Independent music has always been a grey area in music. A kind of limbo, where artists hope to not have to dwell for long before being snatched up by one of the big five record labels. There are many hardships for an independent artist; there’s no big promotion budget or built in studio producers, to ensure hit records. But, the independent artist has the most crucial element for reaching the ultimate creative nirvana: freedom.
Nacho Picasso is one of the most uninhibited artists we’ve met. He’s been shaking shit up since his debut album, Blunt Raps. His music is a reflection of his turbulent lifestyle, rapped with a sense of humility instead of grandeur. He came into the game with the intention to piss people off and hilariously has attracted so many people to him. His blend of realness is intoxicating. He’s self deprecating with a dry sense of humour, a personality that comes across as soon as you hear the first few bars.
Not having any of the inhibitors that can plague the creativity of an artist removes most of the compromises that have to be made to please a team of executives. There are so many artists releasing music through their own channels and the internet makes it possible for independent artists to be massively successful.
This is the case with Nacho, who shot straight to number one on bandcamp the day that Stoned and Dethroned, his fourth collaboration with producers Black Sky Blue Death was released. His fans are constantly in an uproar about including him on “best of” rap lists and on the map in terms of leaders of the new school. But, Nacho stands seemingly unbothered about all of it.
Perhaps it’s the Seattle in him, the inherently, not too bothered, stance that many people in the Pacific Northwest display. Or it’s the fact that at such a young age, Nacho has already achieved what some spend their entire lives wishing for. He’s turned his stormy youth around completely and is now an inspiration to many. Nacho’s only intent in rapping was to make music that he and his friends could relate to, the rest of the world is just a bonus.
We spoke with Nacho the day Stoned and Dethroned dropped, and asked him about his process, and working with producers Blue Sky Black Death and Harry Fraud.
Chippy Nonstop bears all the hallmarks of someone who has led a nomadic existence. Born in Dubai, she’s spent time in Canada, Oakland, New York and is working on new music in Los Angeles. She’s easily adapted to different genres of music, and has blended together a new sound for herself. She’s an identifiable part of the body-baring, smack-talking, ratchet movement that’s become a mainstream craze. The difference is that Chippy was twerking long before you and your mother tried it.
The whole bay area/ hyphy/ ratchet movement is ingrained in Chippy, as she moves into a newer, softer sound. Her latest song Alone, is a dreamy electro-pop record in which she shuns her usual loud raps for soft, wanton singing. She’s allegedly wrapped up her rap game for the time being, and is trying her hand in the EDM world.
We caught up with her earlier this year, and were taken with her cute personality, but even more-so with her work ethic. In the last two years she’s been creating music, touring, styling, shooting videos, getting turnt up on the regular and managed to get her degree – not bad for someone who turned 21 last year. No matter which direction she heads in sonically, Chippy’s constant perseverance, her presence on the internet and in pop culture, will ensure that she lasts beyond any trend. Chippy Nonstop is an ideal of someone who carves a path for herself, she takes what is not easily given.
Our interview with her was definitely the most fun we’d had in a long time. She spoke with us about her love of performing, taking chances and breaking moulds.
“believe in your project, and just fucking go for it, you just have to go for it”
Check out Chippy’s latest track, Alone and this really good remix
There’s something remarkable about a woman who is not intimidated by other women. It really shouldn’t be a rarity, to see such a woman, but it is – especially in hip-hop. Even though, there are now more females in the game than ever before, it’s a far cry from sisterhood. Maybe, it’s a by-product of the patriarchy in society, pitting women-against-women instead of alongside each other. Or, maybe it’s just natural insecurity, to see a woman who may rhyme tighter or dress better as competition, rather than inspiration. Whatever it is, it needs to stop.
It seems like these days, rappers carry egos larger than their entourages. The fightin’ words have skipped over lyrics and jumped on to twitter. Certain rappers are known more for their arguments than their singles.
And then there’s Trina.
Trina has consistently collaborated with other women, since she debuted as a slick talking, strong woman on Trick Daddy’s “Nann Nigga” in 98′. Since then, she’s worked notably with Missy Elliot and Nicki Minaj, while holding down friendships with other women in music. Jump on to her Instagram and you’ll find positive quotes about coming together, alongside pictures of her with women in her industry.
We thought that Trina would be the perfect person to talk to, about female entrepreneurship and how crucial collaboration is to success.
Be true, be determined, go hard, just don’t give up.
Sara Bynoe is the hilarious mastermind behind Teen Angst Night, a night where people sign up to share their most personal writings from their teenage years.
The concept stemmed from a website she started with her brother in 2000. The website gained popularity and it wasn’t long before publishers were asking her to turn the site into a book. In 2005, Teen Angst: A Celebration of REALLY BAD Poetry was published by St. Martin’s Press. Sara has hosted Teen Angst Night in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, and London, and has also performed her Teen Angst on TV and radio.
If you’re interested in checking out a Teen Angst show, visit www.sarabynoe.com for listings.
“Just go for it, don’t hold back
The Screen Girls is a collaboration between Sarah + Christina to showcase cultural innovators and influencers in contemporary art, music and fashion through video, photography and social commentary. We’ve interviewed a plethora of artists working in different mediums, across the world, to bring together a curated selection of people who are advancing our newly globalized culture. Whether it’s a graffiti artist in Amsterdam, a sculptor in London or the rap game’s RiFF RAFF, we seek to tell the stories of artists who have been experimenting and taking risks with their work. Our videos are posted weekly and all content is produced by us. Collaboration is the foundation of The Screen Girls and we’d like to create a dialogue about the cultural zeitgeist around us, so feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine and Tumblr.