The Nileram – “WIN”

Marilyn Christina Blout was born in Macon, GA, just an hour’s drive from Atlanta, the artist now known as The NileRam (nah-le-ram) a.k.a. TNR would come from the most unlikely and humble of circumstances. Her journey begins set in a small town in rural America, only to come face-to-face her with own mortality to overcome physical, psychological, and societal barriers to become the transcendent artist she is today. Growing up in a hyper religious environment of the rural deep south, certain realities of life became vividly clear to her as a child. “When you are different and weird, you have to figure out a way to survive. I have always known who I am, but figured that for me, ambiguity was better than anonymity.” And even if you are just hearing her cyberpunk, thumping electronic-drenched afro-futurism sound for the first time, TNR’s career has been a long time coming and for good reason.

At 21 years old, six different autoimmune diseases completely ravished and shut down her body. TNR lay in hospital, her life ending before it really had the chance to get started. With this complete loss of control and helplessness she had a personal experience which she can only describe as “religious”, but in a way that was different from the way she was raised. Her condition was only a grand metaphor for the way she lived her life up until that point. Powerless, fearful, oppressed, and tyrannically controlled by other’s expectations and opinions. “I just wanted to be normal and not be judged.” The angel of death’s message was very clear, young Marilyn wasn’t living at all but only being kept alive through artificial means. This was her opportunity to take back her life and live again, not just physically, but also as the person she kept concealed inside. But instead of dwelling on suppression in her early years, TNR now celebrates the struggle of her sheltered religious background— after all, it is how her fiery love for music was first ignited.

Despite her mother’s distaste for mainstream, secular music, TNR and her sisters would sneak around to get a taste of forbidden sounds, like r&b, rap, and country music. She fell in love with Michael Jackson and discovering artists Grace Jones, Prince, Vanity 6, The Mary Jane Girls, and Missy Elliot  showed her what was indeed possible. Marilyn was first reignited for her innate musical ability at the tender age of four when she began singing in youth choir. As time progressed, so did her unparalleled vocals as she transformed into somewhat of a local gospel celebrity, writing her first song at the age of 10 and touring different churches and Christian-based events. Even with this modest success, TNR was sternly “advised” that pursuing a career in music wasn’t “safe” and was a “waste of time”.

After moving to Atlanta, GA to attend Georgia State University, TNR succumbed to the pressure to pursue a “respectable” occupation which eventually led to her becoming an R.N. “I was really good at my job, but I felt like such a coward.” Atlanta has been home to TNR all her adult life. The bustling metropolitan offered a very different existence than a small town and she credits the city to giving her the environment to finally embrace her desires.  “Here I was able to live a double life, I could conform and play the role expected of me by day, but at night… it is like becoming a werewolf.”

Like Atlanta’s seductive array of sensory experiences, TNR creates a multi-sensory interactive engagement— one that combines visuals, animation, imagination, and music. Her debut album (under her present incarnation) Whore Complex is a companion to Whore Complex the animated VR interactive Sci-Fi thriller. More than just an audio album, TNR wants to provide her listeners with a new kind of religious experience— “I want my fans to become comfortable with self-discovery through the shadow, embracing all of the parts that they have thrown away, denied, or kept hidden simply because society doesn’t approve.” Her first single, Coffee, will be released on August 15th. With a sultry melody and velvety vocals, Coffee, is guaranteed to awaken the senses and provide listeners with a seducing introduction to the album.

TNR’s soul speaks through sex and music. “It’s who I am, it’s what I do, and I make no apologies for it.” Sex positive, TNR sees intellectual, bodily and psychological autonomy as a necessity to be able to walk our unique paths in life. As for her music career, “I know I am a little late to the party, but I’m finally ready.” She partnered with her producer to create 1803 Entertainment, in honor of the famed Igbo landing in St. Simmons Island, GA. “I spent my whole life pretending to be someone that I wasn’t out of fear, and I became really good at it.” Confronting her own mortality in the most visceral way, TNR will never forget the lesson learned, and she hopes to inspire fans through her personal journey and music so they too could live freely outside the constraints of societal pressures.

The Nileram is on radio rotation with the track “WIN”.



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