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Nadia Nakai (Photo: Gallo Images)
Johannesburg – After being on the music scene for a few years, Nadia Nakai is finally giving her fans what they have been waiting for – an album.
The rapper trended on Twitter in May when she revealed that she would be releasing her debut album, Nadia Naked, on 28 June.
The Juice had the opportunity to catch up with Nadia before the big day, chatting about everything from the very first track she ever recorded to what fans should expect from Nadia Naked.
We met the star on a Tuesday afternoon, choosing to hang out in a setting where she would feel right at home – a recording studio.
Camera at the ready, and Nadia settled into a comfy chair, we started off with a walk down memory lane, asking the muso to take us back to the moment she knew she was meant to be in the world of hip-hop.
“Every year, me and my mom used to drive to Zimbabwe to visit my gran, and that’s a 12-hour drive,” she recalled.
It was the soundtrack to which they took that drive that stood out most for Nadia. Her mother would jam along to the likes of Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Jill Scott.
“That’s where I kind of got the influence of being a spoken-word artist, from those types of artists that my mom used to listen to.”
It wasn’t long before Nadia was penning tracks of her own. The star smiles as she tells the story about how she sold her phone for R400 in her first year of university in order to secure studio time to record her very first track. It’s a decision she says she does not regret as that song ultimately led to her ending up on a project with DJ C-Live and iFani.
Another important connection Nadia made during her time as a student was with local star Cassper Nyovest. The two artists happened to record at the same studio, but “never really connected music-wise,” as Nadia put it.
It was only years later that she would eventually sign to Cassper’s Family Tree label.
Sharing what they have described before as a brother/sister relationship, Cassper works closely with Nadia on her music and even produced her album. She credits the Move For Me hitmaker for pushing her beyond what she thought she was capable of.
“Cassper is a very stubborn person, and he’ll probably say the same thing about me. I feel like he doesn’t listen, and he feels like I don’t listen, but we definitely had to find a balance in that. I appreciate him pushing me so hard because I feel like, without him, I don’t know if I would have been able to unlock myself to make the music that I did on this album.”
Chatting a little bit more about the album, Nadia tells us how it got its name. “The album is called Nadia Naked because I am showing a vulnerable side to me. I’m talking about things that have happened to me.”
The star says she wanted the album to be one that people from every walk of life could relate to. “I want them (fans) to find songs that they can resonate with. I think in my career I’ve relied a lot on party songs because that’s what gets you booked – songs that turn-up, songs that are easy for radio. On this album, I really wanted to tell my story.”
(Photos: Gallo Images)