October 18, 2013
Photo by James Orlando.
Photo by James Orlando.

“I’m a shithead, I’m a punk, I’m a raver, I’m a slacker, I’m a stoner, I’m lazy,” declares Wavy Spice. She also happens to be the reigning duchess of New York’s experimental underground music scene. Born Destiny Nicole, the Harlem native raps about drugs, men, and the craziness that is growing up in the inner city as a young Puerto Rican woman. Her shows, which could unfold at an unmarked DIY venue or at MoMA PS1, have the feel of riot grrrl throwdowns, with the 21 year old hurtling words of female empowerment using a voice that can flip between bratty cute and a bad-bitch huff. She gained notoriety with foggy ’90s throwback, “Bitch I’m Posh,” but it’s in her recent metamorphosis into Princess Nokia, the supernatural hood fairy who sings everything from New Age R&B to tribal hymns, where the depth of her bravado becomes clear. When we asked Spice to elaborate on her transformation into Princess Nokia, here’s what she had to say:

As Princess Nokia I can project the multi-dimensional aspects of myself that I could not express with the name Wavy Spice. I can venture into any realm of music or character of my choosing without confusion. I’m making worldly music—music that will talk to all kinds of people. Banjee girls in Harlem, teen brides in the Middle East, gay boys in East Asia. Labels no longer matter. My new music is cosmic and three dimensional, and it will really speak of who Princess Nokia is. Princess Nokia is sound. It is progression. It is all that I am.

Here’s the debut of  Princess Nokia’s “Nokia.”

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