Spit-fire flow, tongue in cheek sensibility, and an informed female perspective, fused with classic Hip Hop and innovative World sounds, make NOLA DARLING a powerful new voice in music. As singers AND emcees, the ladies of NOLA DARLING challenge the status quo, redefining the roles of women in Hip Hop and modern society.
Nola Darling is a World Hip Hop female duo committed to encouraging young women to be their most empowered selves. Their motto: “Dream It. Believe It. Manifest It.”
Alex & Jaq of Nola Darling are today’s Women Making History.
M.I.S.S.: What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?
Jaq: I’ve always LOVED Eartha Kitt…her style and presence are incredibly
inspirational to me. Such a fearless lady!
Alex: Oprah. Nuff said.
M.I.S.S.: How did you get your start in music?
Jaq: Singing a karaoke version of Toni Braxton’s “Another Sad Love Song” at my Mom’s Holiday work party when i was in the 7th grade. That was the first time anyone (family included) had ever heard me sing…ever. Been doing it loudly ever since lol. Rapping first started in 6th grade at Marcus Garvey School on Slauson when we were banging out beats on our desks, and freestyling a la JJ Fad.
Alex: I come from a musically-inclined family and they encouraged me to study (starting with piano lessons) from an early age. I joined the school band in the 6th grade, picked up the Flute and started performing as a jazz singer at 13. I knew music would be a major part of my life then…but I never imagined I’d also be RAPPING. A friend gave us a beat about 3 years ago and I wrote my first verses as an “experiment.” The result was our first song, “Who Is Nola Darling?”
Who is Nola Darling? Jaq on the left, Alex on the right!
M.I.S.S.: What’s your favorite song that you’ve written and/or performed?
Jaq: Our song “Dem Rude Gals” always makes me giddy but I get a kick out of seeing the looks on people’s faces when we do our “My Boo/Shawty Swing My Way” medley. Ghost Town DJ’s and K.P and Envyi whoop whoop!
Alex: There’s a brilliant traditional Haitian Folk song called “Yo Yo.” It’s about this Dude who sells meat at the marketplace and always gives more you more than what you ask for….and I’ll leave it up to you to guess what kind of meat he’s selling…. (wink wink). I was playing around with the concept of this “hustler,” when my brother Mike was free styling to Biggie’s “I Got A Story to Tell” in the next room. Then the wheels really started turning. Inspired by the two
cultures, languages and styles of music, we wrote “Now You Know.”
M.I.S.S.: Who do you want to work with in the future?
Alex: Sooooooooo Many…but here’s my top 5 alive: N.E.R.D. (we’re going to create a super group one day…they just don’t know it yet)… Tanya Stephens, The Roots, Herbie Hancock, and my compatriot, Wyclef.
M.I.S.S.: What part of making music is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?
Jaq: I love everything about making the music…but the “selling” part is a whole different animal. Figuring out how to “sell” can sometimes feel awkward.
Alex: Ditto, Jaq. The pressure (both industry and self-imposed ) of creating something that is marketable. However, I’m sure we will really like getting the checks when they roll in…..lol.
Even the rudest girls stay fly!
M.I.S.S.: How important is fashion in your performances/videos, etc.?
Jaq: Fashion is just another extension of self, a way to convey how I’m feeling…or how I want to feel. It’s about the overall “story” that we’re trying to tell. And we’re SUPER visual, so yes…Fashion is absolutely significant.
Alex: Going through adolescence as a chunky girl in bikini-friendly Miami was not fun for me. No…Not so much. Ashamed of my body, I wore huge, over-sized shirts and baggy jeans that did nothing for me (DUH!) while I envied the skinny girls that paraded around in baby-tee’s.
A while ago, I decided that no matter what size I am, I have both the capability and the right to look and feel good in my clothes. We ALL do. Tired of hiding underneath extra fabric, I made the commitment to LIVE in my clothes everyday. Don’t think you’ll catch me in a Baby-tee any time soon…but I do my best to have unapologetic fun with fashion when hitting the stage or hitting the street on the everyday.
M.I.S.S.: Have you encountered any difficulties as women in a male dominated industry? If so, how do you handle it?
Jaq: Honestly, I feel like thus far, we’ve had mostly positive experiences. As for handling “difficulties”…we try to not even let the douche-y guys come on our radar, and that type is usually too cowardly to come at with some BS anyway *boy, bye!*
Alex: We’ve really had a very warm welcome from the industry for the most part. Because we’re very clear about who we are, what we’re about, and what we’re NOT about, we’ve been pretty fortunate in steering clear of any “difficulties” stemming from the fact that we’re women.
M.I.S.S.: Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career in music?
Jaq: Do that s**t. Seriously. Write, record, and just get OUT there, by any (respectable) means necessary. Don’t form any self-imposed limitations. You are as powerful as you believe you are.
Alex: Well, since I’m just beginning my own career, I’ll give myself some advice:
“Self: Challenge yourself everyday to be a better person and artist than you were the day before and never let fear stop you from taking a step forward.”