Photography by Jahmel Reynolds It was a hot summer of August 2015, I had just moved to New York since only a couple of weeks when I was invited to my first backyard party ever in Brooklyn. The party was in Bed-Stuy, I didn't know much about that neighborhood except for the tv shows and movies I grew up watching back in Italy. Everything was new for me, the air, the sky, the energy and in some way is still is. In this beautiful scenario, thinking about my new life in America while looking outside of my cab's window listening to some nostalgic music that reminded me of home, I felt like I was ready to absorb this new life and get to make new experiences. I reached my destination and got off the cab - I was suddenly embraced by beautiful warm black people that made me feel home, one of these amazing souls was also the host of the event, her name was Latasha Alcindor, currently known as the artist Latashá. I honestly couldn't wait to meet her, one my dear friends and New York based Dj Boston Chery introduced me to Latasha's music previously to the party and I was in complete shock by her incredible talent. LATASHÁ was born in NYC and was raised in Flatbush Brooklyn, NY but currently lives in Los Angeles, where she moved since less than two years to pursuit her career. She can sing, rap, dance, write, direct and produce her own projects, and most of all has the presence of a woman who knows her worth in this world and that it's something that I will forever admire from her. She's the woman we all really are, the one that's not afraid to be herself despite our insecurity and the one that uses her magical energy to turn everything she touches into art in order to change the old and boring standards that society put on all of us women long time ago. I truly believe that we need more artists like her out there, being a black independent musician it's not easy and I believe that black women specifically should be given the chance to shine and thrive in the music industry without necessarily having to look like perfect dolls all the times or being objects of sexual desire (which I obviously love and support, just saying, let's include more types of black women please!). I had chance to talk to LATASHÁ and she discussed her latest single GO GO WYNE and much more!
When was the moment that you realized you wanted to be a full time musician? I keep realizing it but the first time was 6 years ago when I restarted my career in the direction of an independent artist who wanted to be more than just a girl who just raps to rap, I wanted to make music that shifted minds, tells stories and made people feel something.
What was the idea behind your new single GOGO WYNE? The idea behind “GoGo Wyne” was to stop playing myself and get what I’m worth. I remember when I use to shrink myself to fit into someone or something people said I should be, and these days that whole “play small” thing is over. And “GoGo Wyne” is a testimony to getting mine with no fucks given.
What would you like to see more in the music industry? I would like to see more eclectic types of Black women in the music industry. It’s like the industry keeps pushing the same type of Black women and I always wonder where are the girls who are different like me. I guess that’s what also keeps me going. I rep for the girls who like Green Day and No Doubt but can rap a Jay-Z verse bar for bar. The girls who love Beyoncé but also love Patti Smith. The girls who don’t have to “act” hood, who know my ghetto is innate and my intellect is just as viable.
As a black independent woman and artist, you must have an incredible strength to do what you’re doing on your own. What was the hardest thing to overcome so far? The hardest thing to overcome is rejection from family. I had to learn to stay strong and see my vision through even when they couldn’t. It has made me the greatest artist I can be now cause I don’t allow anyone to deny me of my greatness. And as I grow into myself everyday, my family seems to be coming around more, but I don’t live with an expectation of them. I just do me.