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#YMZCovers Nikki Newlands

#YMZCOVERS: NIKKI NEWLANDS

MADE POSSIBLE BY MILLER GENUINE DRAFT

FOR MILLER MUSIC DROP

 

Interviewed By Thabo & Thabiso Modiselle

Photography By Art Villain

Styled By Wes Thesis & Simba

Make-up By Lindiwe Chabalala


Part of the well-orchestrated one night only musical experience along with Lil Yachty, Tshego, Kevi Kev, Ms Cosmo, Flame and more. 


Nikki Newlands is no stranger when it comes to the deejaying scene in South Africa and dominating as a female jock. She describes herself as a DJ / Creative and Designer because of her other cool interests within the creative industry.

Newlands stepped into the deejaying scene a few years back after collecting an all-genre catalogue with influences from artists such as Jay Z, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony , 2Pac, Biggie and his dad who is a hardcore Bob Marley fan.

Since then she has been spinning Hip Hop Jamz at popular venues in Braamfontein such as Kitchener's and Grate Dane, and that's where her career thrived and put her where she has semi-solid street cred in Joburg city. She credits Ms Cosmo as on the people that helped her push the envelope further when it comes to advice, scoring gigs and just about being the best.

Who is Nikki Newlands?
Nikki: Nikki is a hustler, she's a hard-working female DJ, she's a brand manager. So basically I would describe myself as DJ / Designer / Creative.

What inspires you?
Nikki: I inspire myself alot. I know we don't always say that, we always look for inspiration outwards instead of looking at yourself. I look towards myself for a lot of inspiration, I've been through a lot, I've achieved a lot.

Where did your love for music begin?
Nikki: When I was younger I was the only kid in my neighboorhood with a computer, so I would collect music and distribute it to everyone in the neighborhood.

So I was a collector of music and everything from Zubz to Florence and the Machine, Evanescence to Linkin Park.
As I grew, I started being influenced a lot by Jay Z, and I started listening to a lot more of Hip-Hop, that's where Hip-Hop caught me and I've been in love with it ever since.

Tell us about the rise of your Deejaying career and where it is now
Nikki: When you never see anybody like you doing something, you also think that you can't do it.  So for a long time I never really thought I could do it too.  It took me a long time to actually decide that ok this is what I'm doing.

That's why I fight so much for representation because people need to see that this is possible, like black girls, Indian girls, colored girls, white girls, just girls in general need to see that this is possible, that it's not just a male-dominated industry. And it only when that happens that they'll be at least some sense of equality.

MY CAREER STARTED OFF ROCKY I WON'T LIE. I STARTED PLAYING HOUSE THOUGH I KNEW I WANTED TO PLAY HIP-HOP AND THEN I STARTED TEACHING MYSELF AND STARTED GETTING GIGS BEFORE I WAS EVEN GOOD ENOUGH.

SO I THINK I'M AT A VERY GOOD POINT IN MY CAREER RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I'M AN AMAZING DEEJAY, I'M AN EXCEPTIONAL DEEJAY AND IT'S ONLY GETTING BETTER WITH EVERY GIG THAT I PLAY, WITH EVERYTIME I PRACTICE.

THERE'S A LOT OF POTENTIAL AND I DEFINITELY SEE MY MUSIC AND MY BRAND GROWING TO EXCEPTIONAL LEVELS.

SOME OF THE DEEJAYS THAT HAVE PUT ME ON, MS COMSO HAS DEFINITELY BEEN A VERY BIG INFLUENCE, SHE BEEN AT THE CRUX OF MY CAREER SINCE 2017.

And who are some people or venues that have helped your push further in your career?
Nikki: Braam [Brammfontein] is the first place I moved to when I came here from Durban. That place has played a critical role in Nikki Newlands, I had my first gig at Kitcheners, I still play a lot in Braam, I play a lot at Grate Dane.

And I also think Braam is the crux and hub of the young creatives in Johannesburg.

Some of the deejays that have put me on, Ms Comso has definitely been a very big influence, she been at the crux of my career since 2017.

What's your view about the atmosphere here in Joburg city and finding your connections?
Nikki: It's only when you travel out of South Africa then you really understand the diversity that Joburg has and the opportunity that's here.

Everybody here has got one goal in mind and that's to make it, to hustle and get it and if you don't have that same mindset whilst you're here then you're not gonna get to where you need to be.

You need to use every friendship, every working relationship as a platform to get you where you want to be or at least to be better.

So I feel as though, the connections that I've made have really benefited me in a most beautiful and blessed way, people really believe in what I do and admire the fact that I'm not gonna stop.

On working with different brands and other cool stuff you do on day to day?
Nikki: I recently shot my first TV commercial as a the main actor that's gonna be dropping soon on national TV. Also just beyond Nikki Newlands as the Deejay, I do pretty cool stuff on a day to day - as a marketing manager at Studio 88.

But my goal, for now, is to collaborate more, partner with different brands, to offer not just music but also some lifestyle.

THE MUSIC MILLER DROP

What does it mean for you to play at the Miller Music Drop?

Nikki: It is one of the biggest blessings I've had this year. At the rehearsals yesterday, sitting with the guy who curated the lineup, he even said it is important for Miller to give those artists that have street recognition the spotlight.

We don't necessarily have the big social media following and clout, but we've got the skill, we've got the talent. That's what Miller wants to help us with, they want to give us that extra push.

Coz if you go to Braam and if you asked anybody about who are some of the Deejays popping, my name will definitely come up.

 

And what can Nikki fans look forward to on the night?

Firstly I'm gonna be looking fly, beyond that, the music that we're curating for that event between all the Deejays - we are practicing, we got rehearsals and we're putting in a lot of effort into this to give people a spectacular show. I definitely think it's going to be one for the books, we've got Deejays playing one on one, all four together, so Miller Music Drop is more of a musical experience than just an event.

 

- THE END -

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