Often we try to put artists in a box, a box that we ourselves may feel comfortable in and have a hard time straying away from. We often project our own fears on to others and want them to remain who they were when we first connected with them because we ourselves are scared of change. When the world first met Nitty Scott MC she was only 19 years of age. Is it fair to ask the now 26 year old not to grow as and individual or for her art not to evolve? What I can tell you from our interaction is that Nitty Scott MC is very intelligent, strong, passionate, humble being who happens to be a great writer. Also, I am beyond appreciative of her honesty and openness to share with us. Tomorrow, she will release her project Creature, make sure to check it out and support if you enjoy it. While your here, make sure take a few minutes to learn more about the individual and artist in our Q&A below.
What are some short term goals for Nitty Scott MC? Can you share some of your plans to execute them?
Right now, one of my short term goals is to release the conceptual album and short film I’ve dreamed about for two years. It’s been a tedious process from conception to release, but I’m almost ready to present my LP, “Creature!”. I think the project honestly re-defines my identity, my brand and my range as a hip-hop artist, which is another major goal of mine – expanding and showing growth, making a clear statement about who I am right now. After that, I’d honestly like to honor myself a bit more spiritually, mentally and physically – I have big plans and ideas that demand so much of me, but I have to remember to tend to myself and stay healthy as more of a priority than a wish.
Do you worry about any unintended consequences from what you are trying to accomplish?
Definitely. I’m actually one of those people who overstands what I’m signing up for – I’ve already endured some of it, but my keen sense of intuition coupled with my knowledge of the way the industry works makes it so that I can forsee a lot of potential obstacles before they even happen. This can either prepare you or cripple you. I’m working for years to bust down doors knowing that there’s entirely new layers of bullshit behind them. But what can do you do except embrace that? I anticipate the price of success all the time, but I also have to step back sometimes and say, “You don’t know everything. Do your best and let it all play out”, because you can’t proclaim any limits upon yourself. You have to focus and manifest your intention as much as you can, then let the universe do the rest.
Besides Stevie Nicks, is there another artist people might be surprised you would want to work with? Can you tell us who and why you would choose the specific artist to create with?
Hmm. You know who I love? Portishead. Their shit is just haunting and amazing. The “Dummy” album is one of my favorites and inspired some of my early work. I think we’d body something!
Libra’s are always searching for balance, is there anything specific you do daily to help you achieve gaining balance?
Absolutely – I embody Libras in that way, always seeking harmony or sprinkling it around. I even feel like my whole vibe is apart of a balancing act in the hip-hop realm, not representing one extreme or the other in many facets. But I would say that meditation and smoking weed keep me on an even keel, and help me to receive and release certain energy when I need it.
It is said that travel is always good for the soul, how has touring internationally helped you grow as an artist as well as an individual?
Touring has honestly changed my life and left me wanting so much more. First off, it’s an amazing boost of confidence to see that your work has taken you to any location that is not local with crowds full of supporters – that shit feels priceless. It’s also a lesson in sacrifice, because it is exhausting, lonely, stressful and even scary. But you dive in head first, go through all this messy unknown territory and emerge from it with a sense of accomplishment that only comes from busting your ass like that. I’ve had the opportunity to share my truth, have conversations and break bread with people from all over the world — Toronto, Switzerland, Tokyo & more — all off the strength of my art. It really made me a more aware, cultured person who feels connected to the world around me.
So far what’s been your most embarrassing moment as an artist?
I’ve never forgotten my lyrics on stage except for one time like two years ago. I mean, even if I stumble on a word or two, I’m usually able to kinda “fix it” and stay on track, but this time, I literally blanked out entirely. I’m not gonna lie, I was in deep thought about recent deaths in my family and couldn’t seem to keep my head in the game that day. I just like, had a thought, got distracted by it, and stayed there for 10 seconds, which is eternity on stage. But then I just snapped out of it and hopped back in, and the rest of the show was peace. I don’t know – shit happens. Haha.
“Creature” is the title of your upcoming EP, can you elaborate on the delay of the project?
So “Creature!” has actually evolved into an LP, because it’s a pretty intricate body of work that deserves that title now. I was hoping to release it last year, but I was presented with the opportunity to work on a dope collaboration with Salaam Remi that I couldn’t pass up. I worked with him, Joell Ortiz and Bodega Bamz on an excellent album that we put out for the culture. I wanted to allow that it’s own season, so I continued to perfect “Creature!” during the run. Now I’m ready to shift the focus back to my solo work and it’s finally complete. We’re slated for a summer 2017 release with a release date announcement soon which I am ecstatic about. I think it’s all about timing, even when you’re anxious to make your statement – it has to be right.
What does the title represent and say about you?
“Creature!” is liberation. I’m an Afro-Latina, bisexual, woman survivor of PTSD — these facets of my identity have not always been easy to own and can make it difficult to navigate the society we live in, but I wanted to celebrate my communities in all their glory on this project. I also wanted to say that even though I identify with all these things, there’s no one way to “be” any of them, because every person has their unique intersections and way of expressing them. So the message is also to eventually transcend limiting labels and accept our fluidity as humans, as creatures of no specific definition.
What are your greatest stresses and what causes you the most anxiety in your role as an artist?
I would say the lack of financial security that comes with being an independent creative is the biggest stressor. You have highs and lows, sporadic income, shaky opportunities and just all around uncertainty most of the time. You’re constantly at the mercy of the climate or how “in demand” you are and essentially the opinions of other people to excel. It can take a long time to take all that and build something sustainable, but the freedom, empowerment and potential reward for staying on your path is worth it.
What’s your favorite dish to eat ? Do you have specific comfort food you go to ?
Empanadas and carne guisada con arroz blanco (white rice and beef stew), all made Puerto-Rican style. With mango nectar on the side. My god.
If you could have either Wes Anderson, Christopher Nolan or the Coen Brothers direct a biopic about you , which would you choose and why ? What actress past or present would you want to play you from your arrival to New York until now.
Definitely Wes Anderson! His whole aesthetic is so dope and quirky. He could tell my story in a cool ass way and he directed “Moonrise Kingdom”, which is one of the best films I’ve seen in awhile. I’m not sure who I’d want to play me, maybe like Tessa Thompson or Jurnee Smollet-Bell. I love those women.
If we went back to 1976 and you were the same age you are now, what would your name be and what kind of profession would you have?
If went back to 1976, I would literally BE Celia Cruz and make music with the Fania All Stars.
Now that you have been located in the Northeast for some time, what season best represents your personality and why?
I would say the Spring time. I’m a flower child. Not too hot, not too cold, constantly giving rebirth to myself.
What is your favorite color and what does it represent to you?
PURPLE! Like pastel lavender. It just speaks to my magic.
Not too long ago, you stated “I always felt in pain” and you are in the process of healing. What have you been to doing to facilitate the process of healing? Have you tried alternatives like the Wim Hoff Method?
I’ve honestly never heard of the Wim Hoff method but I’m interested, lol. I’m currently in therapy which is great for my self-care routine, and I facilitate a support group for women living with trauma in NYC. The group has honestly opened me up to a group of women that I am growing to love and trust more everyday. Creating this space for ourselves has been very therapeutic.
Do you think people are finally understanding that while the packaging may be different, you are still challenging ideas while maintaining the original goal of empowerment? Do you feel people’s perceptions are starting to change?
It’s actually very satisfying to hear you put it that way, because you grasp the idea that presenting myself differently today can be just as authentic as my previous “self”, and arguably more radical than I’ve ever been. I’m hoping that the new music will also help to bring my point home when it comes to staying true to myself while still having new, fundamental views on the world. As far as people’s perceptions, policing women’s bodies is an issue that’s bigger than me, so I continue to educate people in that regard: nudity empowers some, modesty empowers some, shaming either one empowers no one.
Having to deal with so many difficult tasks as an independent artist, how do you separate yourself from having to be a strategic, tactical, and aware in negotiations as businesswoman while remaining open, vulnerable and intimate as an artist ?
That’s actually one of my biggest challenges right now, because I currently manage myself, but, LIBRA! Fortunately, I take that gift of balance and apply heavily. This industry definitely breeds a savage, a no-bullshit beast that has to be calculated at all times, even though I’d rather be a delicate butterfly writing songs and minding my business. I just have to have a strong sense of when to wear which hat and know what reaction would best serve me on a case-by-case basis. I can’t say I’ve found the perfect rhythm just yet, but I think there’s a happy medium in my future.
Often, your music is very personal and deep, can you tell us something about yourself that we would not know that you feel is an important part of your being and story?
I don’t know. A lot of people don’t understand just how much I’ve been abused throughout my life because I don’t want to sound like someone who blames their circumstances on everyone else. However, the chronic abuse I’ve experienced is important not for assigning blame, but because of what it means to have freedom and agency over myself that I’ve never had before. Wearing what I want, being a fan of what I want, leaving the cult-ish religion I was raised in, expressing my sexuality, taking charge of my own living space — people who easily have these personal freedoms may not know how deeply empowering it is for abuse victims to experience. While most of the world only celebrates the flashy achievements, for people like myself, simply being safe and in control of our lives is a huge accomplishment.
What are common mistakes you see people make in the music industry and any advice you would like to share so artists can avoid them?
I guess I’d say that a common mistake is “watering” certain parts of your lawn and not others — like having an awesome Instagram but underdeveloped music, or quality music with subpar stage presence, or any other combination like that. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but I think artists could create a better experience for themselves by aiming for quality across all categories of your music career: the music, your content, your live performance, your social media presence, your interviews. Get your package down before you even present yourself and come out strong. Also, never forget why you started — even someone with the purest motivations can easily lose sight of what you’re doing here — hold on to your dream.