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The Olympian

Grammy Winner Reps Bassett with “Heaven”ly Tunes

Giovanni Toribio, Staff Writer

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This past Tuesday, Bassett High School’s students saw Troy Noka perform a lunchtime set at Bassett’s amphitheatre, where he rapped, freestyled, and encouraged students to step up to the plate and spit some bars over Nōka’s tracks.

Nōka is on his Gotta Rep The School tour, taking place in high schools all over Southern California with music and a message to pursue your dreams.

Troy Nōka is a Texas-born, LA-based Grammy Award-winning record producer, engineer, and rapper. His name is known in the music industry as a longtime collaborator with Frank Ocean.

The producer lent his ear on some of the joints on Frank Ocean’s mixtape, nostalgia, ULTRA, in 2011, as well as produced on Ocean’s recent video album, ENDLESS. Nōka got his start in music as T-Wiz, coming from military family that split its time between Germany and Austin, Texas. He began his musical ventures freestyling with his cousin and creating his own beats in high school using Sony Playstation’s MTV Music Generator.

The artist has collaborated with a couple of capital names along the way, with likes of Miguel, Chris Brown, Tyga, and Natasha Bedingfield, among others. Troy Nōka released his first mixtape in 2014 entitled Gotta Rep The Town, dedicated to his hometown of Austin and is now promoting the sequel to his mixtape, GRTT2, and touring schools in SoCal to inspire students to follow the creative mediums they’re passionate about.

After performing at the amphitheatre, The Olympian Times caught up with Nōka to talk a little history

OT: How did you get a placement on Frank Ocean’s numbers?

TN: When he first moved from New Orleans, I was one of the first people he worked with. He scored his first placement with me on this Noel Gourdin cut. Frank always been a good dude and extremely focused and detailed. Frank is a real, visionary person.

OT: Where are your roots?

TN: I came from a military family. I did schooling in Germany and as a kid, did a lot a of traveling, but I am ultimately based in Austin, Texas.

OT: Who are your inspirations?

TN: Mohammed Ali for his courage. He’s a man of courage. Musically, I would say Prince because Prince has the same courageous qualities. He is for the artist, and like Prince, I am a dreamer.

OT: What inspires you to make the music that you make?

TN: Inspiring people. Knowing that I can be a vessel to inspire other people. For me, hip hop music breaks people out of their comfort zone. It gets them to dance and maybe it gives them confidence. But like other creative arts, it leads to other things. Imagination is powerful.

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Grammy Winner Reps Bassett with “Heaven”ly Tunes