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Ms Nina's Debut Mixtape Is An Album You Can Cry & Dance To

Ms Nina 

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Ms Nina's Debut Mixtape Is An Album You Can Cry & Dance To

One of the key faces of neoperreo opens up about her bold yet vulnerable debut mixtape, 'Perreando Por Fuera, Llorando Por Dentro?'

GRAMMYs/Jul 18, 2019 - 09:54 pm

What is the one thing Ms Nina wants the world to glean from her debut mixtape, Perreando Por Fuera, Llorando Por Dentro? "I want the world to know that this is one percent of what I can do," she says with conviction on the phone from Spain. 

One of the key faces of neoperreo, a reggaeton sub genre that translates to "new dance" and embraces women and queerness as much as the infectious reggaeton inspired beats it produces, Ms Nina writes highly dancable songs with lyrics that are at times hilarous, at times sexy, at times both—"Avocado and oil to make this butt grow," she sings in "Traketeo"—and collabs with names like Tomasa del Real, who coined the term neoperreo in their joint single "Y Dime." 

Now, the Argentina-born, Spain-based singer, who ruled Tumblr with her pop culture collages before she grabbed a mic, has released her debut mixtape, a collection of songs inspired by a universally relatable topic: heartbreak and unrequited love. 

The mixtape is as bold and determined as she is. Musically, it hits you with dembow rhythms, plus traces of other Latin movements like salsa and electro. Lyrically, It's here to let you know that Ms Nina won't succumb to dispair. Still present are the sexually empowering lyrics she has sung in singles prior. "If you have a girlfriend, I don't know why you're calling/ Tell her to get in my bed" she sings in "Coqueta," the mixtape's second track. More than anything, however, Perreando Por Fuera, Llorando Por Dentro? is about Ms Nina—a self-professed disorganized person—proving to herself that she could get something out there.

"This is [only] one percent of what I can do," she says. "Because I know I can do a lot of things and much better. I made this mixtape because I needed to do it personally, like setting a goal. Because I was a very disastrous, disorganized person, and I said, 'I'm going to do it.'"

Below, Ms Nina opens up further about her empowering (yet intentionally vulnerable) debut, neoperreo, working with Tomasa del Real, her Latin roots and more. 

How did you get your start in music?

Through a friend, who encouraged me. She recorded a song that I did for fun and from there, any time I had, I recorded at my friend's house, in any studio, and little by little I started making songs and became encouraged to record them and release them.

What about neoperreo, specifically?

I started making music and I chose reggaeton because I could play with words, I could dance, I wanted my music to be fun, to have fun. I listen to every style of music, but music that makes you dance, Latin music, I thought, "I want to do something like that" and be able to write lyrics, that could be funny and something to dance to so I chose that style of music.

Who are your influences?

There are many people who influence me. I listen to all kinds of music, but who has influenced me in my lyrics? Tego Calderon, Ñejo, many people. I have a playlist of all the people who inspire me, many artists. A lot of cumbia from Argentina that I'd listem to because I am Argentina. Cumbia, salsa, I do not know, many artists inspire me.

How did you meet Tomasa del Real, and what does that relationship mean to you?

She's like another friend. I met her in Barcelona, she was a tatoo artist, and since then we see each other and stay in touch. 

There are a lot of collabs going on in reggaeton, several amongst women. You've collabed a lot with other women in neoperreo. Is it a special vibe, collaborating with women?

For me, whether I collaborate with a woman or a guy, I do not find one more important that the other. I believe people do, in my mixtape two of my girl friends sing and if there was a guy who I would have sent a song to and liked it, I would've put it in mixtape. It's cool to have more girls in the genre of urban music, because before, 10 years ago they had not, but I do not watch music if it's a woman or a man. If I like the person and it gives me good vibes, I always do it.

You're from Argentina, but now Spain-based. What made you decide to make that move?

I moved to Spain because my family was economically poor. I come from a very small town, and when I was 14 years old moved to Spain. The truth is, it changed my life because here I have more opportunities than I would have had where I lived, I have family here and obviously I will always be from there, I have inspiration from where I grew up, where I was born and the truth is that I like Latin America a lot.
 

I've lived in Madrid and know there's a huge hip-hop influence there; do you think neoperreo is leaving its own mark on the city?

There's always been reggaeton here in Madrid that's been made by Latin people, but there's also a new movement in Madrid, the Madrileña movement that began in the '80s, but now with reggaeton and trap. The truth is that there are many good artists who paint, who make music, who party and greatly enrich the musical culture of young people in Madrid.

J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Karol G's brand of reggaeton is seeing global popularity. Do you think that's where neoperreo is going?

I think so, but it's still very underground. Yes there are many people who follow it and listen it and every time it's making the community bigger.

How do you define neoperreo?

Tomasa coined that word; it's more her thing than mine. How I would define it is, it's the internet's reggaeton. It's an evolution of reggaeton. Everyone is welcomed at the parties where it plays no matter how you dress, who you are, it's a very open community and I think that's why it's also here, a lot of people are following it because everybody feels comfortable and everyone is welcomed. It's music that unites online and of which all artists come out of, that's how I would define it from the outside.

It feels like a genre that's very empowering to women.

Yes, women, transsexuals, everyone who wants to make music or whatever they want to be, DJ, whatever.
 
What has been your greatest tool as an artist?
 
I think that without the Internet many of us now making music wouldn't be able to. It is a very big tool, social-media networks are too, [but] I do not like social media because I think it's all a lie. I have to use it, I think it's a very big tool, because if I do not use Instagram and say that the mixtape is coming tomorrow or that I'm going to be playing in Switzerland tomorrow, nobody is going to know what I'm doing. But the Internet has been a very important tool for me and for many people for sure. Before, to be famous or make music you needed the television or to go to a program or be with a record company and they were the ones to take you to the radio. Now you can record music and share it from your house.
 
Some women feel like audiences don’t accept all their lyrics. Do you feel limited in any kind of way, artistically?
 
There are still very closed-minded people, and obviously not everyone is going to agree on everything, but perhaps, for example, with lyrics and how people choose to express themselves with their art, people have become more open. But obviously the radio will not play me because of the bad words, or people won't understand it or will say it is crap and that I am machista or whatever. I think as long as you do things with good intention, knowing that people also take everything with music so seriously, you have to enjoy it and have fun, you do not have to take everything seriously. For now I am free and I can write whatever I want, the lyrics of the songs and the record, unless you're famous, it's cool. Right now anyone can travel the world and tour, being independent. What you need is a good team, a couple of people and you to be organized. People are always going to criticize.
 
That's what I like about your music! You always appear to be having fun.

Sometimes I do care about what people say. There are days that I wake up and feel a little sad and I see a comment or whatever, and it f*s up my day. I think it's stupid because that person does not know me, but I never was like that. At first I was a very insecure girl, very shy. I have grown a lot and I have advanced a lot. I am more secure.

Before, I kept quiet about things. And now I tell you something bothers me, politely. I do not care about people's opinion of my music or when they say that my music is s* music. To that I say, "If you don't like [it], close your eyes, plug your ears or change the video, period." But you can't argue with everyone online because if you are a public person and you post something, obviously people will have something to say and say what they want.

So public people have to know that there are good things, but people will also criticize you and tell you who you are, what you do, good things, bad things. But I think that when you start to feel confident, that helps you. I only care about the opinion of my parents and my family and my friends, of people on the street. It matters.

A song that I liked a lot on the mixtape is "Te Doy" because with confidence you say, "Here is my body, I give it to you," but you also say, "Wait, but I'm not your girlfriend." So don't think you have a right to my body. Why it is important for you to have songs about consent and boundaries?

Because I see it like that. If I want to be sexy, go to a nightclub, show my tits, that does not give you the right to touch me or do what you want. If I let you do it, do it, if I do not, you can not do it. These [are the beliefs] I carry inside and unwittingly write in my music, in my lyrics, I write things that everyone interprets in their own way. 

[And] I was raised like that, my mother raised me so that I am free and respect others, that I am a woman and that I can say what I want as long as it does not offend anyone. So I am like that by nature. I always say what I want and I do what I want, as long as I do not bust any balls doing it. The thing about "Te Doy" is that it's funny, the lyrics do not have much depth, but it's funny to say, "I give you, I give you this ass with love, I give you my blessing".

... I also talk about music as a woman, I talk about love, lack of love, the boy I like, that the boy is not going to laugh at me, that I miss my ex, for example.

Is there a message you wanted to send with this mixtape?

Yes, the mixtape is called Perreando Por Fuera, Llorando Por Dentro because it was like a boom I had this last year that I was in love with someone and it went wrong. I was sad, I went out and went out partying and the next day I was hungover and was feeling bad, as it happens to everyone. Go out partying, you're fine, you're drunk, "I miss my ex," then you go home and you're hungover the other day crying, "I'm crap, I'm the worst." Perreando Por Fuera, Llorando Por Dentro is something along these lines. 

What do you want the world to learn about you through Perreando Por Fuera, Llorando Por Dentro?

I want the world to know that this is [only] one percent of what I can do, because I know I can do a lot of things and much better. I made this mixtape because I needed to do it personally, like setting a goal. Because I was a very disastrous, disorganized person, and I said, "I'm going to do it." Because I wanted to put a project out that people can dance to and enjoy, but I'm looking forward to getting more singles that I have.

I'm already starting the second mixtape, and I want it to be much better. I like that people see this project that I was working on for months with my manager, who helped me, all the producers who are in it, the people who helped me, the studio and everything, and that this is only a little bit of what they see of Ms Nina. I'm very happy.

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Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More

Rotimi

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Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More

The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'

GRAMMYs/Jul 8, 2019 - 10:04 pm

In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.

"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.

Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.

"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."

Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American. 

"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."

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Iggy Pop Announces New Album, 'Free', Shares Title Track

Iggy Pop

Photo: Harmony Korine

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Iggy Pop Announces New Album, 'Free', Shares Title Track

"By the end of the tours following Post Pop Depression, I felt sure that I had rid myself of the problem of chronic insecurity that had dogged my life and career for too long. But I also felt drained… I wanted to be free," the Godfather of Punk explained

GRAMMYs/Jul 18, 2019 - 11:47 pm

Today, GRAMMY-nominated punk forbearer Iggy Pop revealed the details for his forthcoming 18th solo studio album, along with its short—at under two minutes—yet spacious title track, "Free." The 10-track LP is due out Sept. 6 and follow's 2016's GRAMMY-nominated Post Pop Depression.

"This is an album in which other artists speak for me, but I lend my voice," Pop explains in a press release.

The statement notes jazz trumpeter Leron Thomas and L.A.-based electric guitarist Noveller as the "principal players" collaborating with Pop on this exploratory new project. On "Free," Thomas' horn and Noveller's guitar add layers of depth, somberness and exploration, as Pop's echoing voice cuts through twice to proclaim, "I want to be free."

Pop adds that his last tour left him feeling exhausted but ready for change, and the shifts eventually led him to these new sounds:

"By the end of the tours following Post Pop Depression, I felt sure that I had rid myself of the problem of chronic insecurity that had dogged my life and career for too long. But I also felt drained. And I felt like I wanted to put on shades, turn my back, and walk away. I wanted to be free. I know that's an illusion, and that freedom is only something you feel, but I have lived my life thus far in the belief that that feeling is all that is worth pursuing; all that you need—not happiness or love necessarily, but the feeling of being free. So this album just kind of happened to me, and I let it happen."

Post Pop Depression earned the former Stooges frontman his second GRAMMY nod, at the 59th GRAMMY Awards for Best Alternative Music Album. It was produced by GRAMMY winner Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and as a tribute of sorts to David Bowie, Pop's longtime friend the producer of his first two solo albums, and was released shortly after Bowie's surprising passing.

As the press release states, "While it follows the highest charting album of Iggy's career, Free has virtually nothing in common sonically with its predecessor—or with any other Iggy Pop album."

You can pre-order and pre-save the new album now for the Sept. 6 release here. You can also check out Pop's new book, 'Til Wrong Feels Right, on Sept. 26.

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Travis Scott Drops "Watch" Featuring Lil Uzi Vert, Kanye West

Travis Scott

Photo: Rune Hellestad/Getty Images

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Travis Scott Drops "Watch" Featuring Lil Uzi Vert, Kanye West

The GRAMMY-nominated rapper returns with a new single boasting two high-profile features

GRAMMYs/May 4, 2018 - 06:20 pm

Houston-born rapper Travis Scott capped off a busy week by releasing a new single on May 4, "Watch," featuring Lil Uzi Vert and Kanye West. The song's intro references Scott's forthcoming album, Astroworld, which will be his third studio album.

Earlier this week, Scott appeared on Playboi Carti's "Love Hurts," delivering a guest verse for the rapper's return from a relatively quiet year since releasing his debut mixtape last April.

Lil Uzi is coming off two GRAMMY nominations at the 60th GRAMMY Awards for Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance for his 2017 hit "Bad And Bougee."

West has a large menu of upcoming releases slated for late May and June, including his eighth studio album plus pulling production duty on new albums by Nas, Pusha T, Teyana Taylor, and a collab with fellow GRAMMY-winner Kid Cudi.

Scott's summer will include several big festival appearances, starting with his May 13 performance at Miami's Rolling Loud Festival. The GRAMMY-nominated rapper will also appear at Governors Ball in New York City, Lollapalooza in Chicago, Osheaga Festival in Montreal, Hard Festival in Pomona, Calif., and Austin City Limits Festival in Austin, Texas. As of yet, no release date for Astroworld has been announced.

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Little Dragon Reveal 2020 Tour Dates, New Song

Little Dragon

Photo: Ellen Edmar

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Little Dragon Reveal 2020 Tour Dates, New Song

"Tongue Kissing" is the Swedish electro-pop group's first new music of 2019

GRAMMYs/Oct 24, 2019 - 04:09 am

Today, Oct. 23, GRAMMY-nominees Little Dragon revealed dates for an extensive European and North American tour next year, with tickets going on sale this Friday. The Swedish electro-pop band also shared their first new music of 2019, a shimmery, bubbling track called "Tongue Kissing."

Their 2020 tour is set to kick off in Stockholm on March 9, with 12 dates across Europe, wrapping up the Euro leg at the 02 Brixton Academy in London on March 26. On April 15, they'll kick of the North American-side of the jaunt in Washington, D.C., followed by an April 18 show at Brooklyn Steel and an April 20 gig at Philadelphia's Union Transfer.

The trek is currently set to end at the House of Blues in San Diego on May 12. Tickets for all shows go on sale this Fri., Oct. 25. For complete dates and ticket info, please visit the band's website.

As for "Tongue Kissing," Little Dragon dropped it yesterday, Oct. 22, along with a sweet message about it on Twitter.

"Feels beautiful to share new music with the world! This song is about facing our demons! Tongue kissing with the madness, slow dancing, soul searching, cry laughing and letting the dream wrap you safe like a cocoon," the group wrote.

The vibey quartet's most recent prior release was their 2018 Lover Chanting EP. Earlier this year, they were featured on Flying Lotus' "Spontaneous." The band's last full-length album was 2017's Season High, which followed their GRAMMY-nominated Nabuma Rubberband, released in 2014.

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