Princess Nokia
Gig Seeker Pro

Princess Nokia

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Duo Alternative Dream Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Princess Nokia Dials Up On "Metallic Butterfly""

New York City has a longstanding tradition of producing eccentric, opinionated, sweetly insane Hispanic girls from a swath of land collectively known as "Uptown." The sprawling enclaves between 125th in Harlem and 233rd in the Bronx contain enough swirling cultures that the youth from these hoods always have a certain otherworldly edge: Spanish Harlem's Princess Nokia is the latest to crash land from a train stop that might as well be another planet. We first met Nokia as Wavy Spice, the early aughts-obsessed pastel voice behind "Bitch I'm Posh" and "Vicki Gotti." Her's was already a sound too diverse to pin down, and on Metallic Butterfly Nokia throws even more influences into the blender: industrial house, Dragon Ball Z, dancehall-y afrobeat, Taina, Yaki hair weaves and ambient electronic blips all coalesce into the soundtrack of a fly girl caught in the matrix. Her flow betrays shades of M.I.A, Maluca, and Lil Kim in their prime, and NY-based OWWWLS' production creates an icy silver cocoon for this butterfly to spread her wings. At the age of 14 I was making Xanga pages on my Dell PC, she spits on "Cybiko," staking her claim that she's been about this digital life. - FADER


We're super excited to share with you Metallic Butterfly, the full-length debut of Princess Nokia. More than a few arguments have sprung up at the VICE offices over how to classify this album's sound, because it has a little bit of everything—from African drums and weird jazzy melodies to electro-synths and hip-hop beats. On each track, Princess Nokia seems to take on a different persona—jumping from an anime-style hacker in a dystopian future on one joint to an Afro-Latina Santería shawoman on another—all the while dropping lyrical jewels on everything from real love to fierce feminism and individuality. But all of the disparate influences and styles blend perfectly, making this one of the most exciting and ambitious independently released albums to come out of the New York underground in a long time.

Metallic Butterfly is a collaborative effort between Princess Nokia (Destiny Frasqueri), who first made waves under the monicker Wavy Spice with the 2012 track "Bitch I'm Posh" (this shit, however, sounds nothing like that), and studio wunderkind OWWWLS (Christopher Lare), who laced Metallic Butterfly with its gorgeous and eclectic beats.

Needless to say, we'll be bumping Metallic Butterfly all summer long. You should too. Just scroll down, press play, and allow yourself to be sucked into Princess Nokia's musical world, where hood rats, cyborgs, political revolutionaries, and spiritual mystics are one in the same. - VICE


Princess Nokia’s music inhabits a strange world of warriors, cyborgs, dragons and sounds a bit like dystopian 90s R&B. In a very good way.
Destiny Frasqueri’s music is as transformative as her stage persona. Back in 2010 she broke on the New York underground scene as Wavy Spice, dropping playful self-releases like Bitch I’m Posh and littering her lyrics and aesthetic with references to her decade of birth, the 90s. Now, at just 22, she’s reincarnated herself as Princess Nokia, an evolution that’s seen her music shift from rap to something more eclectic. New album Metallic Butterfly, produced by OWWWLS and heavily influenced by Destiny’s love of anime and gaming, meanders through a futuristic dreamscape of break beat, R&B and techno, kicking you out the other side immediately ready to press replay.

I first started listening to your music as Wavy Spice. Why did you change your name to Princess Nokia? Is Wavy Spice no more?

Thinking about it, I never really saw it as a name change. My focus was to make better music and Princess Nokia became my other project. It’s really a collaboration between OWWWLS and I. I’d been looking for a name for what I was about to do and I thought Princess Nokia fit – it sounded like a futuristic anime princess. I only see myself evolving artistically, so I’m not sure about using Wavy Spice again. I don’t particularly like that name anymore.

Fair enough. What’s the difference musically?

Well, in the process of making the new album I became a better writer, a better composer and kind of a decent singer. Wavy Spice told the story and identity of a brazen high school girl and her experiences through rap. I’m not that girl anymore.

So the new album, Metallic Butterfly, reflects my new chapter in life. I’d like to think

I’ve evolved in so many dimensions as a woman myself, and as an artist, both very beautifully, and I can only see the music I’m making now as beautiful.

How does that beauty translate into a creative process?

I met my band mate Christopher Lare a.k.a. OWWWLS over a year ago, when I first decided I wanted to go in another direction with my music. I’d go to his house two or three times a week, every week, for a year, and make music and hang out. He changed my life. For the first six months we experimented with stuff and made a couple singles of different sounds. But Metallic Butterfly didn’t come about until December 2013. That’s when we made the song Dragons and said, “This is it. This is the sound.”
Did you have joint influences or did you both bring things to the table, so to speak?

We both like jungle, drum ‘n’ bass and contemporary, so we said, “Lets make that in our own way,” and that’s really how the sub genres of Metallic Butterfly came about. Most of the music was taken from poetry or lyrical ideas in my journals (which I have a lot of). I think, because I’ve never subjected myself to only one subculture or identity, I was able to create an album that had so many layers of depth and personality but was still quite cohesive and fluid. To me, if you want to be innovative, repetition is not an option.

It feels like there are different characters coming through on the album, both lyrically and through the range of genres and samples. Why is that?

It’s interesting you say that. My impulse to create characters comes from a defence mechanism as a child, my escapisms. My imagination became my outlet through sadness, death, abuse and not fitting in as a child. As an adult I still use those mechanisms but in a healthy, artistic way that is conceptual to the music, and is identifiable as more innocent and humorous.

Why did you self release Metallic Butterfly via Soundcloud?

Easy – I like to do everything myself.

That’s kind of understandable, given the general state of the record industry. In the videos for the songs Dragons and Cybiko, you’re playing video games. Are you a big gamer?

I’m a huge n00b. I have a big fascination with the gaming world and comic books, so I use a lot of imagery from the things I like. My favourite games are from the Playstation days. Oddworld, Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive, Max Payne, GTA, Ratchet & Clank. To be honest, though, I’m more into cartoons and anime.

You’re often described as a feminist, which is great. What does the word mean to you?

I am a feminist. I am genuinely and personally concerned with the welfare of all women. I think I was really influenced by the third wave, Bikini Kill, Riot Grrrl and that entire movement, and desperately fantasised about when I could provide that same space and contribution to my own time. I’m not there yet, but it’s happening.

Riot Grrrl is a reference that seems to crop up loads with millennials. I wonder if Kathleen Hanna ever thought that would happen. What other musicians are you into?

The entire movement of women of that era really does it for me. Early Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, back in her Long Beach days. Maya Angelou and Sandra Cisneros are two wonderful female authors of colour who provided me with literature as a child. I fuck with Martina Topley-Bird for inspiring Tricky’s Maxinquaye album, only being 16-years-old and helping define a sound of UK alternative. TLC and Salt-n-Pepa for providing me with the outlines of urban feminism. Lil Kim and Foxy Brown for showing me bold lyricism and glamour. Also, the books The Cheetah Girls by Deborah Gregory, Matilda by Roald Dahl and Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.

Harriet the Spy! Amazing. Final question: Where have you come from, where are you at right now, and where do you see yourself in the future?

I am from magical world, enchanted forests, blue seas, five-foot lily pads and taking elk. Fairies, mermaids, witches and elves all exist on the plane. Right now, I see myself right where I need to be. And in the future… A musical savant with many children and a big, wonderful garden.

Sounds ideal. - BEAT MAGAZINE





  1. Dimensia
  2. Hands Up
  3. Seraphim
  4. Young Girls
  5. Biohazard Butterfly
  6. Cybiko
  7. Dragons
  8. Felicity Island
  9. Nokia
  10. Bikini Weather Corazon En Afrika
  11. Yaya



PRINCESS NOKIA is a musical collaboration between Destiny Ortiz and Christopher Lare. The pair met through a mutual friend and began to working together in early 2013. Looking to build a new genre, while embracing existing subgenres, PRINCESS NOKIA has created a neo-futuristic sound that is both relevant and avant garde. 

PRINCESS NOKIA released their 1st independent album, "METALLIC BUTTERFLY", in May of 2014. The album has since received critical acclaim in both the underground and mainstream. Media outlets Fader and Vice both gave [album] rave reviews. 

Their sound comes inspired by 90's Rave, Drum & Bass, with a nod to the raw New York & U.K. underground. "METALLIC BUTTERFLY" offers a diverse fusion of Trip Hop, Jungle, Adult Contemporary, Cute-Core, Grime, R&B & Afro Latin House. Latent, yet lyrically honest, with a creative approach their music continues to set them apart and attract a rapidly growing fanbase. 

Reigning in downtown art cool with mainstream appeal PRINCESS NOKIA has been quickly gaining the recognition of various record labels, both major and independent. Recent collaborations include Red Bull, MTV World, and NPR ALT Latino. Kmart has currently licensed the song DRAGONS and is now airing it commercially. 

Band Members