10K80 by Padma Yang June 10, 2021
This week, we featured the up-and-coming NYC artist, No Komment.
Born and raised in Ossining, NY, the artist has begun his journey in the music industry since an early age. His music has been influenced by two types of music: the harder-hitting NY Rap that reflects his rap battle roots and the R&B-influenced melodic songs that helped advance his romantic moves throughout high school and college.
‘Woman Like You’, a fun melodic music video that just dropped on May 25, is a song based on the artist’s unique relationship with his girlfriend. Coming out after a tough year marked with depressing moments, the music video is no doubt refreshing to the mind.
It’s worth noting that the music is all produced, directed, shot, and edited by No Komment’s childhood friends. Besides cheerful sounds and visuals, authenticity is another theme highly emphasized in the video’s production.
It is a dope song not only because it reveals sweet aspects of human relationship, but also because of it relatability to some of our real life experiences.
Kulture Hub: How has music reflected your culture, community, and value?
No Komment: I was embarrassed of my heritage. It felt like the world was telling me it wasn’t okay to be who I was, so I kind of ran away from it.
As I got older, I realized it was really unfair to myself to be ashamed of who I was. More recently, I’ve gotten back in touch with my roots, my culture and my people from South Asia. I’ve really tried to fold that back into my music, because it’s always been a part of me.
Sometimes it’s cooler to say you’re from NYC because it’s easier to grab onto. However, I want people to know about Ossining, New York and Pakistan Lahore, Karachi; those two sides of me is [sic] really where my music finds itself.
KH: Has anybody told you that your music has inspired them in their personal lives?
NK: Yeah it has been the most exciting thing in this past year. My fans were always just my friends and people I grew up around. The thing that I love the most is if you look at my music videos, you can see who’s producing the credits, the director, producer, editor, and everyone starring in it.
Recently, I have learned about how to market myself and my music in front of new people. I’ve had a couple guys who make music and say it’s really inspirational to see what I’m doing.
Then I have friends who have a slightly bigger platform than me and are also brown artists. I think there’s a moment happening right now for our people; they’re just happy to see their successes in media, music, and hip hop for an ethnic group that was never really been accepted in so many ways in American pop culture. I just hope I can continue to reach more people because that’s what inspires me to make music.
KH: You took a break after graduation, and the main reason was the marketing and social media. How have they conflicted with your love and passion for music? And what do you think about the role of social media in contemporary music industry and society in general?
NK: When I had to try to do the marketing and social media when I was younger, it did feel like it drained the passion for me. I ran into two problems, one was I wasn’t very social media savvy and second, I didn’t really have a lot of help on that. I felt like I started putting out music that sucked and I didn’t even like, because it felt rushed. That was why I stopped, because I didn’t feel the passion for it anymore.
What’s happened in this past year is I’ve just been relearning social media in my own way. I want my music to have staying power. Drake or Jay Cole or Mac Miller, those guys who are from my era, who just carved out a lane of where they made like great projects. I think social media is necessary at the moment, it’s the best way to control the narrative on who you are and get in touch with your fans.
KH: How has the pandemic influenced your music making? Do you consider you way back to music during the time as a means to reconnect with the world and people?
NK: Absolutely. Overall, I am an extrovert and I feel a lot of value from interacting with humans. Now that time has slowed down, you really got to choose the few people you were going to hang out with when everyone was kind of scared. You weighed your social choices differently.
It’s horrible everything that has happened with COVID, but I do feel like there is such a consequence over time of people not interacting amongst each other. People get crazier when they can’t interact with other people. Like children don’t profit empathy properly if they can’t interact with human beings.
In this post pandemic world, I should at least be talking and be with my music. I want to feel like I’m part of a renaissance where I’ve always felt like music and art are at the heart of humanity.
KH: How do you incorporate the idea of diversity and inclusion in your music?
NK: That’s just very second nature for me. I pay homage to my culture, which I think it’s an important part of bringing, like diversity and inclusion.
Kendrick Lamar was one of my favorite artists. His most critically acclaimed album ‘To Pimp a Butterfly‘ talks about a lot of things that are really important in diversity, including the black experience. To me, it feels like he was telling me about history versus good convexity. How I make music is I don’t want to make a song that feels like I’m trying to check off boxes. Like, hey, I’m going to make sure I’m letting you know about this thing is wrong in the world.
I’m just grateful that my life and experience is one that reflects a lot of that diversity.No Komment
KH: Do you have any advice for aspiring singers/songwriters?
NK: I think it’s important to understand why you’re making music. It’s important to get genuine feedback from people and to try to improve as an artist, unless you don’t have an expectation.
I always put my music in a playlist of my favorite songs and I’m listening to it genuinely. Once you feel like you’re really playing with all of the rest of the stuff you listen to on a day-to-day basis, I think at that point, you’re ready to start releasing. If you’re not at that stage yet, start there. Don’t feel like you must hold on to the music if you’re not there yet.
As a Pakistani-American, No Komment pays tribute to his culture and heritage through accentuating the concepts of friendships, familial bonds, and teamwork in his musical production. As a music artist, he combines the unique New York toughness well with his creativity in and passion for music composition.
The music road is not always smooth and peaceful, but No Komment has managed to adapt to challenges and gradually evolve into the artist he aspires to become. With his ever-growing confidence and talents in this post pandemic world, he is ready to shine and impress y’all.