Bree the Rapper, A$IA, NyQuinn, Trillnotic headline all-female hip-hop night
In middle school, Bree the Rapper used her grandmother's computer to download music production software, teaching herself how to record and arrange music.
“I had a slide-up phone, and I recorded all of my verses in the notes,” Bree said. “I'd email it to myself and went from there. I made a whole mixtape in a week.”
Her latest mixtape, MUSE: Many Unknown Situations & Experiences, was released in March and features '90s R&B influences mixed with radio-ready, hip-hop swag. Bree is one of several female voices featured at the No Stalling showcase on Saturday, April 21 at Rumba Cafe. Rappers A$IA and Trillnotic, as well as hip-hop singer NyQuinn, will perform alongside Bree, who looks forward to sharing the stage withfemale artists she admires and supports.
“There wasn't a lot of upcoming female rappers when I started rapping, so you would see a show with all guys,” Bree said. “Pay attention to the hip-hop artists in Columbus right now. There is so much that's shifting. It's only a matter of time before the city is on its own wave. Either you're going to pay attention to it, or you're going to miss it.”
A$IA was known as a singer in high school, playing around with rapping until 2010, when she realized she could combine singing, rapping and poetry as a performer. “It started out as a joke, just making up funny little raps with my cousin. He told me I sounded kinda nice,” A$IA said.
Though she can be laid-back as a performer, A$IA's spit-fire lyrical style ensures that you take her seriously as an emcee. Her remixes of “Free Smoke” by Drake and “No Frauds” by Nicki Minaj are a lead-up to her mixtape coming out this summer.
“Sometimes it is hard because guys have a one-track mind. Sometimes I have to get them together. But I don't really have to do that anymore, because my demeanor speaks for itself,” A$IA said. “I'm not going to tell you too many times to respect me, anyway.”
NyQuinn admits she was terribly shy when she started singing, so much so that she almost gave it up.
“When I was 20, I dropped out of college and told myself, ‘I don't know how I'm going to get over this stage fright, but I'm going to start going to open mic nights,'” she said. “My first performance was terrible. But even though I was terrified, as soon as it was over, I wanted to do it again.”
NyQuinn has been performing for about five years, and she continues to polish her vocals and stage presence at open mic nights around town. Her nerves rarely show via social media; NyQuinn is a singer who models and has a YouTube channel dishing advice on self-esteem and relationships. Her latest single, “Relationship Agreement,” features TrigNO and is a precursor to upcoming project Little Miss Imperfect, slated for June.
“I'm a hip-hop singer. I sing, but it's almost like rapping,” she said. “I don't feel like I necessarily fit in. But I feel like everybody's music in Columbus is so different. That's what makes it all so good.”