In 2013, Etnel released the track “Money Hungry” which quickly garnered buzz, and later that year her EP In God We Trust debuted. Her talk-sing style and rich, mature voice was distinct and bold.
“For a very long time I didn’t consider myself to be a rapper. I still don’t,” shares Etnel. “I talk-sing, that’s my style. That’s how I write. I can blow but I haven’t written many songs that allow me to fully show my vocal range. Hip hop has subconsciously but heavily influenced my writing and singing style.”
Etnel admits that it is only of late that she has a better grasp and appreciation of the artist she garners so many comparisons to “[As] a kid, I didn’t get Lauryn Hill. I think I was just too young to get that side of life — I had a very sheltered upbringing. But now that I’m a woman and I’ve had some life experiences I can relate. I love her.”
Jump to early 2015, Etnel, now in London after another impromptu move, independently dropped the five-track EP 1303. Standouts “Vivid,” “P.P. Power,” and “She Do” revel in lusty, mince-no-words bravado that are impossible to ignore. Etnel says it is a better reflection of her as an artist than her “Money Hungry” days, but she admits that a-la-Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce, the brash, on-the-record girl is not necessarily the “guarded in love” one that lives behind the mic.
“I’m jealous of that girl who can say, ‘Hey look, I love you. I want you, be with me, not with her,’” she admits. “I have felt this way plenty of times. But that bold expressive woman in my songs is a character. The situations she talks about are my true emotions.”
Baring it all has resonated with fans and Etnel is now preparing to give them more of what they want with a new EP, Human Errors, scheduled to drop this fall.
“Human Errors is an extension of 1303. But it touches more on my emotional side. I feel like 1303 was a ball of sin,” says Etnel with a laugh. “Lust, jealousy, greed, arrogance, fornication. But all [the] songs on both EPs are [about] emotions that were provoked by one thing: love. Whatever that is.”