Nikosi is an afrocentric music artist that intersects the African-diasporic culture with hip hop to create powerful conscious records. With his roots in multiple places throughout the world, Nikosi derives much of his musical influences from African, Jamaican and American heritage.
“African, Jamaican and American styles were [my] influence [s] from traveling to so many different places,” Nikosi told ACHDA Digital Media Generation in an email.
Nikosi’s songs and music videos pay much homage to the motherland, often displaying the beauty of African tribal culture like in Smile Africa—his cover of Chronixx’s Smile Jamaica. Nikosi always looks to the world when finding inspiration for his production, finding much of it while on his individualized journey as well as from witnessing the ingenuity of other established artists.
“Life itself is full of notes and harmonies,” Nikosi said. “Life itself is the greatest inspiration. Though, aside from that, I will say Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill [are my inspirations].
Debuting his music abilities in 2013 with his conscious hip hop track Lows & Highs, Nikosi since then has demonstrated that he transcends beyond just hip hop. In his 2017 single Wait, which features Lauryn Hill’s daughter and Bob Marley’s granddaughter Selah Marley, Nikosi flexes his singing abilities—showing that he also has an alt R&B side.
His progression and transitions in life is reflected in his music, something purposely done on Nikosi’s part.
“I can see that I was always different,” Nikosi said. “I love how my journey can be mirrored through the music.”
Like a true artist, Nikosi takes his craft very seriously—hence why the Superstar singer hasn’t released a full album despite having many EP’s and singles out. Although the Mask Off freestyler hasn’t created an LP yet, he is in the process of doing so.
“Yes. I will release a full studio album,” Nikosi said. “I have been experiencing life in order to put together something timeless and legendary.”
Nikosi isn’t on anyone’s time table when it comes to delivering albums since he’s an independent artist, nor is he worried about others’ approval of his creativity. The afrocentric entertainer produces quality versatile music for himself, and anyone that happens to be open to it.
“People don’t have to listen to my music.” Nikosi said. “I don’t do music for fame or validation. Listening to my music is more than [just] enjoying a nice beat and it’s even beyond lyricism. Everything I do, everything I am, is a mirror of God taking over. So, listening to my music is an experience; it’s a journey, and only those with seeing eyes and hearing ears will be able to fully sight and appreciate the message of salvation that my music ultimately speaks.”