Rising Pick of the Week: Princess Nokia
This week’s TIDAL Rising artist is undoubtedly one of this past year’s most exciting new names. Destiny Frasqueri, better known as Princess Nokia, started making music in high school under the moniker Wavy Spice but didn’t become a household name until last May when she released a string of songs and videos off her recently delivered 1992 mixtape. This week, we’ll introduce you to the rapper-singer-songwriter and all-encompassing creative whose music not only transcends genres, trends and boundaries but defines and elevates her audiences into a new era.
Delivered just over a week ago, 1992 is, according to Frasqueri, “a representation of all my triumphs and failures in a beautiful, colorful picture book.” For the Harlem, New York-bred artist, this book paints a picture of an artist whose Puerto Rican roots run deep; whose story is steeped in pain, triumph and strength; whose femininity breaks the rules of everything that it should be and above all, who is constantly evolving. “I wanted to make a record from the perspective of a very boyish silly girl,” she says, “of someone who was very honest about their insecurities and secrets and flaws, ‘cos that’s who I am…I’m a goofball and a sweet kid. I got a squeaky voice. I mean, I play DDR.”
At every turn, Princess Nokia surprises and excites, oscillating from a full-fledged, in-your-face tomboy rapper to a floral print-garbed, gentle-voiced singer. Music, however, is not her only outlet; she also cofounded Smart Girl Club, an “urban feminist collective based in the arts and community outreach” that releases a regular podcast, hosts workshops, poetry events, discussions at colleges and variety of other art and academic endeavors.
This week, we’ll continue to familiarize ourselves with the force that is Princess Nokia with an exclusive interview and a guest-curated playlist of some of her favorite songs. In the meantime, take a dive into 1992 and peek inside of Destiny Frasqueri’s “beautiful, colorful” world.
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