Nafets Drops His Latest Record “Ruby” Also Working On a New Project.
Nafets came to Earth on an asteroid. Or at least that’s what it felt like, growing up the son of Trinidadian parents in a black suburb in Maryland, attending a mostly white school in Washington. “I felt like I was always torn between several worlds and cultures and it would often make me feel very excluded and alone,” he explains. “I felt I didn’t fit in with friends or society in neither Trinidad nor America.” That experience of feeling alien – like he’d crash-landed on a meteorite, clawed his way out of a crater and tried to assimilate into a world he didn’t belong – was the spark for his cult acclaimed 2016 breakout single ‘Asteroid’, described as “hard-hitting” by HipHopDx and a “spacey, sobering rap destroyer” by FACT.
Having signed to Los Angeles imprint 10K Islands, Nafets is now back with a string of summer singles, a new EP on the horizon and an even more genre-busting sound, driven by his alchemy with trusted producer CPSL0CK, with whom he shares a near-telepathic connection with (“a lot of times making songs, our communication dissolves into non-words”). It’s a fiercely eclectic blend, but then again, what did you expect from an artist with Clint Mansell’s Requiem For A Dream sheet music tattooed down his arm, whose first musical love was an Iron Maiden VHS, and whose record collection is made up of equal parts metal, British indie, psych and stoned hip-hop? “A lot of rappers only listen to rap but I never want to limit myself,” he adds.
“For me, rapping began as a way to combat depression, which I’ve suffered from since high school,” says Nafets, who now lives in LA. Years later, music’s not only his own form of self-care, but a means of advising others on the importance of looking after their mental health in trying times. “There’s a lot of violence and hate, often towards people of color, represented and often misrepresented every day in the news, in our daily interactions, on social media. It’s virtually inescapable,” he says of upcoming single ‘Redefine’. “It’s important to remember to look after your well-being in the midst of all that.”
Elsewhere in his new batch of material is 4am jam ‘Jones’, the breeziest of summer slaloms through Neptunes-esque keys and hushed vocal melodies, wrapped around lyrics about the inanity and insanity of southern California. “I came here for college hoping it would be this place where I could network and do some crazy music stuff but became disillusioned,” he says, learning to take the bad with the good in the sun-kissed region.
Likened to Earl Sweatshirt, Chester Watson and Mac Miller, Nafets has more on the way. “I wanted to get out of my comfort zone,” he says of his impending EP. Expect the impact to be out of this world. Please follow Nafets on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter and listen to Ruby below. Let us know what you think in the comments below. Lastly for more indie music news, Griz Gusto & MassmoneyFaith Release Their Black Roses EP.