Profile: Nehi Thompson

Nehemiah “Nehi” Thompson
Age: 24 years old
“My music is for a purpose. It’s a way of healing myself and others.”

“Let’s pump Inglewood up. Make it all it can be.”

Nehi Thompson just finished an album that includes a collaboration with Bobby DeBarge, Jr. His voice is a cross between The Weekend, Robin Thicke and Usher. 

We sat down with this rising artist and Inglewood resident to get his thoughts.

How many years have you been living in Inglewood?
Since 2012, and I was raised nearby in South Central.

What is your vision for Inglewood?
To have a youth center and arts programs. It’s extremely important for the youth to have an outlet to channel their energy. I am currently trying to work with IUSD to get a Boys and Girls Club location in one of the local high schools.

What are some of the places you love in Inglewood?
The Market Street / Downtown Area has a vibe and thriving culture, right in the heart of the city. With places like Middle Bar opening this year, I’m optimistic more businesses like that will want to join in on everything happening here. I’d like the city center to be more revitalized, like Santa Monica has with The Promenade, and like the Fairfax District has with The Grove. We can have Market Street be on par with that.

What do you think of the new developments and projects that are happening right now?
I am so excited for the new stadium! And now the possible Clippers arena. It means more businesses and store variety. I think it’s important for Inglewood to embrace new commerce. To me it means property values will go up, and new jobs for youth. I had to find employment in other cities — hopefully kids will not have to do that. The new projects make the city more of an attraction, a hub. It gives the community something positive to go do in their own city. You won’t have to travel elsewhere and spend your money. It will stay right here in your own backyard.

What would you say to the residents that may object to the new developments?
With everything in life there are negatives and positives but with these projects, the positive outweighs any negative. There will always be a traffic problem because it’s a Los Angeles problem not just an Inglewood problem. There is always a solution to any problem that may arise.

Nehi is a Singer/ Songwriter/ Guitarist/ Producer, and a 
Volunteer at Boys and Girls Club Venice, where he’s mentored kids on music, photography and art since 2014. 

Do you think Inglewood is heading in the right direction?
Absolutely. There is a huge change happening in Inglewood within the arts community and beyond. I am looking forward to seeing it progress and supporting it in any way I can. Inglewood has been improving for several years now and things will only get better for the community.

What would you like to see more of in the city?
I would like to see more greenery and beautification, like in the 112th Street areas. My mom has a garden in the backyard that she plants herbs and vegetables. I would like to see more opportunities for residents to have access to spaces where they can grow their own food as well. It will provide kids and youth with the opportunity to learn about being healthier and concentrating on more positive things.

Why do you think it’s important to have programs like the Boys and Girls Club in Inglewood?
It’s absolutely critical to have a child’s development be a community priority. Creating a healthy upbringing without so many negative things surrounding them is what builds a child’s character. That is what will make them a productive citizen in the future. It provides a space for them to hang out, to not be alone or be around a bad crowd, to have positive role models, to learn and stimulate their minds, to make friends, have a mix of friendships of different races and genders. It will create a positive entity within the community.

“Any opportunity to improve the inner city is a blessing.”

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Inglewood Forward is a group of local residents, homeowners, business and city leaders dedicated to creating jobs and improving the quality of life for Inglewood city residents. Funding for this communication has been provided by Murphy’s Bowl LLC.

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