Audri Nix is ready to climb the upper echelons of music. After running the festival and underground circuits for some time now, the rapper and vocalist aims to stake her claim in hip-hop—not just in Latin America, but around the globe. Part of that means owning the skin she’s in – a Puerto Rican woman in a traditionally English-language, male dominated industry – and breaking through the perceptual threshold of success. “Even though I’ve reached a certain goal I still need to go for more,” she said during an interview with VIBE Viva on Friday (March 17).
“I got my second show ever here at South by Southwest last year, and I still don’t believe it,” said Nix, who showcased new music and old favorites at South by Southwest 2017 in Austin. “To me, it’s unreal, and I don’t know where to start saying thank you because people are accepting my music in ways that I never thought that it was going to be accepted.”
Nix, who’s made a name for herself touring independently around the U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, believes “there’s no other girl doing” what she is, at least not in Spanish. Albeit she grew up listening to pop empress Shakira and was heavily impressed by award-winning rapper La Mala Rodriguez, Nix credits the likes of Lauryn Hill and Solange for influencing her pen game, explaining her greatest contributions are marked by some of hip-hop and R&B’s most beloved.
“I remember at one point thinking, “Should I do this in English? Should I do this in Spanish?” because I don’t know how hard it is to make it,” she recalled. “But then I thought, “Who is representing us? Who is talking about us? Who is talking about what we feel, what we think?”
More than just putting on for Latinos, Nix is vehemently repping for mujeres. “A lot of my friends are girls, and they just want to see themselves reflected in somebody else,” said the “Más” MC, “and I feel like I’m just a reflection of everything that I live that I know a lot of girls out there are living too. I feel like I can just be a mirror. I get emails sometimes saying, “Oh my god. Your music just helps me a lot because I was feeling this way, and you made me understand it.””
Taking a page from crossover queen and personal GOAT Shakira, Nix decided long ago that if she were to attain any kind of global fame, she would do it against all odds and by being totally herself. Two years ago originality paid off, and it opened new portals for the pint-sized wordsmith. While she’s got a long way to go before Billboard should crown her a “crossover success,” Audri did in fact achieve a musical rarity, garnering mass appeal when she dropped her remix to 18+’s “Crow.”
“Nobody in Latin America was feeling [the song]. People of course listened to the track, but [it turned out] a lot of them were from London, Europe. I remember when I released the track, it got like 2,000 plays in two weeks. It was really sad, and people were criticizing it a lot, and then out of nowhere, somebody – I don’t know who – heard it, and it got like 100,000 plays,” said Audri of her remix, which also received the coveted vintage treatment in vinyl. “I don’t know who heard it, but somebody heard it and pushed it. Those tracks show me that you can do music in Spanish and still cross over.”
Take a sound trip through the forest of Audi Nix below.