in 2006 on which Nolay features again with her track "Unorthodox Chick".[5]

NoLay has opened for Mobb Deep and the Infamous Mobb.[6] She has toured Europe with Australian electronic rock group The Bumblebeez and featured on their 2006 track "Fuck Disco".[7] In 2009 NoLay guested on Mongrel's Better Than Heavy album. She also featured on Tricky's 2014 album Adrian Thaws and toured Europe with him.

In 2013, she appeared in a drama on Channel 4 called Top Boy playing the character Mandy. Mandy was the girlfriend of leading character Dris and the mother of his child.[8][9]

After a dozen EP and mixtape releases over the course of a decade, NoLay released album This Woman in 2017, previewed by a video for track "Dancing With The Devil", which tackled domestic violence.[10] Nolay also released a video in July 2017 for the track "Marching" also lifted from her March 2017 release "This Woman"

In 2021, NOW Entertainment Magazine reported that Nolay released a new song tagged Gang Shit which makes the third list of her 2021 7-track Hip-hop/Rap album titled Kalas.[11]

Name[edit]

Explaining her name NoLay explains: “It comes from the times when I was younger. It’s like you know referring to not procrastinating and wasting time. Just get to it and also take nothing lying down. Where I come from back then and even now people say No lay lay which means no hesitation. So one day a friend of mine from Peckham said I should call myself No lay.”[12] In 2014 NoLay changed her name to Bella Gotti[13] but decided to change her name back to stay true to her original fanbase. She explained in interviews that her alias is an alter ego similar to Eminem's Marshall Mathers and Slim Shady or Jay Z's Jigga and Jay Hova.

Car accident[edit]

On 24 April 2016, NoLay was involved in a car accident abroad which left her in a critical condition.[14] Supporters created the Twitter trending hashtag #PrayForNolay.[15] NoLay has since recovered.

Style[edit]

NoLay is known for her gritty rhymes and wordplay that have often gained her comparisons to MC Ghetts who she has collaborated with but to whom she doesn't believe herself to be similar: "I used to be described as 'the female version of Ghetts'; how do you know Ghetts isn’t the male version of me?"[16][17]

Discography[edit]

Singles
Year Song References
2005 “Unorthodox Daughter” -
“Unorthodox Chick” -
"Angels & Fly" [High Contrast ft. Nolay] -
2007 "Things Could Get Ugly" -
2008 “Bars of Truth” -
2012 “Anarchy” (Engineered at That SP Studios) [18][19]
“The War” -
"Off With Ya Head" -
2013 “Because I Like it” -
“Talking Money” -
“The Jungle (ft. Ghetts)” -
2014 "Floating" -
"Ya Done Know" -
"Don't Stop" (ft. P Money & Blacks) -
"Holy Sinners" (Dot Rotten) -
2015 "Legendary" -
"Netflix And Pills" [20]
"Van Gogh" -
"Bloodstream" -
"Everybody Die" -
2016 "Gotta Love It" (w/ Kid D) [21]
"Have You Forgotten" [22]
2021 "Gang Sh*t" -
Mixtapes and albums
Year Title References
2007 The New Chapter (Hosted by SK Vibemaker) -
2008 No Comparisons -
2009 Big Trouble in Little London (Hosted by SK Vibemaker) -
2011 I am Legend (Hosted by DJ Limelight) -
2012 I am Legend II (Hosted by DJ Limelight) -
2013 Cuts & Salt -
2014 Holy Sinners -
2017 This Woman -
EPs
Year Title References
2011 He Said, She Said: I Am Bad -
2011 Drop Me Out -
2012 Flowcaine -
2012 Rebellion -
2014 Holy Sinners -
2016 Grime, Guts & Glory (with Kid D) -
2017 This Woman -
2021 Kalas -
Guest appearances
Year Title References
2006 "Black Dirt"/"Fuck Disco" (ft. NoLay) single by The Bumblebeez, 1 track -
2009 Better Than Heavy album, Mongrel, 2 tracks -
2014 Adrian Thaws album, Tricky, 2 tracks -
2020 Brave (Joyryde album) album, JOYRYDE, 1 track -

References[edit]

  1. ^ "No Lay". Discogs.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  2. ^ "theguardian". Theguardian.com. 16 July 2008. Archived from the original on 23 June 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Unorthodox (4) - No Help Or Handouts". Discogs.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  4. ^ "GRM Daily". GRM Daily. 30 November 2020. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Nolay unorthodox". Iamnolay.com. Archived from the original on 21 February 2022. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Bella Gotti aka Nolay Interview | Following and showcasing the best in Grime music". grimedisciple.com. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  7. ^ "Bumblebeez - Black Dirt". 45cat.com. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Biography — Bella Gotti". bellagotti.com. Archived from the original on 5 August 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  9. ^ "SEPTEMBer's BIGGEST UNDERGROUND RELEASES: Lady Leshurr,NoLay,Izzy Bizu,Joel Baker | MOBO Awards". www.mobo.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  10. ^ "South London MC NoLay confronts domestic violence in powerful new video 'Dancing with the Devil'". Factmag.com. 14 February 2017. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  11. ^ HCamrone (24 January 2021). "NoLay Drops New Fire Music "Gang Sh*t"". NOW Entertainment. Archived from the original on 10 February 2022. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  12. ^ "BritishBlackMusic". www.britishblackmusic.com. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  13. ^ "Nolay changes her name". Sbtv.com. Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  14. ^ Butterly, Amelia (25 April 2016). "Grime MC NoLay in 'critical condition' after car accident - BBC Newsbeat". Bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 1 May 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Car crash leaves London grime MC NoLay fighting for her life". Independent.co.uk. 27 April 2016. Archived from the original on 21 June 2022.
  16. ^ "How Nolay Found The Strength To Speak Up For Women Everywhere". Thefader.com. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  17. ^ "UK Rapper NoLay Returns To Music With 'Kalas' EP". Forbes. Archived from the original on 11 May 2022. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  18. ^ "NoLay Anarchy". YouTube. 25 May 2022. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  19. ^ "NoLay Anarchy". Shojon. 25 March 2022. Archived from the original on 29 August 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  20. ^ "behind the lyrics: south london rapper nolay discusses abuse and addiction on netflix and pills". I-d.vice.com. 19 November 2015. Archived from the original on 29 November 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  21. ^ "Listen: Nolay and Kid D release 'Gotta Love It' - SBTV". Archived from the original on 25 June 2016.
  22. ^ "video premiere: nolay, have you forgotten". I-d.vice.com. 6 September 2016. Archived from the original on 6 September 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2017.

External links[edit]