Grinding: Nikki NTU

(Photo by King Texas)

1. Name/Alias: Nikki NTU

2.Where are you from/ Where do you currently live?: Brooklyn, NYC

3. Where did/do you go to school and your major?: I attend Fordham University. I major in African and African American Studies.

4. What is your Grind? I’m best known as an emcee, writer, musician, teaching artist, facilitator, and speaker.

5. How did you get into what you’re doing now?: I had a love for writing and speaking at a young age. I started rhyming when I was a teen and got into artist development and workshop facilitation around the same time through a mentor of mine. It just grew from there.

6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?: My mom brainwashed me into thinking I wanted to be an Entertainment Lawyer for most of my childhood, ha! But I always loved writing and drawing. I grew up around that creative environment and got to see a lot of that lifestyle so I knew whatever I would be it would have something to do with expression and cultivation.

7. What are some contributing factors that shaped the life you live now?: Being around folks who push beyond their limitations has been a great influence. Having the opportunity to be exposed to what the world has to offer and understanding how I can contribute.

8. Any specific people that mentored or helped guide you to your current path?:Absolutely. Toni Blackman for one. She was key in me being and doing what I do today.

9. What motivates you?: Other artists. Being around them, speaking with them, enjoying their vibe. Learning about artists and figures who’ve come before me and the things they faced. I think learning or experiencing inspires me in general. Seeing what is missing and working to fill that gap.

10. Your favorite author and why?: That’s a hard one… Right now I’m on D.J. Conway and Ra Un Nefer Amen. Subject wise, they are some of the best. But when it comes to tone, Pierre Stephen Robert Payne brings so much heat to a his writing.

11. What are 3 goals you want to achieve within the next year?: Hmmmm…..
1. Tour 2. Have my organization up and running 3. Map out a space and place of my own where I can put roots

12. One person that continuously inspires you and why?: It’s hard to pick one…I’d really have to say MeLo-X. I’ve always admired his ability to keep moving. His vision and work ethic is crazy. I just sit back sometimes and smile. Gives me a great sense of pride.

13. 3 Indie brands you LOVE to rock?: ALIEN, Vane NYC, Open Ceremony (if my pockets are right), and though I don’t have any pieces yet, I stumbled on Loza Maleombho, which I think is a really fly brand.

14. What annoys you the most?: Ha! Constant sneezing and coughing! I can’t STAND it! Sounds like they can’t breathe and then I feel like I can’t breathe and then we’re both weezin’. And it’s nasty. Get ya immune system up mang!

15. Your best quality?: My sincerity. From anger to complete joy it’s always raw passion. Sometimes a jerk…but always honest.

Check out Nikki’s blog & download her latest EP Medulla Dinner, its wicked ya’ll!

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Photos of the Week

(All Photos taken by me throughout NYC)



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On Set: Free Peoples Rebellion Lookbook Shoot

For some time now, I’ve been nagging my good friend & photographer Kwesi Abbensettes to let me tag along on one of his many photo shoots. Finally last weekend I got the chance to see him in action! We met in Brooklyn at a really beautiful brownstone that served as our headquarters for the day. The shoot was for emerging line, Free People Rebellion’s look book.  Designer Sarah Williams creates handmade accessories using various metals &  authentic African textiles from her native Liberia. This recent collection was inspired by British phenomenon Ebony Bones tune W.A.R.R.I.O.R.  Most of my collections are inspired by some music or song that I really love, W.A.R.R.I.O.R influenced my incorporation of metals & more strong pieces throughout this collection which convey a strong statuesque type of woman!

Watching the shoot unfold from beginning to end was pure excitement for me. It was great watching the chemistry between all of the talents involved from the MUA Jennifer Knowlden to the gorgeous model Folasade Adeoso (Naija girls rock!) everyone was in sync (especially since it was the first time the model,designer & mua were meeting). Sarah already knew the creative direction she wanted to go in & Kwesi just vibed off of her energy & direction while shooting. There were about 4-5 looks that were shot, each look getting a subtle upgrade by MUA Jennifer Knowlden another amazing talent to watch. Model Folosade Adeoso blew us all away working the simple green vine backdrop including our never-ending slew of onlookers or should I call them the Fola Fan Club lol. Overall the shoot was a success & a great experience that I’m grateful to have been apart of & look forward to more to share with you here at Nuvany Nice!

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Manimal Warm Weather Days S/S 10

I always anxiously anticipate what designer Kristen Lombardi will unveil each season with her line Manimal. The spring collection is all about lightness and ease and includes items which are effortless and functional. I love the idea of an urban kind of hunter/gatherer.  Walking around in good looking moccasins and tucking discoveries away in a pouch belt-tying parcels up with a beautifully decorated leather strip.  I grew up in the woods and loved roaming the forest in the spring, documenting new growth.  These spring items were really created in the spirit of those wanderings.

Spring brings a simple aesthetic with the direction of the campaign shoot, allowing the key pieces to stand out. Signature moccasins in neutral earth tones like sand & dust are enhanced w/colorful triangle fringe. I’m still amazed at how Kristen manages to use every bit of left-over scrap to produce various other creations like the math necklace, design at its best. My favorite piece from the collection this season has to be the cutesy Pouch Belt. It appears so simple, but the smallest touch of detail like the miniscule stacked pieces of scrap suede used to hold the knot at the end of the drawstring and knowing that every piece is leftover remnants from another leave you in awe of the designers creativity. Another new addition for spring that Kristen tells me are selling like hot cakes are the adorable baby moccasins.  Again neutral tones accentuating funky zig-zag shapes lined w/faux fur, need I say more :)! And I can’t leave out the important fact that all Manimal products are handcrafted and a good portion of them are vegan. Please visit the Manimal website to view the complete line for Spring & don’t forget to check out the fabulous sale going on.

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Grinding: Sarah White

1. Name/Alias: Sarah White aka Sarah White Black, The Black Sarah White or Artisticbling (for photos)

2.Where are you from/ Where do you currently live?: I was born and raised in the lovely city of Minneapolis, but reborn in Brooklyn, where I currently lay my head.

3. Where did/do you go to school and your major?: I stu
died Ceramics, Printmaking, Humanities and World Religions at a Community College in Minneapolis.. I’ve always been all over the place : ) I feel like I have learned most of my trades through the school of life. I learn thru living. I always practice/study to get additional skills thru internships, yoga schools, collaborations etc but I’ve been thinking about going back to get a degree in something soon. I just think it would be nice to have..

4. What is your Grind? Wow.. Well, I am a mother to a lovely 5 year old (Iza), a singer/emcee who dabbles in production, photographer (events, portraits, street, collage), writer ( I have a blog with artist and tastemaker Lichiban, called Wronglips, I have written also for Trace Magazine, Urb, and many other print/publications), and occasionally I work in fashion doing stylist work/personal shopping/casting. I currently work at a tiny organic italian spot in Noho, work-study @ Jivamukti Yoga and Im grinding hard on trying to make this music and spread my light/love into the world.

5. How did you get into what you’re doing now?: I landed here. Fate/Faith has pushed me onto my path.

6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?: Lol! I wanted to be an Obstretrician! I wanted to be like Bill Cosby on the Cosby Show. The babies just seemed to POP out with ease… Next I wanted to be in fashion, doing production, etc.. Now, I just want to be a kid again.

7. What are some contributing factors that shaped the life you live now?: Always having people around the believe in me (even when Im having a moment of doubt). I feel like whatever choices I have made, even the shitty ones, I have always had great support from my real friends and family.

8. Any specific people that mentored or helped guide you to your current path?: My Mom and Papi. Always made me feel that I was gifted and could do anything. Zach in Minneap taught me to transform my poems into raps, which began to push my musically journey. My man, Rico. Makes me feel like a Queen and always believes in me.

9. What motivates you?: My daughter and the love that was created to create her. Each day since has kept me on my grind and full of love.

10. Your favorite author and why?: It changes by the week, but I fall somewhere in between Paulo Coelho, who opens me up to mind-travel and worlds beyond.. and Mama Gena (Regena Thomashauer) who teaches me about using my “P” power!

11. What are 3 goals you want to achieve within the next year?:
1. Get all my music out
2. Get yoga teacher certified
3. Travel, travel, travel!!

12. One person that continuously inspires you and why?: My brother. He always gives, even when he has nothing left to give.

13. 3 Indie brands you LOVE to rock?: IF I had money, I would rock things by Camille Peace (Peace Images), Rabbit on the Run, Princess of the Posse (Lichiban just got me into them), 21MC, GoodWood, Melissa Shoes (Recyled plastic, but so hot), GAS’D (Sorry cant name 3..)

14. What annoys you the most?: Money. I repel it.

15. Your best quality?: My fiance says: I lift spirits. I like that.

To learn more about Sarah’s Music & Photography visit HERE & HERE

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Photo of the Week

thirza-1(found via word bk photography by James Brandon King)