Best of 2020: Lillie West (Lala Lala) Talks Nnamdi’s “Wasted”

Love from one Chicagoan to another.

I heard “Wasted” for the first time when Nnamdi played it for us in Abby [Black, Lala Lala guitarist]’s car and Abby said, “This song is $10,000.” Everything about it is beautiful — the vocals, the beat, the sentiment. The deep bass, the sound I always think of as “glittery.” You know, he says, “Tell me what you want me to hear / ‘Cause we ain’t got time to waste,” which is a feeling I really relate to — time is precious, we don’t necessarily have a lot. Why wait? “I love to hear you speak / Judgment free / Just be real / I want you to feel safe, no / Need you to be safe.” He says essentially the same thing in a lot of different ways — different melodies, cadences, words, etc. which is…  I need transparency. We both need transparency. Don’t we all need transparency and protection???? “Whisper in my ear or scream it out / Just do it now I need to hear you.” We are all begging to be told what is going on. This song builds and shifts in a really engaging way. It goes so many places. It’s so varied. I think it showcases a lot of Nnamdi’s talents — as a producer, a rapper, a singer, a songwriter.  Nnamdi is an extremely special force. He’s often described as “genre-defying,” but I think he actually fits into tons of genres — what he does is draw from many places and sounds for what the song needs, creating extremely emotionally effective music. “Wasted,” and the whole album Brat is a great example of this. 

Lillie West is an artist, musician, and producer from London, currently living in Chicago. She values collaboration, fervor, and community.