Milnerton starlet Nyota Parker is standing up and being counted in the world of music at just the tender age of 17.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Nyota (her name means “star” in Swahili), was already singing and making up her own songs at the age of 3, but it was only after she moved to South Africa in 2005 that she discovered her passion for hip hop.
One of her biggest influences has been Nicki Minaj, and she explains how she’s influenced by the way Nicki raps but not necessarily the things she raps about.
“I would sing along to many of her songs growing up and eventually I started writing my own. Not long after that, I met a few producers and started writing properly.”
Even though the rap game is a male-dominated industry, Nyota says that doesn’t intimidate her.
“I always say that music doesn’t have any gender, so you either have what it takes or you don’t. I like to consider myself a non-conformist because people always expect female rappers to be a certain way and everything has to be sexualised, but I like the whole non-conformist way and you can tell when you listen to my music.”
Late last year, the young starlet won the City of Cape Town’s second festive lights music challenge where she had stiff competition from 94 other entries.
Nyota bagged R10 000 and the chance to perform with big names at the annual switching on of the festive lights. The line-up included The Voice winner Craig Lucas, Idols winner Paxton Fielies and legends like Vicky Sampson.
Right now, Nyota is hard at work in the studio preparing to drop her much-anticipated six-track EP later this month. But before that she plans to release three or four singles.
“We are still pushing my debut mix tape. We are making connections everywhere we go and just recently we have done gigs in Durban and Joburg. To add to that, we want to do some shows overseas in places like England and America because we have family there and the international exposure will be great,” says Nyota.
You can follow Nyota Parker’s music on SoundCloud at NyotaOfficially, her Facebook page is NyotaOfficially and also on Twitter @Nyotaofficially.