Entertainment and Lifestyle

Strings ‘N’ bling

At 21, Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo, popularly known as Nasty C, is taking the world by storm. His sophomore album, Strings and Bling landed the number one spot on iTunes and number two on Apple Music. Since his debut two years ago, his brilliance continues with his 17-track project serving as a befitting testament to that. Alfayo Onyango caught up with the Coolest Kid in Africa when he was in 254 for his Ivyson Tour

Nasty C is an international award-winning rapper, song-writer and record producer based in Durban, South Africa. At 11, his mother passed away in a fatal car accident, but that only propelled him to perfecting his rapping craft, which he began at around nine years old influenced by American rappers TI and Lil Wayne.

Last year, he signed with Universal Music Group before working with American A-List rapper French Montana on their hit Allow. To follow it up, he got the BET Best International Act Award against acts such as Davido and Cassper Nyovest. His hit song Particula featuring Major Lazer, DJ Maphorisa, Ice Prince and Jidenna sky-rocketed him to stardom both locally and internationally, backed by his Runtown assisted collaboration Said.

Nasty has a rumored net worth over Sh25,000,000 and just released his second album Strings and Bling following Bad Hair and his first EP (Extended Play) Price City that earned him a Davido feature early in his career. He will tour eight African countries on his Ivyson Tour, which kicked off in 254.

Congratulations on your success. You decided to bring your Ivyson Tour to Nairobi for the first leg. What is it about Kenya that made you want to share this milestone with us?

Thank you. Anytime I come here, all I get is pure love: that alone just does it. It’s like my second home now. This was my third time, and as with tradition, I always overstay. I’ve been here before for about a week, and I end up having a lot of fun. Plus the fact that I’ve recorded one of my best songs here with Runtown — it’s pretty dope.

Any particular places you enjoy while in Nairobi?

I quite enjoy Kiza Restaurant and Lounge.

You dropped your second studio album, Strings and Bling recently. Unlike your debut album, you chose to distribute with Universal Music Group and not Mabala Noise. What influenced the decision?

Mabala felt like it was best to hand me over to someone with a better reach so it made sense. The people I’m working with are not really strangers, the transitioning was easy and so as long as everyone’s happy, I’m behind that.

You started your own record label now with Rowlene as the only act. What’s your artiste signing criteria?

It’s been an exciting time. I’m signing artistes that I know I’ll be able to work with easily. Not just musically, but business-wise too. I don’t want to sign artistes I don’t relate well with when I’m supposed to grow them and make their potential come true. So I’m looking forward to working with people with tonnes of potential. They have to believe in themselves.

As far as Kenya goes, are you looking to collaborate with anyone in particular?

I’m pretty sure collaborations will come as we connect a bit more. I barely hang out with artistes here with an exception to Mvroe of EA Wave.

Besides music, what else does Nasty get up to?

I play Fifa, professionally. (Kidding).

Is it important for you to preserve Durban and South African heritage and culture in your music?

I’m not saying it’s not important, but I don’t owe it to anyone. I make music to express myself and about what I go through; music people can relate to. I want someone in Asia whose never been to South Africa to relate to what I’m going through.

Lastly, since you’ve broken all ceilings  and are arguably the number one artiste in Africa right now riding high on international credits, what’s next?

I’m back to art. I finally found a way to escape the music and rediscover my love for a passion I had. I’m creating characters like animes and developing something further — it’s gonna be big. Watch this space.

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