Speaking to DS, the BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ said that Donae'o - aka Ian Greenidge - is "absolutely fundamental" to the UK funky scene.
Nelson said: "A typical 1Xtra artist, a core 1Xtra artist who's under the radar completely is a guy called Donae'o. I'm going to give him props.
"I'm not saying he's a star - he's not a popstar, he's not a packaged person but, in the way Labrinth is to the more commercial end of things, he is absolutely underpinning funky house and production."
He added: "He's so clever. You'll know a couple of his tunes. He had a massive club tune called 'Party Hard' last year. He just churns out consistently good records.
"He's a guy to investigate; I like him. He's a typical, staple 1Xtra artist that will always get love on our station.
"He'll maybe never hit the heights of a Tinie [Tempah] - he's not a rapper - but he can MC, he can sing. He's a good artist, he's a good producer."
> Trevor Nelson targets 1m 1Xtra listeners