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Nana Yaw Boateng alias Nana NYC is a US based Ghanaian artist making huge waves among Ghanaian communities in US and Europe. Born in Accra, he spent a few years in Kwahu and Accra before migrating to the United States in 1992. He found his love for music early and started playing drums in the church. As a young boy living in Mpraeso, he was exposed to live band music on the streets every other weekend and at times at funerals. All these honed his passion for music. He started beat boxing and drawing crowds, which would pay to listen to the wonderful beats he made with his mouth.
According to Nana, he realized that he wanted to be a recording artist when he first learned how to record on cassette players, “I just used to love how my voice sounded on there.” However, it wasn’t until 2003, that he had his first stage performance at the Miss Ghana New York pageant at Herbert H. Lehman College. This opened more doors and made him visible to Ghanaians living in New York. As a means of marketing himself, he was advised to create an artist page on MySpace. When creating his page, he realized that the name Nana was already taken so he added NYC because he was in New York City.
Today, Nana NYC is an all rounded independent musician who defies categorization. His musical influence ranges from people like Nana Ampadu to Amakye Dede, Tupac Shakur, Daddy Lumba, and most of the hip-hop acts in the late 1990's. These influences are well reflected in his music. “I choose to do that kind of music because I have no choice. I live in America and there are different types of people here and I am independent so to make money, I must meet everyone's need. It was tough for an African kid to get recognition. First I had to win over the kids in my neighbourhood, and the hardest part was winning over the Ghanaians especially around the early 2000's. They were not trying to hear a Ghanaian doing hip-hop”, comments Nana NYC.
With the spirit of perseverance and hard work, Nana never gave up and thanks to God; he is progressing as an artist. His music is inspired by life and his environment; be it street violence, hustling on the streets or falling in love. Nana NYC is a member of the American Society of Composers and Publishers and has over the years mastered his craft by working with several top-notch producers. He has worked with the likes Dwayne Wayans (My Wife And Kids), Lansky of G.M.P, Jesse West, as well as Frado who has produced for The LOX, MIMS, Dipset, just to name a few. Through the 10 year period of his independent career, his song has been used on a Los Angeles television show and he has made an appearance on BET.
Nana NYC has been featured on several American and African DVDs and mixtapes. He has produced 3 independent LPs, Oska Mya Vol. 1 (2002), Oska Mya Vol.2 (2003), and Cold Hearted and Rebellious Towards Suckers vol. 1 (2006).