ThaGataNegrra
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ThaGataNegrra

Newark, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1999 | INDIE

Newark, New Jersey, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1999
Solo Hip Hop Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Oct
26
ThaGataNegrra @ The Mall at The Source

Westbury, New York, United States

Westbury, New York, United States

Oct
03
ThaGataNegrra @ QXT's Night Club

Newark, New Jersey, United States

Newark, New Jersey, United States

Sep
28
ThaGataNegrra @ Mt Vernon Public Library

Mount Vernon, New York, United States

Mount Vernon, New York, United States

Music

Press


"ThaGataNegrra GATA City CD Review"

Like I Do is a crossover-quality track that will have fans of dance and R&B styles eagerly anticipating the rest of the efforts on GATA City. The production on Like I Do is stellar, pushing the instrumental and the vocal sides of the composition to an entirely new plateau. With this lively feel, listeners will be hurtled along GATA City until they come to I Like. I Like goes back into the early nineties and perfects the style of a CeCe Peniston or Madonna; there are nods here to house, trance, and a little Vogue before the cut spins to a halt.

Felinephunk is a high-energy track that links together Missy Elliott and Nicki Minaj into something that will tattoo itself deep into the minds and hearts of listeners. The production is able to unite the complex elements that are presented and ties them into a tight bow; there are so many twists and turns that listeners will have to play the track numerous times before they hear everything that TheGataNegrra placed here. Few albums are able to come forth and present a unique (but wholly unique) sound from onset to ending with as much confidence and allure as GATA City, and I believe that the album is able to have a much higher replay value than other titles of a similar ilk.

Make it a point to visit TheGataNegrra’s social media profiles for all of the latest information about this innovative and catchy performer, and for news concerning subsequent tracks that will be coming down the pipeline; here’s to hoping that a few new TGN tracks are released before 2015 ends.

Top Tracks: Felinephunk, Juliet is Bleeding

Rating: 8.2/10 - NeuFutur Magazine


"ThaGataNegrra, Gata City"

ThaGataNegrra sounds neon. Akin to FKA Twig’s nuanced compositions, ThaGataNegrra’s are nimble bright and remarkably catchy. Rhythmically “Gata City” never stops. With an endless amount of kinetic energy, the songs blast forward. Plenty of cat references are thrown throughout the album which fits neatly with the overall playful feel of the album. Melody and rhythm work together to keep the album focused. Various interludes are sprinkled throughout the album giving the listener slight rests from the overall relentless energy from the album.

After a short interlude, the album begins with “Felinephunk”, whose economical execution opens the album up in style. On “Like I Do (You Should Dance With Me)”, the song essentially becomes an endless dance groove. Moving into dance funk with the slinky “Come Show Me”, the album presents one of its highlights. The synthesizer stabs are particularly luscious. Frantic energy defines the aggressive “GATA City: Kuro Neko Chaos”, whose intense vocal delivery coupled with minimal structure makes it one of the harder tracks. “I Like” relaxes the overall tone of the album as the song settles into a comfortable, laid back groove. Later the album presents a remix of “I Like” highlighting its mellow tone into a long-lost jazz-rock fusion track.

Towards the end of the collection, things relax a bit further with the spaced out “Paperdollz”. For “Juliet is Bleeding”, the song begins with a rainstorm before moving into relatively optimistic, lovely territory. “Gata City” is a sweet strange album full of surprises. - Skope Magazine


"Daily Vault Album Reviews"

Tha Gata Negrra doesn’t pretend to be a pop diva and she isn’t one. Her record GATA City does not involve any world-class producers and it certainly is not meant to be a pop record to woo the hearts of the masses. The production on the record is pretty slick; however, it is nothing compared to the chique music of mainstream pop. This album stemmed out of a house/dance music project with members of Gata Negrra’s family. But inspite of its homespun and homemade production, this debut of hers is a nearperfect hip-hop/pop candy and a party album with totally infectious tunes.

Although not a pop star, Gata Negrra has an attitude and an eccentricity to surely match one. On the album, she takes on the persona of GATA, a feline manga/anime character; this portrayal of has apt distinct characteristics of visual kei, as can be seen on the album artwork and her website, which proudly touts the fact that she has been described as the bastard child of Hello Kitty and Eminem. But GATA, with her canny ability to blend hip-hop, dance, and mainstream pop, and her “in character” performance on the album makes her an artist more similar to Gorillaz than to anyone else.

Gata Negrra is primarily a hip-hop artist. And so the goulash of different pop music styles on this album all have a hip-hop core. Her fast start-stop emcee delivery mixed with aggressive beats makes the hardcore hip-hop cuts on the album like “Felinephunk,” “Transmission From Tha Cat Liar (sic),” “GATA City: Kuro Neko Chaos,” and “Paperdollz,” the catchiest and best on the album. “Come Show Me,” “I Feel You,” and “I Like” are truer to the house/dance germ of the album rather than to its hip-hop proneness. “Like I Do” is the one-of-a-kind sugary pop song that doesn’t represent the rest of the album, but is still fantastic.

An integral part of Gata Negrra’s image is her weirdness, which can seem a bit tawdry and offputting. Her music, however, is anything but. Gata Negrra might like to be the “Gore Goddyss” (a gore-loving everyday girl) or an anime character that wears gaudy clothes and makeup, but GATA City is an ordinary mainstream pop album – an enjoyable and a great mainstream pop album.

Rating: A- - Daily Vault.com


"Four Musical Artists on "East Los High" You Need to Hear"

What Newark, New Jersey native ThaGataNegrra’s [video] “Like I Do (You Should Dance With Me)” lacks in production value it makes up for in sheer originality. ThaGataNegrra is the world’s first (and this is a guess) Cosplay rapper. Think purple dreadlocks and lots of inspiration from Japanese manga. Her major breakthrough has yet to come, but her catchy melody tunes are sure to get people dancing—like she does. - LA Magazine


"Music Review at Indie-Music.com"

New Jersey native ThaGataNegrra knows how to have fun. Her music is a thoroughly vibrant mix of Dance, Pop, Disco, Funk and even a bit of Rock. The songs bubble with excitement and a colorful, feel-good nature that is both infectious and raucous at the same time. A wide variety of elements come into play on the songs available for listen here including the awesome Club/Dance/Disco track "I Feel You", the fantastically crafted "Like I Do (You Should Dance With Me)" and the funkier "Come Show Me".

The songs are well produced using an arsenal of synthesizers and other keyboards as well as guitars and bass and what sound like some samples that are all alive in the mix. The lyrics are simple and fun and perfectly match the vibe of the songs. After all, you're not looking for literature lessons or poetry here are you? It's Dance music and it's supposed to be fun and that's exactly what ThaGataNegrra has come up with. This is the kind of stuff that explodes at a party or on the dancefloor, and she is to be commended for it.

Fans of Donna Summer, Dee-Lite, P-Funk and Lady Gaga have plenty to look forward to here. - Indie-Music.com


"FEATURED ARTIST: THAGATANEGRRA"

An alternat(iv)e hip-hop artist specializing in twisted lyrics with a funky delivery, ThaGataNegrra has an eclectic style that ranges from dance tunes to aggressive anthems. With performances featuring kei visual style and cosplay, GATA is sometimes even painted as a manga/anime character. Her debut CD “GATA City” is now available. - East Los High


"COWBOYS & INDIES - THE INDIE MUSIC ROUNDUP"

"Apparently you can’t just have music, you’ve got to have “the whole package”. Tha Gata Negrra (translate: the black cat), certainly has a product to offer and somewhat of a niche to fill. On the heels of artists like Nicki Minaj and Azealia Banks, and looking like cyber-goth-meets-hello-kitty, Tha Gata Negrra is full bottle, in-your-face chick hop. Her sounds run from the fat broken rock of Felinephunk, to the booty-disco of I Like, and the club friendly swinger of Like I Do. Currently represented out of New Jersey by 3 Miles Entertainment, Tha Gata Negrra definitely seems to be aiming for mainstream pop acceptance, but she’s doing it her way." - GASHE


"GATA City Review by Praxilla of The Offering"

On GATA City, the debut album from ThaGataNegrra, dance is used as a synonym of both love and lust: with lyrics inspired by a current relationship, Gata does well to avoid gratuitous oversexualization on songs such as “I Feel You”, with its infectious blend of disco meets New Wave meets Freestyle vibe...[she has] a lot more than the metaphorical dance floor anthem to offer up on the album. “Paperdollz” is a personal track dedicated to not changing one’s self to meet the status quo of what men desire or expect. - Praxilla


"INTERVIEW: Tha Gata Negrra Is NOT a Harajuku Girl Nicki Minaj – And That's OK!"

A long time ago, Tha Gata Negrra – who calls herself "Tha true original gata" and performed at the ING Marathon in Manhattan – found out that people were surprised when a female artist bottled up so much lyrical aggression. On her website biography, she recounts how this pivotal career moment made her never want to back down to anyone in the industry just so she could make it.

Of course, this attitude, combined with her stage attire, automatically throws her in the Nicki Minaj clone pile. Rather, we could and should listen before jumping to conclusions. Listening, we could compare her to women like Missy Elliott, who channeled her frustrations with men into fast-rapped songs like "One Minute Man." Like Elliott, Tha Gata Negrra makes use of foreign influences and pop backgrounds mixed into mainstream hip hop beats...

You went to a performing arts high school. Do you use acting often in your songs and performances?

I think some form of acting is essential to a performance, whether live or in the studio. Even if you are being yourself, and being as honest as you can be, it's still an amplified version of you. You also need it to convey the emotion in the song you're performing, which is important to connecting to your audience–I'm learning this more than ever, now. Everything must be bigger. On "GATA City," I ended up having to do some acting for the interludes, of course. I'm obviously not Meryl Streep, LOL–but I think I did okay.

What made you fall in love with manga and Lolita style?

I was exposed to different Asian cultures by my mami early on. I've loved anime and manga since I was a girl-- old-school stuff like Akira, Gatchaman, Dirty Pair, and then Pokemon, Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon. I liked American stuff like Thundercats and stuff from Adam Warren–his version of The Dirty Pair is my favourite.

I loved video games like Street Fighter and Darkstalkers. I just always loved the look and feel of the genre. So much action and movement, big coloured hair, expressive eyes. I decided that was what I wanted to be.

In one of the groups I was in, that was our whole theme; we were characters from an anime! Part of that was because someone was always telling me I looked like I "stepped out of Japanimation" or a comic book, anyway. I've had a habit of adding little girl touches to my usual clothing, and I love schoolgirl uniforms, over the knee socks, hair bows, barrettes, ruffly dresses. I didn't know it had a name until it hit the States. I tend to have more decora going on than anything, though. I'm told I have Japanese ancestry on my paternal side, anyway, so I'm embracing it.

How do you feel about others comparing you to Nicki Minaj?

It happens. Not always, but it happens. It's frustrating sometimes, but I find it's often because people need to label everything or identify you with something that they know to feel comfortable with it. But just about any black girl walking around with unnaturally-coloured hair or a balls-out style is gonna get called Nicki Minaj at some point.

It used to be you were called Lil' Kim for that very same reason. It's like, "Hello–not everyone is trying to be like those two..." It happens to me more because of what I do, of course. But I've had people come up to me and ask, "Are you dressed like Monster High?" "Are you a Bratz doll?" LOL... I've even been called Lady Gaga. It's hilarious.

OK, it feels like some of the comparisons are warranted because of what you look like. If someone heard and not "saw" your music, which men and women in hip hop might they compare you to?

I've often been compared to Lisa "Left-eye" Lopes as far as how I sound. I've also gotten Missy Elliot, Eminem because I tend to cram a lot of syllables into a line, Azaelia Banks because of the dancey material. Sometimes I get De La Soul, but how they were when they first hit.

Why do you think there is a shortage of women in mainstream hip hop?

I think it's because hip-hop is still widely regarded as a man's game. There are plenty of people who think women can't rhyme–never mind that it's been proven over and over again that we can. I'm not sure why, but there is an unspoken, really stupid attitude in hip-hop culture that dictates that there can be only one girl at the top at any given time–which is ridiculous. This isn't Highlander. There's room for everybody.

This kind of thinking doesn't happen with the men. I also think it's because a great many of the women who have not yet broken through have wised up and are not willing to compromise themselves just for the fame and glory. They don't want to sell out.

What new music can we expect this year from you?

I am working on a project called "P.R.O.W.L." at the moment. It'll show other facets of me that I haven't yet touched on in the previous effort. I'm going to mine some emotional, more personal gems, and showcase my lyrical ability a bit more. I'm looking at a late spring release. - The Comeback


"Junior's Cave Interview"

Junior’s Cave Golden Isles Online Magazine introduces the next stage in indie music. Meet ThaGataNegrra—Tha ORIGINAL GATA who is making a BIG splash on the indie music scene. Her style and how she entertains is something original, fresh, and fun to watch. If you want to witness a star being born, then check out the wonderful music of ThaGataNegrra. Here is her story for your reading enjoyment.

Isaac: It’s an amazing time to be a DIY artist/performer/band/musician. What do you enjoy the most about being an indie performer?

ThaGataNegrra: I enjoy being able to write what I want, to have more control over what I record, and what makes it to the final project. I love that with the Internet we can reach more people than we ever could before.

Isaac: Would you be up to signing to a Major or Indie Record Label? Why or why not?

ThaGataNegrra: I am actually on a really small indie label, 3 Miles Entertainment that my family started. As far as major labels…I’m not entirely sure I trust them, especially since the major labels as we know them are radically changing.

Isaac: What do you feel is the one aspect of making music that excites you the most right now?

ThaGataNegrra: It’s an exciting time because anything can happen, and usually does. We have a lot of tools now to create so many different sounds. What excites me is that I can get a song to the public almost immediately if I wanted to; I don’t have to wait for a say-so. Being able to express any emotion or thought is very exciting.

Isaac: What do you feel is the one aspect of making music that gets you the most discouraged?

ThaGataNegrra: That sometimes the market is so saturated you might not be able to be heard. It’s hard, with the attention span the public now has, to get and keep the right attention. And it’s really hard, obviously, when you don’t have the means to promote like you’d like. You have to get the people to care about you and your project; that means promotion. It’s also difficult for me because people look at me and think I’m just one thing because I made a fun album; they hear the dance tracks and automatically say, “you’re not underground enough” or “you’re not a ‘real’ emcee”. And that just isn’t true.

Isaac: Do you feel that Indie music gets the respect it deserves? Why or why not?

ThaGataNegrra: Most people hear “indie” and think “crap”. When I tell people I have a CD release, they are always surprised to see a six-panel jewelcase with great artwork when I give it to them. They expect that I’ll give them a burned CD with Sharpie titles. On the other side of the coin, there are people who will only listen to indie music…so there’s an audience out there somewhere, for everyone.

Isaac: In your opinion, what are your thoughts on how the most unusual place you’ve ever played a show or made a recording impact the qualities of the show/recording?

ThaGataNegrra: So far, the most unusual place I’ve played a show was stuff like the New York City Marathon, and the Philadelphia AIDS Walk. Your audience is constantly moving. You get people popping out of the crowd to take pics with you, you have people walking by—like in the case of the Marathon—taking pictures and video and dancing in the street with you, bringing you stuff from the bodega on the corner where we were. We performed right in front of it, and we saw all kinds of people. It was amazing. And they were giving us so much positive energy at both events, and that made me perform better. I really like gigs like that.

Isaac: I am interested in knowing if in what ways does the place where you live (or places where you have lived), affect the music you create, or your taste in music?

ThaGataNegrra: I’m a native of Newark NJ, and I was raised on hip-hop from the source. It came from New York, which is like, fifteen minutes from me. So, I tend to be a bit biased sometimes about how it really is. The most common misconception is that rap is commercial hip-hop, and hip-hop is pure, underground “real shxt”. The reality is, hip-hop= culture, rap=message, emcee=messenger. It turned out to be my weapon of choice as far as creating. I’m not that great of a singer, so I chose rhyming, never looked back. I’ve just always been different, influenced by so many different kinds of music, that people don’t really get my sound sometimes, and just dismiss it. That can really be frustrating.
I don’t know that living where I do had much influence on what music I prefer. Most people think I grew up in the suburbs, when I’ve lived in Newark most of my life. I like nearly everything except country music. Perhaps that’s due to my parents, I dunno. We don’t have much of a music scene here, except for venues that play house music, and the sporadic bar that might have a rock band come in. I’m hoping that this will change someday. Perhaps I’ll have a hand in that.

Isaac: What can you tell our publication about the last time you wrote a song? What can you tell us about the whole process?

ThaGataNegrra: The last few things I wrote were a few verses I was to perform on someone else’s song, and an extension of an interlude off my CD. My process is to play the track over and over and just let the words come. I’ll tweak it here and there to make sure it falls on the beat right, and make sure it’s as I want it—as it sounds in my head. Sometimes it doesn’t take long for me to write a song; I’ve been known to write one in a half an hour, and it’s a solid song.

Isaac: If you knew that you would never gain fame and fortune with what you are doing now, would you continue to make music? Explain.

ThaGataNegrra: I honestly don’t think I have much of a choice, as it’s in my blood. My father was a frontman for two bands, he toured the world. He used to do stuff with George Clinton. He still writes music now. I don’t think I would be able to stop writing and performing if I wanted to. There have been times I just wanted to stop because it seemed nobody cared, I wasn’t making money, any number of deterrents… but I never could. It’s just in me. If I never “make it”, I still will be in the studio anyway.

Isaac: Do you have a strong support system with your family and friends? How have your family and friends help you emotionally, financially, spiritually, etc. with your music?

ThaGataNegrra: My boyfriend is both the hypeman (when my brother isn’t doing it) and one of the dancers for me. My father and stepmother are the label, my brother is the producer, so it’s a family outfit. My kids think their mami rocks, no matter what she does, for some reason, so they are my biggest supporters. They all do their parts to help me keep going. I can bounce ideas off both my boyfriend and my brother; they will give me feedback, and sometimes some ideas of their own. It’s great.

Isaac: As you continue your own path for making music, do you find yourself getting more or less interested in seeking out and listening to new music made by other people…and why do you think that is?

ThaGataNegrra: I don’t listen to the radio as much as I used to anymore, I admit it. I get exposed to newer music through my boyfriend, mainly, because he does parties, or I might hear something in a commercial and go, “What is that?” I’m not really impressed with some of the stuff out there in the mainstream, but there are a few things I like.

Isaac: As far as your influences, what would you say are the musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener?

ThaGataNegrra: I’m an eighties girl. I’m a rock chyck, and I love new wave and golden-era hip-hop. I mainly listen to rock and electronica, I have a bunch of that on my mp3 player. The music on it is all over the place with songs from 70s, 80s, 90s…

Isaac: What is the best site/s that you can be found on the Internet?

ThaGataNegrra: My own site, thagatanegrra.net, but you can find me on Facebook (facebook.com/gatanegrra), Twitter (twitter.com/thagatanegrra), ReverbNation (reverbnation.com/thagatanegrra), Bandcamp (thagatanegrra.bandcamp.com), Soundcloud (soundcloud.com/thagatanegrra), Sonicbids(sonicbids.com/thagatanegrra)…almost anywhere you can find music, I am. I have a YouTube channel for my music (youtube.com/trueoriginalgata), but no official music video yet.

Isaac: The floor is yours; final words…..

ThaGataNegrra: My cd is available on iTunes, CD Baby, Bandcamp, and Amazon.com. Download away– you won’t regret it. Keep supporting good indie music! - Junior's Cave


"Feature in Indie Flava: Gata Pantera Negrra"

Within the first five minutes of discussion with alternative hip-hop artist [ThaGataNegrra], I quickly learned just how interesting she is. Despite the growing popularity for caricature artists in the music industry, such as Nicki Minaj and Lady GaGa, Gata's real-life cat-woman persona has nothing to do with trying to align with her fellow artists...her stage persona is not really a persona, it's her every day self...New Jersey's real life cat woman works hard on the craft of music. Her lyrics are edgy and eclectic. - Indie Flava Magazine


""My Brand Will Be Distinct, Ubiquitous, and Unmistakable." M.P.H Blog interviews the Eclectic/Hip-Hop Artist ThaGataNegrra on Her Musical Journey"

1. So who is ThaGataNegrra?
ThaGataNegrra is, I am a fully functioning Punk Rhyma, a child, a mother, a sinner, and a saint…wait—that’s Meredith Brooks. Except for the Punk Rhyma part–that’s all me. I’m an alternative hip-hop artist–and emcee– trying to carve out my own niche whilst attempting to avoid the obvious comparisons to certain mainstream artists and certain indie artists who have a standout style.

2. Tell us about your music.

It’s eclectic. I have influences from all over the music spectrum, and I like to genre-blend a lot. It’s honest, which is something I think some people fail to realize…they just hear that most of it’s danceable and dismiss it immediately. I didn’t write it to fit in or be cute–it’s something I wanted to do….that I messed around with and prolly followed the track to get there. It’s fun, which is what I was going for– I missed when rap was fun, like it was in the beginning. It was about the party, getting that shxt started and keeping it going, moving the crowd. If you even bother to write about stuff like that you’re stuck in the “not-real-hip-hop” box and viewed as disposable. To these people I say “bullshxt”.

3. Any current projects that you are working on?

Writing new material, but still pushing my current CD, “GATA City”. Chasing down press, getting gigs, focusing on concepts for music videos. I am also in the process of starting a collective for hip-hop outcasts like myself called The Alliance for Alternative and Eclectic Hip-Hop. So far, I have a few artists together, but we are going to include people from all four elements of hip-hop: rappers/emcees, graf artists, djs and b-boys and b-girls.

4. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

I see myself still moving forward, breaking ground, going as hard as I can, with more recognition and range. My brand will be distinct, ubiquitous, and unmistakable. But I’ll still be indie, I’ll still be confusing people, and there will be so many more people who get it outweighing the ones who don’t. I’ll still be trying to educate folx that hip-hop=culture, f/emcee/rapper=messenger, rap=message. The mission don’t stop.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere. Other music, fashion, pop culture, obscure culture, movies, books, anime, the net, my cubs, learned lessons…life. Comes from all over.

6. What type of music do you enjoy listening to, UK or US?

It doesn’t matter. As long as it’s appealing to me, it could come from anywhere. I do have to admit I’m kind of an Anglophile in general, but that doesn’t make my musical tastes exclusive to the UK.

7. What Artists are you listening to right now, and why?

Uhm…Prince, Benny Benassi, Run-DMC, Living Colour, some indie artists my friends have been turning me onto to get my opinions on their music. I have so much shxt on my mp3 player it’s not funny…from all over the last three decades and all over the musical spectrum. I’m not much of a mainstream follower, but I learn about it through my boyfriend (he’s a party MC and a fitness instructor) and my semi-stepdaughter (LOL)…she seems to know every current song ever written. Oddly enough, I’ve always been like that…I turn onto stuff either earlier or on-purpose later than everyone else.


8. Who influences your music, and why?

This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the last question…I avoid a lot of mainstream stuff so I won’t be influenced, although I do end up hearing a lot of it. I don’t really listen to a lot of hip-hop either…surprised? It’s mainly when I’m focused on writing that I adopt that practice. I might listen to some really old-school stuff but nearly nothing current; part of that is because the quality has gone down, in my opinion. Part of it is because I want to not be influenced by what is popular. That said, I just draw from what I most want to write about and the beat I may have been given. Since I like so many genres and things, they all sort of influence me. I like to dance, so I write dance stuff, I like anime, so I might throw that in there. I’ve gone thru some painful stuff, so you’ll hear a more aggro sound for that…anger, sadness, blah, blah, blah.

9. Describe your fashion style, taste, and why?

Also very eclectic. I’m a walking mash-up, I guess. I just wear what I like. It’s always been that way with me….even when I went through my “I’m-gonna-wear-jeans-and-t-shirts-waaaay-too-big” phase. I admit it, I forgot to be extra girly for awhile. Around here, that usually just got me asked if I’m “supposed” to be a rock star or “goth” or whatever (usually with contempt)…now it’s being compared to certain artists like Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga, because it’s not what they’re used to seeing right in front of them. People well-versed in style have told me they can’t really classify me because I draw from so many places. Like, “What are you: cyber, punk, Lolita, raver–what? You have some of everything going on!” I usually just throw it together and hope it sticks, take risks. If it was specifically for the stage it's an amplified manga/anime version of me on the regular. I look at the pictures after shows to see if it flowed, and keep what works, toss what doesn't, incorporate it into something else. Even when I come out of hair and makeup, I'm still looked at sideways...

10. How can people contact you and collaborate with you?
If, after reading this, they even want to, LOL-- I'm on Facebook (www.facebook.com/gatanegrra), ReverbNation (www.reverbnation.com/thagatanegrra) and Soundcloud (www.soundcloud.com/thagatanegrra). Don't be shy--I don't bite...hard. - MPH Blog


"Introducing The Bands"

There’s nothing else out there quite like ThaGataNegrra...ThaGataNegrra is not JUST an alternative hip-hop act. She is an artist. She puts her own purr on things ...that’ll leave your chest pounding to a whole new beat. There are some obvious cases on certain females in hip hop/pop that’ll be all style and no substance. ThaGataNegrra is that long awaited balance.
- DLP


"ThaGataNegrra Interview"

Like I Do is perhaps your best-known single. What does it contribute to your story as an artist and a performer?
I think “Like I Do” is a fun type of song. It helped showcase a part of my personality that was a bit cheeky, a bit confident…it’s definitely an epically fun one to perform. It sets the tone for the audience to expect to hear something a little different than what they might expect from a hip-hop artist, and illustrates that anime/moe-girl aspect of ThaGataNegrra.
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Which of your tracks on GATA City are your favorites, and what about the efforts make them into favorites?
The title track is definitely one of my faves, especially to perform live, and even more so if my brother PoppaRazi is there to perform it with me. It’s just so unusual, the cello and the energy. “Like I Do” is a fave because it’s…cute, LOL. I used to say that it was my “Hey Ya”; it would probably get on people’s nerves but they’d still be singing it in spite of themselves. “Felinephunk” is also a fave. As far as making them into favourites, I find that people end up liking any song with energy they can feel…and that sometimes they just like simple.

What artists possess the greatest influences on your music?
I think my biggest influences are probably Run-DMC, LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, KRS-One, Digital Underground, Rakim, Slick Rick, people like that as far as my foundation (I love Golden Era stuff), but the Native Tongues movement—De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Queen Latifah Leaders of the New School– definitely had a big influence on me. I tended to gravitate towards strong lyricism, storytelling, and unique, intricate flow, so nearly anyone with that style appealed to me. Eminem was also a big influence, as was OutKast, and dancehall reggae. Other influences included Prince, Faith No More, Duran Duran, Metallica, Nirvana, Janet, Parliament-Funkadelic…I get bits from everywhere because I like so many things. Stuff like manga and anime and video games had their influence on me, too.

How has your style evolved and changed over the time since you first started performing?
It’s become more expressive, I think. And perhaps more refined. One thing people used to point out to me is that my voice would keep changing every time they heard something from me. It may not even sound the same on anything I plan to do next. I think I was a bit more conservative in my verbal, maybe a hair harder and rougher in delivery when I first started, but I think I tend to go more with the vibe of a song now, just follow the feel of it and not stick to any one mood or style to convey it properly and make it interesting.

Can you describe your creative process and your recording set up for us?
My process…I used to write lyrics first and then try to find the right track for them. That still happens, but I am a wee bit spoiled by having the track first now and writing to it. I do the typical practice of writing lines down if I happen to think of something. The recording setup is a pretty elaborate home studio called the Darkroom. We have the songs mastered by someone outside the Darkroom but most of the production is done by my brother and my father.

What has been your most memorable live experience?
I think having to perform outside in the middle of Hurricane Irene was pretty memorable! The NYC Marathon was fun because I got people from different countries who didn’t know me from Adam’s housecat coming off the course and dancing with me and then going back to run, LOL. Their energy was just awesome.

What goals do you still have left to accomplish in your career?
There’s plenty of those, like I want to remind people what rap came from: the emcee getting the dancers out to the floor, calling them out. That was the rappers’ main deal. Get the party going. People seem to have forgotten that. I also want people to remember it told stories as well, and not just all this decadent shxt everyone is hearing nowadays that makes it seem so empty. But the most important to me right now is to gain the proverbial thousand “true fans”. It may not seem very grandiose or ambitious, but it works for me. Baby steps.

How can individuals find samples of your music?
They can go to www.thagatanegrra.net; I’ve plenty there. If you like what you hear, tell someone!

Thank you for your time. Do you have anything else that you would like to say to our readers?
Hip-hop culture– rap in particular–isn’t dead; it’s just in an amnesic state, unfortunately. - NeuFutur Magazine


"Featured, Indie Focus: ThaGataNegrra – I Feel You"

Exclusive Interview

Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.

As hard as it is to believe, I’m from Newark, NJ—Brick City, babes-! Most people have me coming from the West Coast, or overseas…or some gothpunk planet for weirdoes out in the stratosphere, depending on who you ask. I got here by WORK. There’s nothing else for it. I put my nose to the grindstone and worked my kitty tail off and back on—writing, recording, rehearsing. And I’m still on it—there is no stopping once you get started. You rest on your laurels, you get lazy.

What are you currently working on and what can we expect to see?

Right now, I’m in rehearsals to promote my forthcoming album for 3 Miles Entertainment, “GATA City”, and writing new material for the next project. I’m working on my first video for the CD, and you can expect to see plenty of fun, plenty of dancing, maybe something a bit different than you’re used to seeing as far as femcees go.

Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?

A big challenge is finding people who “get” me. I’m an artist who has a ton of influences, and my sound tends to be all over the place: you have hip-hop, you have new wave, you have dance music. Plus—let’s face it– I don’t look like your generic femcee. I don’t sound like your generic femcee. It tends to freak people out a bit because they don’t know what to make of me…or they dismiss me as some kinda chyck with a gimmick. What they fail to realize is this is really me. I look like this most of the time, and I love so many genres of music.

What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?

Wow. Uhm…there was a time that I was blacklisted….for not playing the game according to someone else’s rules, let’s just say that. My reputation was wrecked by a giant hater before I really got started good. But I pretty much kept going in spite of it. I found a good support team, I kept writing, I kept pushing myself. There were days where I was like, “WTF am I doing?” and lost confidence, but I knew I was gonna stay landing on my feet. You just have to keep going. It might seem some days like you’re beating your head against a brick wall, but, as cliched as this sounds, perseverance really does pay off. “A lie has speed, but the truth has endurance,” plain and simple.

What are some things artists need to be careful of?

I cannot stress this enough: READ. EVERYTHING. THRICE. Make sure whatever agreements you enter into are on the up-and-up. Also, always do your research before you do anything with anyone. There are people out there who are shady and just trying to make a buck off of you. Most of the time, if you do the research, you can figure out how to accomplish yourself what you might pay someone else for. Cut out the middle man. And beware of anyone who tells you that you “can’t do” this or that or who tries to discourage you from doing something different. Don’t listen to them. More than likely, it’s their fear talking; that has jack shxt to do with you!

What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?

If you believe you have a solid product, never quit pushing it. There will be people who will try to stop you. Ignore them. There’s always an audience for you out there. With the tools the internet has given us, the lengths you can go are only as limited as your imagination and your budget. And make sure your act’s tight—your look, your sound, most importantly; if you sound good, you can’t be denied. And make sure your brand is portrayed EXACTLY as you want it. One piece of advice I got was, if you don’t establish to your audience what you are—your identity—they will try to figure it out for themselves, and they will more than likely get it wrong…which can lead to future problems if you decide to do something even slightly different with your sound. Usually when that happens, the artist is accused of “selling out”, and they lose their audience because they had a preconceived notion of what the artist was. But if your audience expects it from you already, they go along for the ride.

What are the best ways to sell your products as an artist?

Bandcamp is a brilliant idea. It’s so simple and direct, and you can sell everything you have to offer—music, merch—you can even make up packages and sell those. Ideally, you would have everything under your control, and not have to answer to anyone, but Bandcamp is prolly as close as you can get to that without having to owe anyone your firstborn.

What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
I use Twitter and Facebook a lot. I also believe in the power of the good old-fashioned flyer. The thing is, you have to give people something they will hold onto a little longer than a piece of paper—if you can promote yourself on something you KNOW they’ll keep, yer golden.

Where can people visit you?

Stop by www.thagatanegrra.net. They can find me there, and most of my links to everywhere else I am are there. My album is available for pre-orders at thagatanegrra.bandcamp.com. And how awesome is it I’m on Amazon? I do have a bit of a web presence. I’m omniscient, LOL - WWS Magazine


"Tha Gata Negrra: ¿Si Eminem fuera una chica …?"

The [sic] Gata Negrra asistió a una escuela de teatro cuando era una adolescente. Ahora, ella utiliza su educación por su música de rap. “Actuar es esencial para una actuación. El rap requiere la emoción”, dice ella.

“Me encantó los dibujos animados japoneses cuando era una niña. Uso el estilo a menudo con mi apariencia. La gente dice que mi ropa es de un libro de historietas.”

“Por supuesto, recibo comparaciones con Nicki Minaj. Cada chica que tiene un color de pelo de color rosa lo tendrá. Antes, era Lil Kim. En realidad, yo soy similar a Lisa Lopes de TLC. Además, las personas comparan la música a la estilo de Eminem y Missy Elliott. La causa es mi entrega rápida “.

…. “El hip hop es considerado como el juego de los hombres Mucha gente dice que una mujer no puede crear rimas que no quiero poner en peligro a mí mismo que no voy a cambiar mi expresión por la fama este año, tengo un nuevo proyecto: ‘PROWL ‘Contendrá las piedras preciosas personales, emociones y mi capacidad de letras “. - XOXO, Richarde, for Elle.es


"Music Review: ThaGataNeg{r}ra"

Newark, NJ based rocker-chick, ThaGataNegra (sic), reminds me of Missy Elliot's fun style, if Missy was more LEFT.
She has a colorful, wild delivery with fast pace (sic) house beats. This is what you'd like to listen to when you (sic) energy is waning or if you need to get in the mood to club hop. Her debut album, Gata City, is an instant pick-me-upper. - Lifestyles of The Authentic and Creative


"I Feel (Yo)U Review at Indie-Music.com"

"I Feel (Yo)U" is a great club/dance song from New Jersey based Alt/Hip-Hop/Dance artists ThaGataNegrra. Although the song doesn't have many musical changes, it's club music so why would that matter? Plus, the song is actually rather funky with squealing lead guitars and pulsating bass along with some tropical percussion sounds.

The vocals go from singing the infectious repeating chorus line to a sexy, conversational style. What's especially enjoyable about the song is that it has mass appeal to fans of different musical genres - you could like P-Funk, OutKast, Santigold, Donna Summer or the Chili Peppers and get groovin' to this track. --Peter Braidis - Indie-Music.com


"Blurb on The Indie Music Review"

In a masterful blend of hip-hop and pop, this New Jersey artist produces a somewhat eclectic blend of music that has wide appeal and has gained her a growing fan base. - The Indie Music Review


"ThaGataNegrra, A Penchant For The Odd"

ThaGataNegrra is an alternative hip-hop artist who specializes in innovative lyrics, cleverly twisted metaphors, and a funky start-stop delivery that nails the listener from the word go. Her distinct flow, catlike persona, and penchant for the odd not only earned ThaGataNegrra her feline namesake and the tag of PunkRhyma™, but made her a force that is undeniable. A native of Newark, NJ, ThaGataNegrra showed early signs of being a renaissance woman; she was frequently found drawing, dancing, acting, crafting, or writing. Her singer/songwriter father, and mother’s passion for exposing Gata to as many cultural experiences as she could, inspired Gata to express herself through several mediums. - Rude Boy Magazine


"M Pire Magazine Covers ThaGataNegrra and The Newark Comic Con"

ThaGataNegrra’s album, GATA City, kicks off with an intro involving a search for a rare cat breed, which spins off from the theme of the artist (for those who don’t know “gata negra” means “black cat” in Spanish). The album then continues with the upbeat live energy with first track, “Felinephunk”, an easy beat to dance to. The next track, “Like I Do”, also creates an upbeat groove, but switches up on the synthesizers used in the track. “Come Show Me” comes in with just vocals and drums, with an echo raving just beyond the vocals. The instruments, including guitars and others, are introduced later in the track. Trumpets and some soundtracks can be found in the next track “I Feel You”, with the vocals in the track shortly following after, laying over a fast, old-school feel type of dance beat. ThaGataNegrra switches up to some more exotic lyricism, while adding a bit of Spanish, in her interlude “Transmission From The Cat Lair”. The song that follows, “GATA City: Kuro Neko Chaos”, slides in with a “roar” (literally), followed by a tight arrangement of cello strings. The vocals later come in with a mixture of Japanese and English. The next song, “I Like”, is more of like “driving music” with the pounding upbeat drums, the freestyle guitar, and the echo/reverb with vocals. Following is the first interlude, demonstrating a brief story of a woman who catches her man watching porn when he believes she has left the house. The interlude perfectly sets the stage for the next song. “Paperdollz”, another upbeat track with a few synth instruments, as the singer reinforces her authenticity in comparison to the “paperdollz” that her lover spends time with. The album then slows down with a more laid-back type of vibe with track “Juliet is bleeding”, which includes a couple of layers of guitars. the laid-back energy continues with “Anything”, introducing synth instruments, with some more drums that come in later in the song. the final track, “I Like (Youhei Remix)” puts a lighter “jazzier” spin on the original track, with a piano and guitar, and some switched up instruments throughout the song. - M Pire Magazine


"(Tha) Gata Negrra #TheOriginal"

Esoteric Elegance) What is the importance of actually capturing your audience within every performance?

(Tha)Gata Negrra) I think the importance of this is very high—it’s crucial. It does help to be visually interesting but engaging with your audience is key to a great live show. Talking to them, making eye contact, etc... You have to make them love you from the word “go” or at the very least, leave them talking about you. Being memorable goes a long way.

Esoteric Elegance) What would be a description of your music style and why does that particular style separate you from other artists?

(Tha)Gata Negrra) My music is alternative hip-hop at its core but incorporates elements of new wave, house and dance into it. Dare I say the dreaded…”pop”? It’s not intentional, really. I tried to go for a fun sound for “GATA City” (my cd). I think it might separate me from other artists in that I have a lot of influences that tend to come organically, rather than intentionally “trying” to sound like someone else.

Esoteric Elegance) What about music intrigues you to keep going?

(Tha)Gata Negrra) It’s literally in my blood. I come from a musical/artistic family; it’s pretty much the family business. So I really don’t think I could stop if I wanted to! I do have things I’d like to express that I just haven’t yet so I want to get all that done.

Esoteric Elegance) Do you think that it is still necessary that the female emcee/rapper break into the mainstream industry?

(Tha)Gata Negrra) I didn’t realize that it was necessary to begin with! I mean, it used to be the ultimate goal--at least for me-- to get signed and get famous or whatever. Now it seems the shift is in just getting heard by as many people as possible, generate my true fans and make my living. It would be the proverbial icing on that cake to gain fame but I don’t think you have to have a mainstream connection to do that…UNLESS you want to be a household name.

Esoteric Elegance) If you were not doing music then what would you be doing; what other passions exist?

(Tha)Gata Negrra) I’d definitely be writing. I have written a novel, which I’m working to bring into hardcover and digital (although it was published before). I’m revising the sequels, as well. I’d probably also be dancing, as it’s a significant part of my background. I’ve fallen by the wayside with it but if I wasn’t doing music that would definitely be where my focus was.

Esoteric Elegance) What current ventures are you working on?

(Tha)Gata Negrra) I’m writing for my next project, entitled “P.R.O.W.L.”. I’m also planning my performance schedule, as well as rehearsing/recruiting for that and promoting my current album. I’m also still working to gain momentum on my baby, The Alliance for Alternative and Eclectic Hip-Hop, which invites “fringe” artists from hip-hop’s four elements to unite and show the world that hip-hop doesn’t have to be any one thing. Show everyone what kinds of things they are doing to make the culture more interesting.

Esoteric Elegance) Where are you from and how did you get started?

(Tha)Gata Negrra) I’m from the middle of Newark, NJ, USA. People don’t believe me when I tell them that but it’s true. I got started simply by being influenced by my father and also by my cousin who was a dancer and exposed me to hip-hop all the time. I also saw a mess of hip-hop films and my favorite ended up being “Krush Groove” because of Run-DMC. I got into a bunch of Golden Era artists and decided I could write too so rap ended up being my weapon of choice. I started writing from the very beginning; never was a freestyle artist. At the same time, though, I loved so many different genres of music and I loved anime, video games and movies; eventually all of that ended up being a part of what I do.

Esoteric Elegance) What advice would you have for the up and
coming female emcee?

(Tha)Gata Negrra) Do what YOU do. Stick to who you are, never stop writing, read everything about the new music business model you can get your hands on. No one is going to “discover” you or save you, you have to make yourself seen and noticed and prove you have the work ethic to prosper on your own. Do your research, read every agreement thrice. And make sure your inner circle is tight. Sometimes there are people who don’t want to see you get ahead and will sabotage you with one hand whilst holding the other.

Esoteric Elegance) Your craft is a reflection of who you are. With that being said, how hard is it to adjust to a trend or what the audience wants?

(Tha)Gata Negrra) To be perfectly honest that was never really my thing so I guess in one sense it’s quite hard to do something I might not be feeling. On the other hand if the current trend just happens to be something I like, I might try to put my own spin on it to see how I can make it interesting. Of course, the trend might not be recognizable anymore, but hey…

Esoteric Elegance) You spend much of your time wanting to entertain the audience through your music but what are you getting out of it?

(Tha)Gata Negrra) The satisfaction of just getting to do something I love and the fact that there are people out there who actually appreciate this. I like knowing that my stuff may have had an effect on someone. Also, when I’ve been on a stream of gigs, if I’m going for a while without one, I’m in withdrawal soon afterward! I just can’t help it, I enjoy entertaining.

Esoteric Elegance) Is your stage name who you are 24/7 or is there a turnoff point, please explain?

(Tha)Gata Negrra) Well, my legal name is Gata Negrra. I accepted it because of my totem animal, the black cat. The middle name I accepted, Pantera, is because black cat comes to me in both domestic and melanistic jaguar/black panther forms. Since childhood someone has always called me some form of cat and I’ve always needed to be round cats. And it was pointed out to me that I seem to have that kind of resourcefulness and resilience so it was just fitting to take on the name. There was a time in my life I had a different name I worked under and I allowed myself to be guided into being someone who wasn’t really me, artistically. I was on a transformational journey and I had a dream in which I was told I had to let go of what didn’t serve me and full-on embrace who I truly was. So I did that. There is a bit of a difference between Gata and Tha Gata Negrra in that off Gata is that domestic cat, rather reserved and unassuming but still fierce. Gata is that raging panther doing her thing. Gata is just amplified in visual and stage presence. The persona is actually genuine; just who I am, bigger. You still get me either way. - Esoteric Elegance


"Featured CoPromoter: Cosplayer and Hip-hop artist Tha Gata Negrra"

(Tha) Gata Negrra is a pioneer alternative [hip-hop] artist who combines cosplay with hip hop and creates a unique sound. Her character is the form of a cat girl with pink and purple hair and eye-catching makeup. We got in touch with her to talk about the inspiration behind her character and her take on anime and music. - CoPromote


"Newark Comic Con: Tha Gata Negrra"

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your brand?

I’m Tha Gata Negrra, Tha TRUE ORIGINAL GATA. I’m an alternative hip-hop artist in the form of a catgrrrl. I'm a Newark, NJ native and still live there to this very day.

My brand includes a concept called NYANVIDA—“nyan-life” (“Nyan” is the Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound a cat makes). I credit one of my musical brethren with applying the “nyan” part as a concept—a “thing”—and not just something I’d say as a catgirl. He’d say, “You have that nyan swag going hard today” or something like that. It was like a state of being. So, NYANVIDA came to mean the importance of being yourself-- being fearless enough to go deep into who you truly are and live that every moment of every day. Not just expressing yourself but leaving an impression of yourself on the world around you. And I’ve quite a few things to impress!

What made you decide to get into your field?

Well, music is the family business. My father was a frontman for two bands, and he still writes songs. So, I pretty much followed my father into it. He and my mother fostered a love for music early on in my life. My younger brother is a classically trained musician and he produced my first and second albums. He’s also a hip-hop artist. One of my older brothers is a DJ. I guess it was inevitable that I made the choice to get involved in music! I chose to write and perform rhymes partially because I felt more comfortable doing that than singing. And I ended up loving it.

What is the vision of your field? What do you hope to achieve?

I hope to continue making great music—gaining fans, touring, and having fun whilst doing so. I hope to spread the word of NYANVIDA to the world.


(Photo by Andrea Dialect - L.I.T. Photography)
What is your favorite moment in your career thus far? Why?
Hmm…my favorite moment would have to be the first time I met a hardcore GNOtaku (GataNegrraOtaku) in person who told me that they were having a tough time at some point, and that they listened to my first album, “GATA City”, almost constantly during that time, and it helped them. I remember just being super humbled and awed by the fact that something I made got them through a particularly bad patch of their life. That moment reminded me that I’m not doing what I do in vain.

What do you have coming out soon?

I’ve recently finished my second album, “P.R.O.W.L.” and I’m so excited about that! There are eleven new songs in this project and I hope to have it released by the fall. My graphic novel is still in the works—haven’t found the right artist to replace the one I had initially…but I have faith that I will!

What is your website? Contact information?

My website is: www.thagatanegrra.net. I can be contacted there (GATA@thagatanegrra.net) or through my Facebook (facebook.com/gatanegrra). I’m on several of the usual social media platforms—come say hey!

Additional Comments?

I will also be performing at the afterparty for Newark Comic Con called “FINAL ROUND! Cosplay Ball”. I might be giving a sneak listen to some stuff from “P.R.O.W.L.”…who knows?

Thank you to Tha Gata Negrra. We look forward to seeing more from you and look forward to your work. The Gata Negrra will be at Newark Comic Con on August, 20th 2016. Please take a moment and check out the website at www.newarkcomiccon.org. Buy a ticket and we will see you there. - FanGirl Review


"BGN Interviews Indie Hip Hop Artist ThaGataNegrra"

ThaGataNegrra is a Newark, NJ, based artist who merges Hip-Hop with an eclectic geek style, both musically and aesthetically. Self-described as ‘Kawaii-Hop,’ she is known for multilingual verses laced with rhymes that reference everything from Harry Potter to Sailor Moon. With sophomore album P.R.O.W.L. released last October, BGN sat down with ThaGataNegrra to discuss Comic-Cons, Native Tongues, The Sims 4, the Beastie Boys and more. - Black Girl Nerds


Discography

CD, "GATA City", available at Bandcamp and other digital outlets worldwide

DJ CANNON BANYON Presents: The Indie Top 50 Vol. 70 by Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes

Indie Castle & Independent But Major Presents Ladies First The Mixtape Vol 1

Indie Castle & Coast2Coast Mixtapes Presents Indie Castle Mixtape Vol. 3

Rude Boy The Mixtape Volume 2

Tha Muevete Sampler

P.R.O.W.L.


Photos

Bio

ThaGataNegrra is an alternative hip-hop artist who specializes in a funky start-stop delivery; her rhyme arsenal runs the gamut from danceable ear candy to mind-searing aggression. Her distinct flow, catgirl persona, and kawaii aesthetic not only earned GATA the designation of “NJ’s real-life Catwoman” by Indie Flava Magazine, but helped her make her own pawprint on the underground hip-hop scene and the con circuit.

GATA is a proud geek and otaku, and her performances highlight this by featuring cosplay and her own take on decora kei style. Her “...in-your-face” “kawaii-hop” sound was included in the second and third seasons of the groundbreaking hit Hulu show "East Los High". She is author of the upcoming graphic novel “GATA City”, founder of The Alliance for Alternative and Eclectic Hip-Hop, co-founder of the New Jersey Geek Alliance, and soon to be co-host of a new webseries planned for release this year.



Band Members