We caught up with artist Audri Nix in Miami on her recent promo tour. Is Puerto Rico’s hottest young talent a Rapper, Singer, Model or Performance Artist? Well, it’s COMPLICADO. 🇵🇷


AUDRI NIX IN LOOT & RIOT MAGAZINE

Ink Tone Swep
Images Joshua Cabezas
Additional Images Rafael Clemente 

Musically, two artists who influenced your style are Shakira and Biggie Smalls. Tell us how you are a reflection of both. Shakira and Biggie Smalls have definitely been a very big influence in my career. Even though they’re both different artists, different music types, and even different eras. They still both come together in my mind as a very big influence. For example, Biggie Smalls was one of the first artists which I started listening to when I got more into hip-hop. And his album Ready To Die really, really cultivated me. One of my favorite songs was “Gimme The Loot”, and “Warning” too, so those songs really got to me. And made me fall in love with hip-hop even more. And then Shakira, you know, I grew up listening to Shakira. She was the very first artist that I looked up to. I remember being very young and just listening to all of her albums, and dancing in front of the mirror to all of her songs. And you know, she really just made me feel like I was a star. She really inspired me to do this music thing for real.

The music of Mala Rodriguez and Lauryn Hill has also inspired you. Do you feel that your sensual but lyrical songs are a reflection of their work? Mala Rodriguez and Lauryn Hill have been probably my biggest role models in rap, especially because they’re both female and they both are very successful in hip-hop. And that really is just everything for me, you know. Because I aspire to conquer the same things that they have. Even though my music is a little different from both of them, what I get inspired from is that they both are very powerful female figures, and they also own their art, and they are also very real and organic in everything they do. So even though my music is not directly a reflection of them, because I don’t feel like you can compare my music to that of Mala’s or Lauryn’s. It is very different. I do feel that there is a little bit, a touch of them in my music because I try to project a very strong female image which I think they both do. And also to be real to your craft, and real to what you sing about, and I feel that these two women really did an amazing job at staying themselves and staying so real and honest with the world. And also to walk through life as a woman and be powerful, because women are constantly underestimated, but they both went through it and they both shined through it.

As a young girl you began by playing a cuatro while singing Trova. Why do you feel you were so drawn to creating music? My family began to notice when I was about nine-years-old that I had a passion for music and singing and dancing and playing instruments. So in my school at the time all they had were the Trova competitions, which is the typical music of Puerto Rico, and it is amazing that my first experience with music was that because in Trova you have to rhyme. Like that’s the most important thing, so it’s very similar to rap in that way. And it is also very similar in written format and lyrical composition. I enjoyed it. I mean, it’s not my cup of tea now (Laughs!), but at the time it taught me that music is poetry, and that it’s serious, and that there is an art and craft to it that must be studied and practiced. 


How does your background in theatre and the performing arts help you now in your career? It definitely helped me, because it’s so important for young generations to have that experience so early in life, to be involved with art. I was so lucky to have a school that offered art clubs and music clubs, because it helped me to understand the art better and also recognize my drive and that I was willing to work to be the best. There is an art, a craft, to creating music, or dance, and when you learn that early on in life it helps you later.

With artists like yourself in Puerto Rico, Bad Gyal in Spain, Jesse Baez in Mexico, Iza in Brazil, and Mozart La Para in the Dominican Republic there is this sort of musical Latin diaspora occurring, all of this young talent making great music around the world in Spanish, Portuguese, and English. Why is this happening now? I feel that the reason why there’s so many international artists, Spanish speaking artists, coming out and emerging the last couple of years is not because it hasn’t been happening, because I feel it’s been happening the last decade, especially with Reggaeton. Which I feel like Reggaeton really went against all the rules. It was an underground music at first that people didn’t expect because of the content, because of the background of it, because of how it was crafted. And then for Reggaeton to turn into one of the most powerful and popular genres of music in the world, on the entire planet, I think that showed how powerful Latin music is. Because Latin people are all over the world. Our music is universal. And I also feel this rise in Latin music is because of the internet. Nowadays you can share your music without having a middle man. Without having to be on the radio. Without being on a label. Back then you needed to be signed, you needed a lot more networking. Now with the internet, streaming services, and social media we have the tools to get our music to the people. Before there were many limitations because most of Latin America is underprivileged and facing many challenges. But now most people are not as restricted so we can break more boundaries and share our beautiful culture with the world.

How does your latest single COMPLICADO display your growth from earlier work like El Nuevo Orden? What can we expect from your new project La Niña de Oro? La Niña hasn’t come out yet. Complicado is part of it. But, you know, after El Nuevo I spent almost two years without releasing music. So it’s been a long, long road for me to get to the point where I could release Complicado. And the reason for that is because I was going through a lot of personal situations that were not allowing me to create and record music at my best. Now I’m back and stronger, and definitely after the hurricane I am more hungry than ever. I feel like I have grown because I have so much time in my hands to be influenced by so many types of music. And then all of the hunger, and the stress, and the fact that I was silenced. I just went in the studio and let it all out. And I feel like Complicado is the result, and Complicado is not even close to what I will be putting out. I love my song. I love my video, but Complicado is just a taste, an appetizer. You are going to hear a more secure Audri. A more understanding Audri. More hands on into what I want to do, how I want it to go, and what’s the next move. Complicado is different for me. It doesn’t define my sound. You will definitely hear a new Audri when the complete project is released.

What is unique and original about your style, something you bring to rap no other artist does? I definitely consider myself a very original artist. I don’t try to proclaim myself as unique or different, but I definitely am. First of all there are not that many Puerto Rican women doing rap music or trap, there’s not enough representation right now in the industry of Puerto Rican women and the different sounds and artistry we bring to music. I feel that I am unique because I have a different vision from artists that came before me. I’m not your average rap artist or your average Latina artist, I have influences from pop music, reggae, dancehall, rock, and a whole bunch of others. My sound is a combination of all of those. And we haven’t seen an Audri Nix in urban music. A Latina artist who is designing her own clothes and is very into fashion, very artsy, and someone making certain that aesthetic is in my videos. All of the big artists you see today are being created by a team of people. Not with me, everything you see with me from fashion to music to the videos is coming from my mind. I feel as though I am creating a new formula for urban Latina music.

Let’s talk a bit about Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a category 5 tropical cyclone that caused over $90 billion in damage. How have conditions improved? How much is left to be done? Hurricane Maria was definitely a life changing episode in Puerto Rico. It changed my life. I’m a very strong person who has been through a lot of stuff. Even Hurricane Maria did not surprise me in terms of physical and emotional damage. It’s also important to mention that although Hurricane Maria was a catastrophe to the eyes, and it hurt our hearts, and many people lost their lives and houses, and it caused an amazing amount of damage, it also alerted the world, turned their eyes onto our island and unmasked our fraudulent government. And unmasked how the United States treats us. But thank God things are gradually getting better now. We need to start updating our power and energy systems. Our government is very incompetent in how they are planning to repair and renew things, but hopefully this brings about positive change for Puerto Rico. 

One of my favorite people of all-time is from Cupey Alto, former boxing champion Felix Trinidad. He just had so much heart, skill, and truly loves his country. Where does that common courage and pride exemplified by Puerto Rican people derive from? Puerto Ricans and our culture, we’re very strong people. We’re happy, we’re hard workers. We are very passionate about the things that we love. And that is something that Felix Trinidad really showed us. Felix Trinidad was an example for a whole generation. He is one of the biggest athletes, if not the biggest athlete, that Puerto Rico had ever produced. And he showed us that it is possible to emerge from the island and be a star. And that it is possible to be powerful in what you do, and if you love, and you’re passionate about it, and you work hard for it there is no limit to your dreams and what you can accomplish. And Despacito is one of the biggest songs ever in the world, and it was made in Puerto Rico by Puerto Ricans. Even the video was filmed in Puerto Rico. It just shows that Puerto Rico is one of the most powerful countries in the world in terms of music. Even though we are only a small island, that island and the people from it can influence the entire world.

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