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Meet Nxxxa Ace of Grow Or Die in East LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nxxxa Ace.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Well, I grew up in Northwest London aka Northweezy. I’m pretty much a nomad, I move around a lot. Los Angeles is definitely the city I’ve lived in the most, about a dozen years so far. I moved back to LA in 2014, I was fighting for my right to stay in England but I got tired of life without rights.

I grew up an illegal immigrant, that is I had no rights to education, healthcare, employment or a driver’s license in the country that I lived in. When you have no rights you have to be creative to get even simple tasks done. Since I was born in America I came back, thinking it would be easier. I was wrong. Somethings have been a breeze and others not so much. Leaving my family in England and coming out by myself meant I was going to have to deal with everything alone and that has been a challenge. Since coming back I’ve endured homelessness, police oppression, assassination attempts, a constant fear of how I’m going to pay my next bill and more. But that fear, that hunger wasn’t new to me. I felt it all the time when I lived in London, it inspired my first EP, Hungry [Suite:1].

I released Hungry five days before I left London. It did ok considering I didn’t advertise it or do any music videos. Fast forward to 2017, I have my own place, brand new car and several jobs including contract work. I had a brand new baby brother so I went back to London to meet him. They detained me and refused my entry. They told me despite everything I had done in LA they didn’t believe I had enough going on for me there and if they let me in they didn’t think I would go back. I was devasted and pretty insulted. It was like they were telling me I didn’t have a life to go back to. My family, my friends, live in London and now they won’t let me back because my life is not good enough. This fuel drives me every day.

When I got back to LA I decided to focus on my independent contract work and turn it into a business. I was helping companies with their branding, but that doesn’t really cover everything I did. Any request made I would handle or hire someone who could, so I called the company DigiWish, the slogan was “make a wish, make it happen”. Simultaneously I noticed my streams had reached six figures so I released merchandise with the Hungry artwork on it. The DigiWish website had an interactive genie user could use to make their request and it also featured a gift shop containing products from a few clients alongside my Hungry Merch.

I’ve worked in a tax office, driven for rideshares, and hustled but granting wishes is the most stressful work I have had ever had to do. So I focused on the gift shop, teaming up with designers that made amazing products but lacked virtual presence. Till this day my Hungry hoody receives more compliments than anything else in my wardrobe but I had ideas for clothing that had nothing to do with my music so in 2018 I started a clothing line, Grow Or Die. Shortly after the website was redesigned and DigiWish.Org has now become an eccomerce treasure trove filled with exclusive rare products. Sites like eBay and Etsy charge designers to list their products but at DigiWish designers get listed for free.

Has it been a smooth road?
Smooth roads are rare on Earth. I remember a couple of years ago I was living in my car, I was working a job during the day and hitting licks at night. I had money, but no credit… (getting a place in LA was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life). Anyways five minutes after I left a car wash I got in a car accident. Totaled the car. I can’t describe the hopelessness I felt, it was rock bottom to me. But when you hit the bottom, the only place left to go is up.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I’m the king of slow jazz, my musical creations have garnered the most attention so far but I love everything about the creative process no matter what I’m creating. Grow Or Die has let me express myself whilst creating tangible products with purpose. “Grow Or Die” is a philosophy I live by. Like I said earlier when you reach rock bottom the only place to go is up when you’re in a situation so dire that it will result in your death if you don’t produce results, that’s when you really reach your full potential or you die. It’s a mentality I never want to lose no matter where I am in life because the goal is always to grow. But to understand what makes GOD different then all you have to do is look at the clothes, accessories and the shoes.

Take the LA Leo’s for example, making high-quality sneakers is very expensive so I made it a point to design a shoe that looks priceless. I take this approach with all my footwear and have consistently released new sneakers monthly. The latest release, Lvl 1 Capricorns, was my attempt at making an improvement to Balenciagas sneaker design. I did this with black suede and white soles that give you a subtle height boost. The simplicity makes it compatible with any outfit. The Level 1 Aquas come out next and they are unlike any sneaker I’ve ever seen before, a perfect way to start 2020.

I can’t show you the Aquas but I can give you a sneak peek at the WW3 collection. Inspired by my upcoming drill tape, World War 3, this design is without a doubt my most complex. The camouflage took months to paint and is unlike any other camo in the market, for those who don’t want cats or random monkeys on their clothes. This camo is a blend of weapons, masks and other tools for self defense, I wanted the clothes to reflect the sentiment of the music. “World War 3, The World Vs. Me” is how I’ve felt since returning to Los Angeles and I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way. Profits from the collection are going to be donated to the Los Angeles Community Action Network. I’m very skeptical of charity organizations so it was very important that I chose one that I know does what they say they do. I’m very excited and can’t wait to release the WW3 collection.

Grow Or Die is my pride but DigiWish puts food on the table. DigiWish is more than a store. It gives creators without an outlet a platform to share and sell their creations so they can focus on creating.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I definitely wouldn’t recommend coming out here for music, its probably the best place on Earth to network but today you have all the necessary tools to make great music in your hometown. For everything else I definitely recommend coming to LA, selling products is a team effort, it requires designers, manufactures, models, photographers and more. Like I said this is probably the best place on Earth to meet people in every industry.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

DigiWish Ltd,
Ife Oluyide

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