The Sleep Sounds Artist Series with

Nyota

by Ollie Braddy on the 23rd November 2018

The rapper from Cape Town shows she's really got what it takes to change the narrative in hip-hop.

At the age of 18 the amount that Nyota has already achieved is remarkable. She uploaded her first track to SoundCloud at the age of 16, dropped her first mixtape a year later and has just released two independent singles which are a complete musical divergence from the EP she released at the beginning of the year. It were these most recent releases, the tracks Glow and Oh My, that really caught my attention. The production was tight, her flow was energising and the lyrics were a breath of fresh air from an ever blinkered world of commercial hip-hop. They made me pay attention.

It seems that Nyota fell into making music as it provided her with the most effective way of expressing herself. It just so happens that she’s also extremely good at it. Yes she’s come a long way since her first releases two years ago, but she’s always stood out as an artist with a spark. To begin with, she’s a female absolutely killing it in a depressingly male-dominated field—providing a vital role model for aspiring female rap-artists. But more than that, her flow feels fresh, able to skip across a range of beats, realigning every few bars, keeping us all guessing where she’s about to go. It’s difficult to second guess her music, which gives it a tangible sense of being alive. However, arguably of most importance are her lyrics, which are, in a word, genuine. It was evident from our conversation that she really is passionate about promoting individuality and freedom of expression amongst her following—a narrative often lost in pop music.

When speaking to Nyota her youth was noticeable, not through any sort of naivety, but through her energy. Her conversation was vibrant, she spoke with a genuine sense of joy and a passion for what she does—something I’ve rarely encountered in my (admittedly limited) experience with artists. It was such a pleasant experience to talk to someone who has so much excitement which accompanies a natural charm and infectious laugh that I am sure will serve her well as she continues to work her way up the ladder of the music industry.

Nyota has an undoubtedly bright future, I just hope that she is able to continue to grow—using her already extensive range of experience to build her style and way of expression. But most of all, I hope she is able to maintain her energy, her passion and her infectious individuality. Even when the lures of commercialism come calling, I pray that she is able to stay true the message she does so well to promote.