Cape Town-based rapper/vocalist/songwriter Nyota Parker presents the Knew Visions-directed music video for her new single “Transcend”. Claiming Congolese, Irish and South African heritage, Nyota makes a fusion of hip-hop, jazz, trap and soul she calls ‘trazz’.
Nyota says “Transcend” is all about what she’s “claiming for 2020 and the future. This is an introduction to who I am, what I believe in as a non-conformist and as someone who breaks the boundaries of gender in music and my day-to-day life.”
You have a diverse background. How do you think it has affected your music?
It has definitely influenced the way I infuse my music with elements of different genres. I never like to stick to one box or just one way I want people to perceive my music. Every culture around me and within me has taught me a valuable lesson about relating to different audiences.
Whatâ€™s your process for writing songs?
I really donâ€™t have a process for writing songs, to be honest. All I do is come up with a concept or let a concept come to me which could be inspired by anything I see around me or anything I experience. Most of the time, I let the beat move me – I really enjoy writing to an instrumental.
Whatâ€™s the Cape Town hip-hop music scene like?
Cape Town is very diverse but underground in the music scene. There are some strong communities built but are not recognized. People donâ€™t really know how to support up-and-coming artists there but people are learning. In my opinion, Cape Town has some of the best artists I know, like Uno July, Crazy J Suave, Mvula Dre and Master Kiii.
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Whoâ€™s your favorite rapper ever and why?
I have so many favorites because I listen to more than just rappers. But if I had to pick a rapper who I listen to religiously it would be both Mick Jenkins and Nicki Minaj. I know they are two very different artists but they are my favorites for different reasons. Mick Jenkins is someone I relate to in terms of his message, he doesnâ€™t conform and he sometimes raps about life in Chicago which definitely draws parallels to Cape Town.
His delivery is mellow yet hard hitting, he had a unique voice and the producers he chooses to work with are amazing with their beats. I look up to him and I hope to work with him one day. Nick Minaj is a female dominating in a male dominated industry, in fact, she was the one who inspired me to start making music many years ago.
From her projects like â€œBeam Me Up Scottyâ€ and â€œPink Fridayâ€ all the way until now with the â€œPink Printâ€, her art, work ethic and consistency has always impacted me. Thereâ€™s no doubt that she is an amazing rapper that broke barriers by doing POP, Rock music etc – to me she is legendary and it would be a dream to work with her.