“During the process of making my album, Qoyskayga, Beyonce had just dropped the album The Lion King: The Gift, and one track on that album quickly became my favorite was ‘My Power’ featuring Tierra Whack, Naija, Yemi Alade, Busiswa, MoonChild Sanelly and DJ Lag.
After that, I listened to a lot of AfroBeat and Afropop music, which really inspired me and my producers to make this track,” explains nineteeen-year-old artist Musti (full name: Ugbad Musti) to Complex who yesterday premiered her debut music video, “Lion King.” Adding, “’Lion King’ is an homage to every female artist and athlete with African descent. And special shoutout to my mom who came through with the middle eight part of the song.”
Aside from opening up the P3 Gull Awards on November 28 with “Lion King,” Musti also took home the award for “Newcomer of the Year” (equivalent to a “Best New Artist” award), previous winners include; Cashmere Cat, Kygo, Astrid S, Sigrid, and Boy Pablo. The P3 Gull Awards (translated: “P3 Gold”), is a music show and an award ceremony organized by the Norwegian radio station NRK P3.
Musti’s powerful debut album Qoyskayga (translated: “My Family”) got its North American release via Radikal Records on October 30, 2020, but prior to this year and without even a single to her name, Musti was still one of the most talked about acts at 2019’s Øya Festival in her hometown of Oslo, Norway.
Despite her set competing for attention with headliners such as Christine & The Queens and Robyn, Billboard.com took note of the newcomer. “Musti performed with confidence and had a stage presence of a seasoned artist” wrote Billboard, describing her natural artistic flair.
With the release of Qoyskayga, Musti may well become the manifestation of the next generation of rappers. The ones that dare assert their ambitions, ignore conventional categorization and stereotypes relating to rap style, provenance or gender.
Additionally, the fact that Musti has first and foremost been exposed to UK rap, not US or Scandinavian, separates her from previous generations. Born in Somalia and living in London before settling with her family in Norway, Musti is an Afropop artist that can express herself effortlessly in three languages.
Her musical sensibilities are closer to grime than classic hip hop, permeating through her unfiltered lyrics and unique and unpredictable flow. Drawing on her cultural heritage a helping of African rhythms are mixed in the production. You don’t have to understand Norwegian or Somalian to realize and feel the undeniable talent that makes Musti one of the most exciting voices to come out of the Norwegian music scene in a long time.
Despite changing and challenging conditions Musti has kept busy in 2020, first by living up to expectations as Norwegian music festival by:Larm‘s biggest hype. She also released the short film “Riyo” and recently shared a stage with Aurora and Hkeem when they performed at Amnesty Norway’s anti-racism live-stream benefit after the demonstrations triggered by the murder of George Floyd in the USA.
Musti’s debut album Qoyskaygais out now. She is available for press.