Could you imagine losing your mother at only eleven-months-old and having to be relocated to another province to be raised by your father? And then about eighteen years later you become one of the youngest artists in South Africa and you’re dubbed ‘The Coolest Kid in Africa’?
Well, you guessed right, the person in question is none other than Nasty C! Born Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo in 1997 in Soweto, Nasty C moved to Durban where he finished high school. On 11 February 2015, a day before his birthday, he released the successful song titled ‘Juice Back’ which shot him straight to prominence and made him the household name he’s today.
Nasty C Has Got Bad Hair Day!
After his inevitable blow up, local record labels tabled different offers to have Nasty C signed under their stables. In 2016, he finally signed with Mabala Noise as their money was believed to have talked too loud for Nasty C to ignore their deal. Nasty C released his debut album ‘Bad Hair’ that same year, securing the highly-contented number one spot on the iTunes local charts. The album was also the most streamed album in South Africa in just 24 hours after its release, something that secured Nasty C as a force to be reckoned with.
At the 2017 Metro FM Music Awards, Nasty C scooped four awards for Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Male Album and Best Hip Hop Album. He closed the year in fashion as he received his biggest nominations for 2017 BET Award for Best International Act: Africa and 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards, which he both lost.
‘Mama you OK now!’
In 2017, he dedicated a song titled ‘UOK’ (you OK) to his mom and just poured his heart in it proving his ability to evoke feelings of sadness and happiness through lyrics. Nasty C lost his mother, Veliswa Ivy Ngcobo, in 1998 in a tragic car accident and he’s honoured her memory in almost every project that he’s released.
“Son, I’m grateful for the song you dedicated to your mom. She is indeed in a better place. She was my angel and knew how to make me happy. I lost a part of my life, there’s nobody like her. I miss her more than words can tell. Be blessed, son. Me and your mother are both proud,” read a note by Nasty C’s father David Maviyo Ngcobo in the UOK’s video, which has to date garnered over 2 million views on YouTube.
Nasty C yet again in October 2018 honoured his mom with his tour titled Ivyson Tour, which was named after his mom’s name ‘Ivy’.
“My mom left me when I was very young and sadly, I did not get the opportunity to know and bond with her when she was still alive.” He continued, “…But I communicate with her spiritually, I believe she guides me in everything I do, she is a good ancestor, and I will forever appreciate her,” Nasty C was quoted as saying by Sunday Sun.
His father had attended the first leg of the tour in Durban and was almost brought to tears when his son performed ‘UOK’ for his loyal fans. The tour had four shows in South Africa and one in Namibia.
Same Label as Kanye West and Bieber!
In March 2020, American entertainment media brand Billboard reported that Nasty C was the first African artist to ever sign with the internationally-acclaimed Def Jam Records. He made his official US debut when he released his single ‘There they go’ in March this year, cementing himself as one of the most successful artists to ever come out of the Mother Land!
“Nasty C is a unique and forward-thinking artist who is at the forefront of a new generation of rappers emerging from Africa,” said Def Jam CEO Jeff Harleston in announcing the signing.
Signing with Def Jam is not just like any deal, especially when your label mates include Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Big Sean and 2 Chainz – just to name a few big guns! Nasty C’s star-studded debut album under Def Jam titled ‘Zulu Man with Some Power’ is expected to shut down the internet when it gets released.
Speaking of big names, Nasty C teamed up with American rapper T.I in May 2020 to release ‘They don’t’ in protest against police brutality. T.I, in his lyrics, references George Floyd’s death in the hands of policemen. The lyric-video dropped on YouTube on 16 June to coincide it with Youth Day, and the song has now gone globally!
Nasty C came from rapping during break time at school (with his shirt untucked) to being ‘The Coolest Kid in Africa’; he is an epitome of resilience and perseverance. Oprah Winfrey’s words come to mind, “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.”
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Tell us: What do you think of Nasty’s journey?