The rapper and sonic artist known as Nina Maria has released a new, full-length album, titled, “From My Upbringing.” The record contains no fewer than 28 tracks for a grand total of approximately two hours' listening time. It has been proudly published on the Coinxiding Arts Entertainment independent record label. Bringing together the synth beats of hip hop and the earnestness of spoken-word poetry, “From My Upbringing” is a rare delivery of truth from this inimitable artist from Missouri.
“From My Upbringing” is not simply music. In addition to rapping that comes off-the-cuff as naturally as breathing, Nina Maria's new album has elements of improvisational jazz which make it remarkable as fine, sonic art. It is plainly real. The artist does not pretend, posture, or pose, neither coats, nor gilds, nor adorns these words. The result is a collection of stream-of-consciousness English which describes this thinking, feeling person in as clear and direct a manner as language can make possible.
The bitter circumstances which make this possible are several, but largely it is the creative method of the artist which makes this record the thing of beauty that it is. Every one of Nina Maria's lyrics are improvised. The recordings are, therefore, live performances.
“I freestyle all my songs now,” the artist writes, “because I have schizo-effective disorder. I also make all my beats.”
The story leading up to this legitimate work of genius describes (and is not limited to) graduating high school with a 5.0 GPA via advanced-placement classes, a tour with the US Marines as a computer systems specialist, an abusive relationship, a stint of homelessness, and an ongoing battle with schizophrenia.
– And as stated, this is not nearly the entire story: “I was misidentified by someone from a shooting in the [Columbia, MO] area. I was arrested and up against 30 years. I took a plea when the number got to four [years] because I knew they were trying to hang me out to dry. I did two inside and walked down two years' parole. By God's grace He got me back to Eolia.”
Nina Maria responded to this maltreatment by releasing four digital albums. “From My Upbringing” is merely the latest in a repertoire which includes also 2014's “Santa Maria's Corruption” and “By the Way,” published only last spring. Each has been made available online worldwide and is categorized as rap and spoken-word poetry.
Maria cites as main artistic influences Beethoven, Stevie Wonder, the Isley Brothers, DJ Paul, and a Tribe Called Quest.
Asked to comment on the themes and messages of “From My Upbringing,” Nina Maria writes, “No matter who you are, we all go through ups and downs and struggle.”
“From My Upbringing” by Nina Maria is a glorious celebration of individuality, the naked sound of a person skilled in rhythm and rhyme speaking thoughts in song. It is a representation not just of Nina Maria, but of us all, and it deserves much praise and attention.
Nina Maria's “From My Upbringing” is available online worldwide.
Lead Press Release Writer
Nina Maria's “From My Upbringing” –