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Durban-born music star, Yung Nasa, has released his debut EP “Box of Chocolates”, which comes after the rising star teased fans with two singles off the album earlier this year.
Born Jamie Ollerhead, Yung Nasa’s story is an extraordinary one of triumph and perseverance and testament to reaching one’s destiny against all odds. In his teenage years, he was in a bad motocross racing accident, which led to various health complications that took him off the track for a while.
He finished high school in Utah in the US, but during his first year of college, he fell ill from past brain trauma caused by the accident, leading him to return to South Africa.
His return home introduced him to his now close friend and music-making partner J Molley, whom he cites as an inspiration.
Yung Nasa said he spent almost eight months with his team working and completing the whole body of work.
“I originally made about 30 to 40 songs to pick the final eight that made it on the tape.
“I have really tried to deliver a very diverse and unique sound throughout the project, with inspiration from the music I grew up listening to, all the way to the music we are bumping today,” he said.
Speaking on the lyrical content, the musician said it was a mixed bag of emotions.
“Lyrically, this project is filled with so many mixed emotions. Each song tells a story from my life experiences and how I have overcome every trial life has thrown at me. I speak a lot on heartbreak, but also on having a full and content heart. I speak on being alone, but also being surrounded by my people. It’s definitely a journey,” he said.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created new challenges for how millions of people live and conduct their business and music-making is no exception.
“The restrictions of the lockdown made things quite difficult for us when it came to actually recording the songs, and mixing them.
“Obviously, we couldn’t go anywhere to record, and sending files back and forth just takes a lot longer than being in the studio with my engineer. It also made it very hard for us to get around and film a lot of the visual content,” he said.
Nasa named the album after a quote from the movie Forrest Gump – “My mama always said ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.'’
“This album is very sonically diverse from one record to the next, so I had almost envisioned each song as a unique piece of chocolate with a different flavour to tell a different story, and watching the movie again, that quote really stuck with me,” he said.
Commenting on “Down”, a single he released off the album, Nasa, who paired up with Kash CPT for it, said he wanted to create a summertime hit.
“We made this song with the intention of creating a summertime anthem with a lot of happy sounds and easy to learn melodies. It was honestly one of the best times I’ve had in the studio making that record, and I truly believe that Kash brings such a unique and vibrant energy to the song that it’s hard not to bop your head along with it,” he said.
Nasa said he hoped people know they have a voice after listening to his music.
“Growing up I always felt different, insignificant or even displaced on a planet I didn't belong [on]. In this project, I speak of my trials that I endured alone, and all I can hope for is that my music makes just person feel that they are not alone, that they could relate to me and feel connected, no matter where in the world the listener may be,” he said.
“Box of Chocolates” is available on all digital platforms.