The FADER's Matthew Trammell described Princess Nokia's 2014 mixtape, Metallic Butterfly, as "the soundtrack of a fly girl caught in the matrix." Princess Nokia the human is as difficult to pin down as her sound: whether she's collecting seashells naked or roaming Manhattan in a Slipknot tee, the young rapper hovers between the disparate worlds of deep spirituality and the hectic lifestyle of a musician. When we originally asked her to participate in this edition of How I Live—our feature where artists and tastemakers break down their style and wellness routines—she agreed, but only if she could do it "her way," which—it's clear—is the only way she knows.
"I believe in God, Nature, Magic, and the spiritual healing of all holistic properties. I'm very conscious of my body, and how I take care of it. I like clean foods, drink a lot of water, and soak up much sunlight and positive energy as I can. I meditate and pray multiple times a week to guide myself with divine clarity. It gives me a lot of happiness to be honest. I am really connected to my astral body. Thats why I think the study of chakras and auras are so important. Our light bodies are a reflection of both our physical and etheric planes. When we heal our chakras, and pay attention to them, we can physically heal ourselves of the things post-modern society often suffers from. I'm very spiritually sensitive to the world around me."
"I usually box braid my own hair, or experiment with different styles. I go to the beauty supply store and try different weaves, bundles, wigs, and then come home and figure it out through trial and error. My hair is still recovering from from my punk days. I'll brush it out and wear it as an afro when it's natural, or bind it in two Native American-style braids with ribbon or twine. Sometimes, I like to wear bantu knots, or zulu coils. Sometimes I like to wear a simple ponytail, cause when I do I still look about 12 years old, and I think, 'Damn girl, u ain't aged a day. I never wash my hair, but occasionally I do natural food remedies with coconut oil, eggs, mayonnaise, and avocado."
"I love traveling and collecting things I call "God's Treasures" from beaches and jungles. I've started becoming an avid seashell and beach glass collector in the last two years. Being a musician has allowed me to travel to beautiful, special locations and I frequent Sag Harbor in the Hamptons during the summers. It's such a gorgeous town, with a gorgeous bay beach that has fresh water and fish. Their seashells are amazing: the oranges, pink yellow hues are breathtaking from this natural iridescent tint they acquire. I usually spend hours naked, collecting shells, and swimming. It's probably when I am my happiest. I love all aquatic life, sea creatures and mythology. My mother died when I was two, but she passed onto me the Yoruban Orisha, Yemaya, The mother of the ocean, with a closeness into my heart. I think it's a direct spiritual connection. I'm so cosmically drawn to the sea."
"My personal style is very witchy. It's also reflective of my many moods, personalities, and musical influences. I like rustic accents with a lot of '70s flair. Ankle-length prairie dresses, wide brim hats, ruffle crop tops, bell bottoms, head wraps, romantic blouses, capes, old denim, snakeskin. Sometimes I'm really emo and gothic and I'll wear a lot of fetish pieces. I wear a lot of T-shirts from Marvel, DC, Anime, and old-school cartoons. Chokers, Vans, fishnet gloves, Japanese face masks, band tees: Korn & Slipknot. Sometimes I'm just a tomboy and I'll wear Dickies or Supreme skate pants, and sweatpants. I like loose bondage pants and itty bitty tank tops. Most of the time I prefer just wearing a thong or being naked, though."
"I started my art collective Smart Girl Club to provide and promote an honest and safe space for young women of color of all backgrounds and ages to feel empowered and inspired by female unity, creative endeavors, and overall life aspirations. I co-directed my last three videos with my best friend, and Smart Girl Club collaborator Milah Libin. We create beautiful visuals and make zines, write poetry, and every Thursday do a radio show for Know-Wave called Smart Girl Club. The Smart Girl Club means a lot to me, because its my fandom. Its all the beautiful spiritually, conscious, gothically slutty women of my younger generation who know they cannot be defined by labels or boxes, and live their life to the beat of their own drum. And thats really all I encourage—for girls to be happy, to be themselves, and to live life on their own terms—with as much ambitious and creative zeal possible."
All images courtesy Princess Nokia