Jesy Nelson Drops Debut Single “Boyz (ft. Nicki Minaj)”
Former Little Mix star, Jesy Nelson, kicks in the door with her massive solo debut single "Boyz", which samples Sean "Diddy" Combs' anthem "Bad Boy 4 Life". "Boyz" is available to buy/stream now here.
The U.K. pop pioneer's comeback has been hotly anticipated by fans since her departure from the BRIT award-winning girl group at the end of 2020.
While Nelson acknowledges that many thought her return would be a ballad - something to tease a new direction and get the tastemakers on-side - she isn't wasting any time on subtleties. Channeling the in-your-face swagger of the noughties U.S. hip-hop and R&B that she grew up on, Nelson flips Diddy's 2001 classic anthem "Bad Boy 4 Life" into a reflection on the men she's attracted to, complete with a verse from rap megastar - and former collaborator - Nicki Minaj, who declares the reunion of "the U.K. baddie and the Barbie!"
A clear statement of intent for her upcoming solo work, "Boyz" sees Nelson seizing control of her own narrative: conceptualized and co-written by herself following a particularly painful break-up. The idea for the sample came while she was suffering from heartbreak, reflecting on the type of boys she finds herself attracted to. "'Why do I like bad boys, what is wrong with me? Why am I attracted to anyone that looks naughty?'" she recalls thinking.
"So I messaged [production duo Loose Change] and was like 'you'll think I'm a nutter but I really want to write a song about why most women like bad boys and I want to use the Diddy song' and they were like 'let's do it'."
Excitement for the track has reached a fever pitch, following teasers on social media, Nelson's fans have been preparing diligently for the collaboration - even revisiting the original sample, and speculating about her and Minaj's take. It's a set-up that's primed for Nelson's launch into solo stardom, as she readies herself for the career that she's always wanted.
"I just want to be myself and be real," she says. "I want my fans to hear that they're my stories because they genuinely are. No one has come in and told me what to write about. This is the music I've always wanted to make."
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