Quickie Q&A: Princess Nokia on Fear, Love and Being a Frantic Neurotic

Quickie Q&A: Princess Nokia on Fear, Love and Being a Frantic Neurotic

There’s no one word that could encapsulate this week’s TIDAL Rising pick, Princess Nokia. An artist who seamlessly wrangles so many personas and corners of culture, Nokia fluctuates between seemingly disparate elements (tomboy and girly girl) and others that go hand-in-hand (Puerto Rican roots with a Harlem, New York upbringing). Yet, no matter how many identities she explores, the through line of her aesthetic is the fearless feminine archetype.

In this brief Q&A, Princess Nokia gives us some insight into her ideas of fear, love and self. But it’s her recent mixtape, 1992, released through Rough Trade Records, that does most of the talking. Her songs transport us to different settings and wind through the styles and stories that make her such an endearing and singular narrator. As we wrap up Princess Nokia’s Rising week, we give a nod to an artist who captivates and leaves her listeners always wanting more.

 

On her 1992 mixtape…

[1992 is] all my triumphs and failures in a beautiful colorful picture book.

On coming into her own… 

One time in summer camp, when I was 10 years old, there was a joint shower that the girls had to share. All the girls were wearing bathing suits but I went in buck-ass naked. All the girls were weirded out and asking why I was naked… I started yelling, ‘Because I was born this way!’ and ran around the showers.

On her daily influences…

Humourousness, comedy, bluntful truthfullness and delusional confidence

On who she is before she goes to sleep and when she wakes up in the morning…

A frantic neurotic with a gentle disposition.

On how New York has changed over the years…

I hate it.

On her favorite word…

Discombobulated.

On fear…

Fear is a tool of the devil and I fear nothing.

On love…

Love is sitting at my favorite chicken and waffles restaurant, sipping a cup of tea and reading the Harry Potter series. That’s true love to me.

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