The Jamaica-born Londoner had just released a star-studded mixtape in 2014 when he was removed from the country. Now back in the UK, he has channelled his experience into a debut album
In 2000, when he was seven years old, Cashief Nichols moved with his mother from Jamaica to Peckham, south London. They wanted to be closer to family and to widen their opportunities – which Nichols certainly did. As the rapper Cashtastic, he released his debut mixtape, Alarm Clock, in 2014, which included collaborations with the grime stars Kano, Wiley and Ghetts. Shortly afterwards, though, his stay in the UK came to an abrupt end: “I was put in a van and told where I was going,” he says. Nichols was ordered to return to Jamaica.
Seven years on, he is back in Britain, starting music afresh as Cashh. But he remains bruised from a lengthy battle with the Home Office. “Growing up, it was instilled in you to belong wherever you go,” he says over a video call. “I was just the kid whose parents were from Jamaica.”