Artists | Rappers | Singers
Describe a day in the life of Nola Darling (Jaquita Ta’le and Alex Lavelanet):
No two days are alike, so it’s hard to describe a typical day, but it could go anywhere from:
Wake up/Emails and Internet/Late Breakfast/Audition/Meeting/Phone Conference/Dinner/Home/Write/Netflix/Sleep or…
Wake up/Gym/Lunch/Studio/Phone Conference/Trader Joe’s Run/Movies/Home/Netflix/Sleep
How did you get started as a rapping and singing duo – and how does your music reflect your personal aesthetic?
We first met during a high school summer program for Acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Serendipitously, we were both in the Lee Strasberg School for Acting (the dude who made “the method”) famous, and we lived directly across from each other in the dorms. Fast forward: we both ended up going to NYU for undergrad, and after graduation, (like many post-grads) decided to go on an international road trip. The twist is, while travelling around South Africa, London, and Amsterdam, we made a documentary (WORD?!) about international Hip Hop culture that featured local acts, as well as artists like Dead Prez and Aloe Blacc. While in Rome (ha ha) lounging at our hostel, our photographer/travel buddy LP made a beat that we geeked over and started writing to. It was kind of a lightbulb moment…like, “why aren’t we doing this?!” And the rest is history…
Our music is very reflective of our Pan-African upbringing and cultural influences (prep school, classic Americana, Hip Hop, film noir), and aesthetically, audiences can see glimpses of that in our work.
It’s empowering to see women making moves in the scene like you — how have the women in your life been instrumental in developing your hustle?
We got our hustle from our Mamas!! Shout out to both our Moms for being the most supportive, understanding, and loving ladies on the planet… We’d be nowhere without them. From encouraging us to following our dreams to making sure we always protect our spirits and hearts, our Mothers are living examples of the women we’re working on becoming.
How has social media shaped Nola Darling? What’s your favorite social media platform? Why?
We’ve definitely been a “word of mouth” group and have been fortunate to get a lot of “blog love”, so we’ve felt the support on all the different platforms from twitter to tumblr, etc. Right now, Instagram is the most popping (for lack of a better word lol) and is the most fun at the moment, because it’s the most intimate and can feel like you’re really getting a glimpse of someone’s life. As of late, we’ve been a little quiet on all of the social media sites, but that’s because we’re gearing up for some big tings 🙂
Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?
Cultural trends do constantly change, so our number one priority is focused on always staying personally authentic and true to ourselves.
What are your must-have tools or apps to run your day-to-day grind? What kind of gadgets would we find on your desk or in your bag?
Must have apps: Whatsapp, Astrologyzone (love you Susan Miller!), Instagram, Sype, Netflix, Shazam
Bag gadgets: iPhone, and lipstick counts, right? Lol
Desk gadget: MacBook, mbox, speakers, and our new Turntables/mixer/Serato box set up!
In a fast-paced industry where last-minute-anything can happen, what’s your fool-proof, go-to outfit that will last from morning meetings to evening events?
Simple button down, skinny jeans, cute flats/trainers, a great heel to throw in your purse and switch out later, and most importantly, killer accessories.
How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?
Take advantage of ALL the mentors in your life. They are great folks to bounce ideas off of, to go to when you’re asking yourself “am I crazy?,” lol and they can potentially save you from making some of the mistakes they made when they were in your shoes…Again, we are SO blessed to have such supportive families. Our parents and grandparents were the first and remain the most important mentors in our lives. We also want to mention Beth Turner and Sandra Bowie, two artistic dynamos that went above and beyond the call of duty as our advisors at NYU.
Define your idea of success.
Waking up every morning and actually being excited to get to work.
What should we expect from Nola Darling this year?
New music, New videos, new collabs, new website, new acting projects. All. New. Everything.
What’s your advice for other women entering creative fields?
Do you, boo! Stay strong, work hard, don’t get discouraged by the word “no”, keep on keeping on, and put your faith in something greater than you. The magic is yours to make.