Spotlight on: Nyota Parker

August 10, 2017

Nyota Parker's music is all about breaking the boundaries of society and the typicality of the world. Seeing the world through your 3rd eye. Seeing how society is tricking us and how we really need to open our eyes and minds to the government, standards (obvious or not), friends and all. How to set your own trends and push the system and to not conform to the world and its system. We chatted to her to find out where her passion for music started, who influenced her to start expressing herself through music, the release of her debut mixtape and what she's been working on in studio.

What kind of music were you surrounded by growing up and did you have a musical education?
I was born in Ireland and music has always been a passion. It was normal commercial music, not exactly hip hop. But when I came here I was introduced to hip hop and rap by my uncles. I had been studying music at school since like Grade 3. Music has always been my passion but it was when I came here that I discovered hip hop. I moved here when I was 5 and started listening to hip hop a year or two after that. Because some of it wasn’t exactly the greatest language so I don’t think they would let me listen to some of that when I was that age.

What are some of the artists that influence you as a musician?
Quite ironically because it’s quite opposite to the message in my music, the person who inspired me to start doing music was Nicki Minaj. She was the only female rapper that I knew of at that time. She was succeeding in a very male dominated industry. She is really talented, creative and inspiring to me despite the swearing and the dress code. She inspired me in that way. The more commercial rap side. Then on the other side I do listen to a lot of boom-bap and jazz. Recently it’s been Tom Misch, he is like a jazz/boom-bap artist, multi-instrumentalist who I happened to meet at the Jazz Festival this year. It’s mainly those two although I do listen to a lot of other artists like Mick Jenkins or J Cole…

What made you decide to express yourself through music?
That is the only way I found myself doing it. It wasn’t only music, it’s art and culture and stuff. Because I’m not really a math kind of person, I’m a creative kind of person. I’m not the best at drawing and art, but I find myself expressing myself in the art side, art and music. Music is just the best way I can do it. It’s my talent and my passion and how I see myself going forward in life. Actually using what I’m good at, expressing myself and being successful as well.

You’ve just released your debut mixtape. What is the concept behind it and what are some of the topics you explore?
It is quite experimental because it’s both a mixture of trap and jazzy stuff. I invented this new genre that I want people to know called trazz, a mixture of trap and jazz. So that was very experimental. The first track is trap, next track is trap soul, the next one is completely boom-bap and another completely full jazz song. So it was really experimental to show people the diversity. Since I’m quite conscious in my rapping the message in my music is to inspire people to not conform to society and the system. And to not follow trends but rather be themselves and create their own trends and not have to feel like they have to fit in. My dream at the end of the day is to not only inspire the masses but to influence my influencers. Tom Misch & Nicki Minaj. They also need influencing as well, no matter how high up you are.

What do you think sets you apart from other artists?
I’m a girl rapping, but when you’re a girl most girls feel like they need to show off their body or they have to swear in their music. For me, that’s what makes me different. I refuse to swear or use vulgar language. Also to feature anybody who has vulgar language or a bad message. It must always be meaningful. Obviously the message and the music like I mentioned before. Because some people commercially, they just rap about whatever is there. Mine is to not conform to society, so it’s to go the other way. But then some of it is using commercial trap beats so it catches people’s attention and it has been. Then the whole trazz thing, trap and jazz fusing those together.

What have you been working on in studio and who have you been working with?
I’m working on my next project but it’s not going to be released soon. We’re still marketing the previous project, but it will be released. It’s been me in studio with my cousin who is also a rapper, Crazy J. He’s been on one track. There’s another person that I’m featuring as well who will be revealed soon enough! The person that’s mixing and mastering everything is Jay Loopz. The beats were by various producers like Kiid Banger Beats who did most of the beats on my mixtape. There’s also Niner Konekt who’s a producer from Joburg and Master Kiii who is a rapper and also does beats. It’s going to be called ‘The Purification Project’. The mixtape is called ‘Age of Enlightenment’ and there’s a really cool intro in this project that I’m doing where I’m explaining why it’s called ‘The Purification Project’.

What does the future hold?
We have quite a few things coming up. Every six weeks there’ll be an event that we’ve planned but obviously here and there there’s going to be a gig somewhere. On the 1st of September at Gugu S'thebe there’ll be a jazzy sort of event. We are planning a tour coming up near the end of the year. We’re going to go to Joburg and some other places. So those details will come soon.

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