Nassaw’s Way

Unless you’ve been living under a rock without any access to social media, you’ve probably heard of Nassaw Brigante – You know, that guy who said everything you were thinking but weren’t bold enough to say in his recent hit “Letter to the Prime Minister“.

Nassaw Tat
“I’ve got a tat of New Providence on my right arm, the flag on my back, and the coat of arms over my heart”.

The lyrics surprised a lot of people because they hadn’t perceived him to be so politically vocal, but Nassaw is a patriot, from his name to the tattoos covering his battle-tested ‘armor’.  “It’s a conscious era for me right now because of what’s going on in the country. I’m not going to let it go down like that. We need to motivate people. Everybody’s got the same problems, but we all want an escape from it.” 

Nassaw Flag
“Poverty is a real issue right now. The kind of violence we’re seeing is ‘don’t care’ violence. We really need to to find them jobs; I want to be the voice for the people.”

In 2010, the Hip-Hop artist experienced complications due to Crohn’s Disease, an auto-immune disease that attacks the digestive system. He endured six surgeries, and ended up losing ten inches of intestines. Always a fighter, he prevailed and graduated from college from the hospital bed. His father took to the stage to accept his son’s degree.

Nassaw started out making depressing music because he was in a depressive state, but eventually, broadened into a southern style before further diversifying. He realized that even though writing and producing was an emotional outlet, “you can’t entertain people with depressing music”.

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That’s why when Nassaw wrote the moving “Soul Cry” as a tribute to his friend Daville Pinder, he made sure that it would be uplifting to others who were experiencing similar circumstances. Daville died of ulcerative colitis, a disease similar to Crohn’s, and Nassaw took it hard. “I couldn’t let him die in vain. I had to say something” Daville had been motivated by the fact that Nassaw was vocal about his illness but still getting out there and pushing himself, and in turn, the two supported one another in dealing with the cards they’d been dealt. 

NassawPray.jpg
“My dad is my role model because he held it down and never left my mom’s side”.

In another vein, “Rose in the Concrete,” featuring DJ Kay Slay, speaks to Nassaw’s success in spite of the trials and tribulations he’s faced. Even the lyrical artist’s name is indicative of his hustle: It comes from Carlito Brigante, a guy who made money the hard way, the bad way. I’m trying to make that money [through positive means] and get back to Nassau for good.”

He’s received criticism for the vulgar language in the songs from his album “Going Back to Da Island”, but he chalks that up to producing it when he was new to the craft. “MF fills in four syllables!” He joked. Now, he’s more focused on cutting out the curse words, not only because it’s more lyrical, but because he recognizes the value of having his music on radio. His tracks are currently in circulation on Shade 45, Eminem’s Un-Cut Hip-Hop Channel.

instaNassaw may need a little work on dance moves for his videos, but his lyrics are refreshingly real, and his gritty voice lures listeners in. “At the end of the day, everything you see is me. I make my music in my room…I don’t have a producer. I send my music to an engineer in Atlanta.”   

When talking about the new album that’s going to drop this summer, his face brightened. “BMW: Bahamas Most Wanted: This is gonna be fire. I’m working on it now. I’m probably going to have 18 tracks on it. Bahamians are going to get it for free, but international listeners will pay for it…I’m going to be in the road handing them out.”

This SAC Alumni recognized early on that education is the key to making it in this life, so after studying law in the U.S., he ended up back in Nassau working in the banking industry. Unfortunately, much of his income is spent paying for his medicine . “I know about the struggle. If I don’t make this money, I’m dead!” He plans to continue bringing awareness to Crohn’s and colitis in the hope that more people will be afforded the help they need.  

WashingtonSt CrewAbove all, Nassaw know it’s important to learn from your experiences. He was once down and out in Atlanta, but some Mexican friends took him. They taught him Spanish, but  more importantly, the experience showed him the true importance of having a solid crew. He judges people on their character alone; as a result, he has friends from all walks of life. “When I came back after 7 years, I thought, who do I know who’s going to hold me down from day one? D-Boy was the first stop.” He’s established a solid network here in Nassau, and has fans and supporters from all over the world. He vocalized why he sees the value in becoming “big” at home before taking his music career abroad:

The Bahamas is such a small market. How could a label come to you and ask if you run your city, and you don’t? How much people tried it from the outside in? They scared of rejection. You should’ve seen some of the comments when I first started. If they een hatin’ you een doing something right. If they’re not intimidated by you, they’d share your stuff. A lot of my ‘friends’ on Facebook hardly ever share anything.  They hate you before they love you, y’know.”[sic]

Nassaw’s “Bahamas First” approach aids in his music’s authenticity, solidifies his current success on social media, and will surely pay dividends as he embarks on his commercial career. 

A real down to earth person, he tries to cater to his fans. If you leave a comment on Facebook, he’ll try to respond, but he’s not into the Twitter beefs.

Facebook: Nassaw Brigante 

Youtube: Nassaw Brigante

LiveMixtapes. Nassaw Brigante

Instagram: Nassaw 

Twitter @i_am_nassaw

This article is a follow up to Nassaw’s interview with Jay Isaacs of Hot 91.7 during the Saturday morning show (The Weekend) on January 17, 2016.

“You never know how strong you can be until being strong is the only choice you have left.”
― Tupac Shakur, The Rose That Grew from Concrete

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