Sassy Sisters Podcast with Cyd Eva and special guest Nipho Hurd
Silky songstress Nipho Hurd is using her skillset to encourage fellow artists to prosper in their careers. With many strings to her bow, including styling, events, and artist management, as well as songwriting, Nipho is one to watch on the South African arts scene. Her appetite for running a business and developing her career gives you just a taster of the creative magic this Sassy sister possesses.
Tune in to hear singer, stylist, and artist manager Nipho Hurd discuss her EP 'The Ghel'. She shares with Sassy Sister Cyd Eva all the juicy deets behind each Sassy track.
Having come from a theatrical background focusing her attention as a playwright, Nipho Hurd never thought she would be entering the music industry. It was only when going through a moment of loneliness that Nipho was drawn into this creative avenue of expression. "Music chose me and healed me" she explains, which has led to her refusing to compromise her vision. Unfiltered songs, photoshoots, and music videos welcome us into Nipho's world, dressed in her own passion for styling.
Nipho has been collecting clothes since she was a young girl, leading her to launch 'Tinz Clothing' - the thrift business she runs with her partner. When talking with Cyd Eva about the role of fashion in her life, Nipho explains how her love to thrift came from a lack of inclusive sizing in many high street brands "I've always been a big girl and clothing shops have never really catered for big girls who are stylish." With her mum owning a vintage furniture shop, since the age of 12, Nipho started thrifting and styling herself. It wasn't until she was fined for smoking weed and needed to raise the money that Nipho realised she could sell her collection. Since then, Nipho has been carving a fashion-conscious name for herself as a stylist who only uses secondhand clothing, driving forward the ethical thrift culture.
I've always been a big girl and clothing shops have never really catered for big girls who are stylish.
Finding solace in her music, Nipho has been motivated to release EP after EP, with each new tune refining the atmosphere she is creating through her sound. "I create moments where people feel seen, where people feel accepted, that make you go home like your souls be revived, blessed, touched by whatever artform we've been presenting that night. .. feel inspired, refreshed - it's a Soul Party!" With this kind of acceptance and welcoming nature flowing through her work, Nipho credits her own upbringing for shaping her into the person she is today. "In my country, I'm also ostracized for being the person that I am. Especially because my influences are so many - there's a strong white cultural influence in the things I'm about especially because I'm adopted. There's a strong Black Zulu cultural influence, coming from a Sangoma* household where traditions are very much upheld... and then I'm an artist, and I am a Black female who doesn't take shit! So my kind of person gets ostracized a bit but it's also being celebrated in a way." With more representation, more industries and cities are slowly becoming queer-inclusive, including Durban.
I have a passion for this city, I want to see it grow an art industry that is very economical... because that's something we struggle with here - getting paid what we're worth
Nipho Hurd is part and parcel of driving forward cultural innovation within her community, explaining how"I have a passion for this city, I want to see it grow an art industry that is very economical... because that's something we struggle with here - getting paid what we're worth. But if we have a few artists who are willing to go learn what they need to learn and implement it here. It might work out in the future, inspire more people to do more, for Joburg people to bring money into Durban." One way Nipho in creating opportunities is through the 'In My Backyard' night open to female-identifying performers. When asking Nipho what inspires her event, she explained how the open mic/jam scene is predominantly run and focused on male artists. "I mainly wanted to provide platforms for women who were being overlooked... And, for me, feminism is not about asking for a platform, it's about making one."
In a similar way, Nipho has run her own show regarding the stories she chooses to share in her music. 'The Ghel' is a refreshing cry of sexual liberation, encouraging standing for your self-worth, and doing it with unbounded, feminine ease. She tells Cyd Eva that the song 'Cadillac' came from stepping into her sexual confidence. "It is a smooth ride, in a sexual sense, because Cadillac is a song about sex. As a person, it took me a long to feel comfortable with a male, especially in a sexual form...I went from being quite a timid sexual partner (switch the light off, get in the blankets). To, when I found this guy, he changed my whole sexual game!... I became this sexual flower. So it's about when a woman finds her strength in bed and you start telling the guy "I hope you're ready!" This energy has inspired Nipho to embody her sexuality, to feel attractive in a way that's not surface level, but instead deeply in touch with self-worth and self-love. She explains how she expresses it in everything she makes. From the soulful beats she uses and the tone of her voice, to the clothes she dresses in, Nipho Hurd expresses how"I'm a free freaky woman!... And this latest EP I'm dropping is Sassy as fuck!"
I'm a free freaky woman. And this latest EP I'm dropping '24' is Sassy as fuck!
Walking us out of the conversation, Cyd Eva asks Nipho about the meaning behind her final track, Freelance to Freedom' - possibly the most thought-provoking and political of her tracks. She explains how this song was made on reflection of working in an office and seeing how badly Black people were treated within power hierarchies. "My boss was so terrible to his staff that I decided I want to be a boss, I'm gonna hire Black people and treat them as they deserve to be treated. I'm going to be part of a generation that's going to own businesses that rectify some of the wrongs." This final thought shows us just how much drive and Sassy motivation Nipho Hurd has - not only championing her sisters but leading others by example, in style!
* highly respected healers in Zulu culture in South Africa
Catch Nipho Hurd on the gram @niphohurdofficial and keep your ears open for her upcoming EP release '24' in October
Follow the wonderful work of our Sassy host Cyd Eva via IG @cydeva