Dreaming up with Nasty C

Story by T. Magwaza

Visuals courtesy of UMG

Nasty C shares what keeps him going, lessons learned from travelling and his future plans. “To be honest, this album could be 100% done, I’m just a perfectionist,” he says.

Many accolades, think pieces, and love and hate precede this name, but one thing we can all agree on is that when Nasty C told us, the world, that he’s never gonna quit, he not only meant that, but proceeded to prove it – bar after bar, year after year.

Say what you will about the young icon in the making, but when he sets his sights on something, you better believe, it’s probably already his. Having the honour to pick at his brain amidst his many plans and manifestations, shortly before kicking off his current Ivyson Army Tour, I found before me one of the most level-headed individuals in the game.

Busy as hell, but down to earth nonetheless. Unafraid of change, it should come as no surprise that the young star has not only been able to extend his territory in the rap game, but also to solidify the longevity and impact of his reign.

One attribute no one can take away from you is your consistency. How much do you have on your shoulders right now and what does it all feel like?

There’s a lot on my plate but it doesn’t feel heavy because it’s not intimidating. I have great teams with each of those projects, and a great internal team as well. So, I’m more excited than anything.

A “Zulu Man with Some Power” is still but a man at the end of the day, right? Share with us what you do to keep your head up on those days that feel less powerful than others.

 A solid daily planner, so even when I don’t feel okay, I still stick to the plan daily. It helps regulate things during emotional and mental hardships.

A typical day for Nasty C?

Gym, meditation, a bit of reading, a lot of studio. Studio in the sense of just being in the studio, not necessarily recording all the time. From making a beat, learning how to play the keyboard, also my gaming setup is in there, so I may be in the studio for like hours.

Nasty C

Music… now we know you love a good collaboration. You’ve gifted, and continue gifting, fans with many. Walk us through your process when picking the next collaborator. 

It happens naturally. Artists reach out to me and, if I like what I hear then, let’s go! Also, if I make a song and I feel like yo, so-and-so would kill this song, then I might just send it to them. I just work off what feels good.

How has the extensive travel impacted your creative process as a whole, if at all?

People work quick and collaborate more! Especially outside the continent. Artists go into the studio and just freestyle their asses off, coming up with amazing stuff. Like five to seven songs back-to-back. It’s less spontaneous in SA, gotta email before… Although, I do still like to sit, think about it and all that good stuff.

Of all the cities, be honest, which crowd gets you the most hype without fail and why?

Pretoria always goes up! Every time I do a show there it feels like a tour, even if I’m just booked for the night. Every club! Some hip-hop artists will avoid those that may cater more to amapiano or older crowds but for me, none of that.

And, after all these years, what still gets Nasty C geeked about his creative journey?

Hmm… I just really love making music. I love the process. Whether I’m making a sad or hype song, or simply just experimenting. Making music, man! I don’t think there’s anything in the world that can make me hate it. The frame can get exhausting and repetitive but when it comes down to me in the studio… I love that!

Complete the sentence: Not sure who needs to hear this but…

stop making music that you think other people wanna listen to! Make the music you wanna listen to.

Your thoughts on responsibility now that you’ve acknowledged the power that comes with the platform you’ve created for yourself?

We as artists all hold a delicate responsibility to push the envelope, the message. I’m very careful when it comes to such because we might be saying stuff hoping to positively influence but you don’t know what the average person’s level of frustration is. We’re here making music, safe in these homes. Artists really need to be careful of their tone. I personally don’t speak on things I know nothing about, however, if it’s something that impacts the masses, myself included, then definitely – be the voice and raise awareness! It has to come from a real place, not just saying it because you know a bunch of people will relate.

A piece of advice for “Juice Back’” Nasty C?

Maybe, trust yourself more, there’s been times where I’d take advice from my day ones regardless of what my gut or instinct was telling me, but you find, at times, you’re supposed to follow your gut even if you’re the only one that feels like that.

Finally, as secretive as you are, you probably have some things brewing. Can you slightly tease any of the projects we’ll be getting soon? 

To be honest, this album could be 100% done. I’m just a perfectionist. So, I’m shuffling songs around, working on new ideas but an album is coming. Also, an NFT project, a clothing line and some unique visuals are en route… for now.

Nasty C is currently on the road. View the dates for his Ivyson Army Tour below:

This interview appeared on issue 18 of the HYPE ezine


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