Ayelle draws on her own experiences in her approach to the societal wound that is domestic violence, also incorporating situations she has witnessed and her experiences meeting survivors as a volunteer at a London domestic abuse charity. Speaking up on this topic is more than just a self-aggrandising act of commercialised bandwagon feminism: the artist has chosen to support charities Solace Women’s Aid and RESPECT with a merchandise campaign accompanying the single release. “NBDY”-branded hoodies are available to buy from Everpress for £30, with all profits going directly to the work of the selected organisations.
Whilst the campaign and its message are – rightfully – centred in this release, it’s worth noting that “NBDY” is a devastatingly good song. Ayelle handles her subject in a manner that is measured, never heavy-handed. Delicate, reverberating guitar lines hold their own against a powerful onslaught of drums, with Ayelle’s multi-layered vocals dipping and twisting into distorted samples.
The track’s most powerful moment comes as it closes: a chilling pitched spoken-word segment that demands: “Where d’you think you’re going? / Why you wearing that? How you already tagging guys on your fucking ‘gram? / Don’t you tell me stories / I can read your mind / Why you out here acting like you don’t know who I am? / Girl you want me back? / Get back on your knees / I don’t care if you’re upset / Don’t be a fucking tease / Baby call me back / I won’t be like that / I hit you ’cause I love you / Baby you know that.”
Ayelle breaks down the story of “NBDY”, saying: “It’s about the process of stripping one’s identity which often occurs in abusive relationships. This song addresses both mental and physical abuse and how even the smaller things can create a powerful pattern to break you down.”
If you have been affected by domestic abuse and need to speak to someone, contact Solace Women’s Aid on 0808 802 5565, or RESPECT’s men’s advice line on 0808 801 0327.