Smallgod is an entrepreneur at NASECWORLD Record Label, Record label owner at Smallgod Artist Management & Publishing and also Audiomack Ambassador .
Smallgod has carried and shed more labels than the average person. Categories, labels, or boxes often frame the story when you’re interviewing someone, but Nana Appiasei, better known as Smallgod, is much harder to pin down. From London to Ghana, Amsterdam, Jamaica, and back, and a career charting the music and fashion industries
Smallgod has been the music entrepreneur with all the industry connections, the super-manager behind artists like Eugy, Wavy, and Lp2Loose, and the fashion savant who turned his travel companion, a blue monkey teddy, into a signature in collaborations with Amsterdam-based Daily Paper and Ghanaian fashion collective Free The Youth. Yet, these tropes don’t give a complete picture.
“Everywhere you go: different labels, you never belong, you’re always the outsider,” Smallgod explains. “That’s why I work so hard. I’m not trying to belong because I don’t want to belong. I just do what I do. I’ve created my own world, and nothing matters in my lane.”In keeping with developing his own lane, earlier this year, Smallgod dropped his debut album, Building Bridges, an extraordinary sonic journey that can only be described as Pan-African. Smallgod’s viewpoint of uniting Africa and the diaspora is felt clearly on tracks like “Sinner,” which sees Headie One and Lp2Loose exchange bars with budding Kumerican drillers O’Kenneth and Kwaku DMC. On “Fa Ma Mi,” Eugy, King Promise, and Kwamz & Flava flip the classic Highlife ballad into a catchy Afrobeats tune. With each song, Smallgod curates a collaborative kaleidoscope that gives space to reflect and soar through a new, united era of African music.
Where did the name Smallgod come from?
It’s actually not a new thing. My grandma gave it to me. Akora-nyame [“Child God”]. So it’s just always been there.
What’s up with the monkey?
That monkey is like my best friend. It’s a toy I’ve had for about 15 years. I used to do a lot of traveling, and I could just up and leave anytime I want. But you can’t get somebody who will be ready to go any time, like me. So that’s what this monkey is. He doesn’t speak. He doesn’t do nothing. Whenever I want to travel, in my head, I’ll be like, “Let’s go,” and he’s ready, holding onto my bag. On my social media, whenever people see the monkey’s moved, that means Smallgod is on the move. Now it’s become my symbol; it’s on the album, I put it on clothes.
You’ve been in the music scene so long. When and how did that start?
There’s never been a time when I wasn’t around music I mean, growing up in London, then moving to Ghana, Amsterdam, Jamaica… I’m always surrounded by a bunch of music heads. I was with all these guys in the studio, just helping wherever I could. With my energy, I connect easily with people. So that’s how the whole thing came about.
I noticed I actually had a whole bunch of people that were around me that always needed help. I said, “Let me try and manage them.” So I started managing artists like Eugy, Wavy, Lp2Loose.
At no point did you want to be an artist yourself?
Nah. Everybody has what they do. I’ve never been the guy that wants to sing. You need to know your place. If you love music, maybe you could help an artist. If you’re not talented, why do you want to be the talent? There’s never been a time when I wanted to be that artiste. I had all the connects in the industry, so I just helped connect people.