london duo nimmo take back control with new single 'the power'
Finding creative rebirth with the help of their local queer community.
Photo courtesy of Nimmo
A lot has changed for Nimmo since we last met. Four years ago, when we dubbed the group one of our tips for 2016, the band had just signed to Sony after spending years releasing cathartic dance music that reached deep inside your soul. Back then, there were five members of the band. Now, only two remain: founding members and childhood friends Sarah Nimmo and Reva Gauntlett. They’re also no longer signed to a major label, either, and have spent the last few years reconstructing and recalibrating their musical identity following knocks, tumbles and a journey that’s lead to full creative autonomy.
“It's a great feeling because you have your hands around everything and the creative decisions and there’s no fluffing or ego massages,” the band tell i-D. “We’re spinning plates left, right and centre. There's no room for those days spent ‘losing yourself’ with a hangover anymore.”
Yet, the route this journey took was one that not only cemented Sarah and Reva’s friendship as the central artistic force that drives Nimmo, but also allowed the pair to explore the crevices of London’s queer creative community. Through working with photographers, artists, filmmakers, musical collaborators and DJs, the pair made it a part of their M.O. to support and celebrate the work of queer female artists through their Nimmo Curates series, nights in London that highlighted what the band stood for.
“A lot of the queer creatives we have collaborated with have been people we have met through finding the community in east London,” they explain. “We worked with them because they were brilliant and undoubtedly had an understanding and appreciation for our image and how we wanted to be captured and represented in our work. NIMMO Curates has focused on the work of queer women as we still feel there is a huge shortage in queer and female representation and we feel really strongly about that.”
This whole period of their lives is encapsulated in their latest single The Power, which i-D are premiering below. The track was written when the band split from Sony and realised that they could no longer work full-time on their music. “We'd partially lost sight of ourselves because of the exhaustion of working two jobs and doing music at the same time,” they add. “This song was born out of a very blurry and estranged period of time -- also a very drunk period of time -- and not often in a healthy context. It's about the fight to take back what is yours. To re-own your life and yourself out of those moments.”
The video highlights just how isolating this period was, with Sarah and Reva submerging themselves in the icy waters of a swimming pool. “We wanted to communicate how suffocating and surreal losing sight of yourself can be,” they explain. “However, it was a period of time that pretty much rebirthed us as artists. We wanted the video to match those feelings rather than tell a specific story and create a narrative.”