The Rundown: Native Youth
Written by Greg Harris
Florida has recently become a hot spot for emerging music to make it's way to the mainstream airwaves. As XXXtentacion has garnered the world's attention with his disruptive image and his captivating lyrics, he has apparently paved the way for the likes of others to reach mainstream success as well. You've seen it with the likes of Ski Mask the Slump God, Kodak Black, Wifisfuneral, Denzel Curry, and more. This list really sheds light on the state's favorite flavor of rappers in the area, but today we shift the focus on a different aspect of the buzzing sound that's putting South Florida on the map.
If you've visited the site before, you have seen the material of Native Youth. Coming on the scene with her lo-fi hip-hop artistry of music, Youth defines herself as an X-Factor who's playing by her own rules and breaking borders with her sound. You hear this clearly in her recent body of work, "Second Chances," which is the perfect emotional filled soundtrack for your late night moves and grooves. Her versatile presentation shows the world that South Florida has more to offer than the typical "thrash rap" that's being pushed in your face. It's a lighter palette, but it's held down with feelings that anyone can relate to.
We recently had the opportunity to speak to her about upbringing in Miami, how she describes her sound, being apart of the emerging SoFlo scene, and more.
How’s Your Modern Life
Life is pretty dope! I basically do whatever I want and live by my own rules. Sometimes it works but sometimes I think living a normal life could be easier...then I come back to my senses and continue living my spontaneous & reckless lifestyle.
What are three things you have to do when you first wake up?
Every day is different, I may be waking up hungover in a hotel room, on an air mattress in someone's house across the country, or in my own bed going off to work (if I have a job). I don't have a routine. Routines freak me out, I kinda just take every day as it comes.
Coming up in Miami, how was your upbringing?
The first half of my life was pretty rough, my divorced mom was sort of young and raising two kids on her own so we moved around a lot and in sketchy hoods around Little Havana and Brickell- before Brickell was nice. Then we got our shit together and moved to South Miami/ Westchester when I was about 12 and from then on we lived a normal Miami suburban life. So I'm sorta boujie but also a hood rat.
Who were some influential artists from South Florida who played a pivotal into your life?
I can never name one person or group who influenced me. My influence comes from everything I listen to and experience. As far as South Florida goes, I grew up listening to artists like Stevie B, 2 Live Crew, Pitbull, Iconz, and of course Miami Sound Machine.
In your music, you’re inspired by a lo-fi approach. What derives you to push your music in that direction?
Honestly, I just love hip-hop and everything that stems from it. The lo-fi influence is something that found me when I started working with Triangles. That Lo-fi touch gives it a very indie feel which is another genre I indulge in.
"I want to be remembered through my songs, if my songs are timeless and stuck in your head, or they're a part of your makeout/sex playlist and you dedicate them to your lovers then I've done what I've wanted to do."
The Miami Music Scene is very interesting with the likes of Ski Mask, XXXtentacion, Twelve’Len, LateNite, Triangles, and more. How does it feel to be apart of very versatile scene in South Florida?
I absolutely LOVE being a part of the Miami music scene and I rep it hard. Everyone has such a different vibe and come from so many different backgrounds its amazing to be a part of something like that. It's a tight community.
How do you think you set yourself apart from other artists in South Florida?
I just do me and worry about mine. I am an individual human being so I bring my own flare, I don't TRY to do anything, it just comes out naturally and my vibes mixed with other vibes from other collaborators creates a whole new energy. Being true to myself and acting on that is what sets me apart.
You recently released your latest project, “Second Chances”, which pin-points a load of different emotions in an artistic way. How was your creative process while making this project?
I was straight up an emotional mess. I went through a break up that has taken me more than a year to get over and the only way I know how to truly express myself and deal with my emotions is through writing songs. If I felt something I wrote it down in my notes,if I had a beat to write on, even better!
What were some memorable moments while making “Second Chances”?
Recording in one of my friend's studios. Imagine me and South Florida's hottest up and coming artists in one room just vibing getting drunk and literally taking turns on the mic recording each of our projects. This past year has been so fun as a whole just creating music with my friends.
How do you think “Second Chances” help you grow as an artist?
I Learned how to sing better! After recording so much I strengthened my voice and learned to be confident and just stop giving a crap about what people think to an extent. I'm kind of a weirdo so I just embraced myself and my artistry and owned it.
What are some plans for you for the rest of this year?
Write, write, write, record, record, record, and expand my performance resume to outside Miami's city limits.
How do you want to revolutionize music?
By breaking barriers- culturally, socially, artistically. Just push everything to my limit and then some all while loving it.
At the end of the day, how do you want to be remembered?
As an Icon... I want to be remembered through my songs, if my songs are timeless and stuck in your head, or they're a part of your makeout/sex playlist and you dedicate them to your lovers then I've done what I've wanted to do.