The music industry these days seems to be missing genuine personalities who are unapologetically themselves. It seems that there is a myopic focus on surface-level things such as ice, bling, and cash. Fortunately, Stephen Umehea is here to change all of that, focusing on things that truly matter in his music, personal expression. He does all of this under his artist name, Missing-nin.
For those that might be wondering why Missing-nin seems like such a familiar reference, it’s because it is Stephen’s own way of expressing his passion for the hit anime show, Naruto, a popular show about shinobi or more popularly known in the West as ninjas. Missing-nin literally translates to runaway shinobi, but there’s more to this artist than just his clever references.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Missing-nin started playing music at such a young age. In preschool, he was a talented snare player who let his artistry shine despite breaking the instrument and struggling to compensate for it. Missing-nin’s mother was a true Nigerian lady who disciplined him for his mistakes, even going above and beyond to send her son back with an apology and a glued-up snare in hand.
Missing-nin had a multi-instrumental childhood, as he soon moved to play the trumpet as a young musician and later on transitioned to the piano, which he still plays masterfully to this very day. In high school, he developed a much stronger passion for music, as he discovered the culture of hip-hop and started writing his own songs to enter rap battles.
Eventually, he found himself being introduced to FL Studio by one of his closest friends. This exact moment started generating some buzz for Missing-nin, allowing him to capture his initial audience.
“I started experimenting with FL studio and fell a lot more deeply in love with making beats than rapping or writing songs,” shared the artist.
However, reality finally sunk in when Missing-nin needed to leave his hometown so he could go to college. He was alone yet again in his musical journey, but he never let it faze him. Between 2013 and 2021, he created over 900 beats and recorded eight songs.
“Making beats just came more naturally to me, and I never really felt like it was imperative to develop my voice as an artist,” he said. “Up until 2020, I had given up hopes of becoming a rapper and was putting more of my energy into establishing myself as a producer. I’d had a couple of stints at rapping in these ten years I was producing, but I never really felt like I had much to say as an artist, so I could never fully commit to it,” the artist added.
The rising star made waves in the music industry with his much-awaited debut EP called Brown, a record that was released on the very first day of 2021, starting the year off right for his enigmatic music career. Nowadays, Missing-nin plans to captivate an even wider audience with his latest upcoming project entitled, Croquis.
“I had started the Croquis project with the intent of making it as quickly as I’d made Brown, but I’ve been making a lot more music than I can handle at the moment. I grow as an artist every day, and since I make music almost daily, this album has grown with me as well,” said Missing-nin.
Missing-nin is set to outperform himself with his plan to release a single every Friday for the rest of the year across all streaming platforms.
Fans of his work will greatly appreciate this upcoming project as he ramps up the production leading up to an eventual release. There’s absolutely no slowing him down, and much like the titular character of Naruto, Missing-nin believes in himself, and he passionately believes that he is destined to reach the top.To know more about Missing-nin, make sure to visit his official website.