Nadia Nakai joins Cassper’s record label

Nadia Nakai

Nadia Nakai

Only two months after telling AKA to watch out for her, rapper Nadia Nakai has signed with his nemesis, Cassper Nyovest.

Nadia made headlines late last year when she opened up about her beef with AKA, saying: “He must watch. Watch what I’m about to do because I don’t give a f*ck anymore. I’m not scared of anyone.”

The outburst came after AKA excluded Nadia from his all-female Baddest Remix.

“Now it’s like ‘Nadia. OMG. We all Kumbaya.’ Not now. None of them are my friends. None of them,” Nadia said about the situation at the time.

Nadia later released her own version of the Baddest Remix where she took shots at the industry.

But it seems she has taken her feud with the Levels rapper to a new level, announcing that she has just signed to the record label owned by his biggest rival, Cassper Nyovest.

“It’s been hard tryna keep this on the DL!!!! But I’m super excited to let you guys know that I’m officially under the Family Tree Records stable!!!!

“I’m excited to be working with Cassper Nyovest and the Family Tree Records team on my project!” she wrote in a social media post announcing the move.

Nadia has wasted no time in getting to work, releasing her first single under her new label. The track is titled Money Back.

Cassper’s record label includes the likes of Riky Rick, Major League DJs Nasty C, Anatii and now Nadia Nakai.

But, who is Nadia?

Although I have a Zimbabwean heritage, I was born and raised in South Africa. Most of my life I was known as Nadia Dlamini, but when I was 16, I changed my surname to my mum’s. I attended high school in Fourways, Johannesburg, for a year, then relocated to Kenya to finish my studies. I fell in love with rapping there…

Who was Nadia before rapping?

Well, I started rapping pretty young. During my studies, I worked on my album. I completed a double major in Marketing, Communications & Media Studies and worked for an advertising agency for some work experience.

How did you start rapping?

In high school, my peers always told me I talk really fast! Then I met Nazizi — a female rapper in Kenya — killing it, and was inspired to rap. I guess I never stopped from then.

A lot of people have compared your style to Nicki Minaj. Do you agree with their statement, or find you have a different look?

I don’t agree . . . I’m just being a woman and rapping hard! I’m in love with femininity and just because I rap hard, doesn’t mean I should not embrace my sexuality and femininity. Women are so amazing and sexy! What’s the point of wasting being a woman by trying to act like the guys! When it comes to music, I used to get annoyed when people compared me to Nicki but now I embrace it. Nicki is an amazing artiste! She’s the best in her craft. She represents women in hip hop so well and if people feel I’m doing the same thing in our South African market, then I’m okay with that comparison.

Tell us about your music.

My music is me expressing myself. I talk about what’s on my mind. I’ve realised that some things I say may offend some people, but everyone has a right to their own opinions of me.

What should we expect from you this year?

I’m working on a South African tour first, then an African one . . . And of course the album is the bigger part of the picture.

Tell us about your new song Saka Wena with Ice Prince. How did this come about?

Well, I was working on a new song and I wanted to work with Ice Prince so bad! I would send him messages on social media with no reply!

Then I got in contact with his South African representatives and sent them the song asking if he would jump in, but he was busy and didn’t reply. I then decided to release the song on my own, but then I performed at the Channel O music video awards last year and met Made Men Music group CEO Ubi Franklin who works closely with Ice Prince. I expressed my desire to have Ice on my song, and two weeks later I got an e-mail with his verse on it! I almost had a heart attack! I later got an e-mail from Ice Prince expressing how much he loved the song, I couldn’t contain my excitement!

Speaking of Ice Prince, how do you feel about the collaboration?

I’m proud of the song and collaboration! I’m inspired that my music and skill has been recognised by a great artiste like Ice Prince. My main goal is putting women in hip hop on the map! I think I’m doing a good job so far.

Any more international features we should expect?

Yes, you’ll see a lot more as my album will be for Africa; and not just for South Africa.

Which African female rapper do you think would make a great track with you?

Definitely Nazizi from Kenya, Eva Alordiah from Nigeria, Stella Mwangi from Kenya and Cleo Ice Queen from Zambia. That’s a hint by the way . . .

What are some of the challenges you face in the music industry?

A lot! Women in the industry do not support each other, when we should. Secondly, sometimes people don’t take us seriously; however, I feel like this year they’re changing their minds about female rappers.

SA hip hop is taking the vernacular style (Skanda and Motswako) to another level, will you be joining this?

I’m not Skanda or Motswako, and I’ll never try pretending to be something I’m not. I’m a musician and I like experimenting with new sounds. I’ll have a song on that vibe, but it won’t be my whole new sound going forward.

If you were to rap in any other language what language would that be?

Xhosa and Shona.

You have a daytime job . . . Please tell us more about that?

I’m a voice-over artiste as-well as a social media web influence, which allows me to meet and work with a lot of clients such as Redd’s and Virgin Mobile. I can’t really say which I like more because if I wasn’t a musician, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do — they’re very integrated.

Is it important to have a back-up as a musician? If so, what’s yours?

Yes, I would say it is. The industry is very volatile and nothing is certain. You can be hot today and not so tomorrow. I’ve a degree and that’ll definitely be my back-up plan. I’m also starting my own company, however I can’t disclose the details now. — The Juice/Channel24.

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