Nakuu: From the streets to the studio
When you think of the name Nakuu, you might think of a stage name for a rapper.
Or you might think of a bright orange bandana, red highlights, a Pink Floyd T-shirt, jeans and a skateboard.
Neither is entirely correct for 20-year-old Terrell Bryant, a Yorker who wants to be known more as an artist and singer than as a rapper these days.
Nakuu, Bryant's rap identity, came from growing up in an area where hip-hop and rap are the top things people listen to, he said, adding, "You naturally just fall into that category."
Bryant, who grew up on the south side of York City and who sometimes goes back and forth to Atlanta, said he grew up in a family of singers and sang in church. He started taking music seriously in eighth grade.
"I like country, to be honest," Bryant said. "I like all types of music. I even like opera." He said he can vibe to just about anything.
Bryant is a graduate of William Penn Senior High School who did a short stint at New Hope Academy Charter School (which closed in 2014) for his junior year. He said New Hope had a strong performing arts program, which was great for people like him. Bryant, who also loves to dance and plays piano, is self-taught in all of his musical endeavors.
As for his city, he said the upside is that "a lot of people are doing music right now, and that helps keep people out of the streets" — including himself.
Nakuu, at Studio 117, Friday Feb. 24, 2017, in York City.
Still, growing up in York City was rough, Bryant said, but not in comparison to, say, "Chi-Raq," the nickname given to Chicago because of the violence wracking that city.
Asked about his career goals, he said, "I don't give myself any expectations; I just work. If I get there, I get there. I'm always gonna do music regardless — I was always raised to be humble."
That might not be the answer one would expect, but with recent acclaim on Facebook for his words on racism, 20,000-plus followers on SoundCloud and his recent opening for Philly rapper and singer PnB Rock, Bryant has made a strong case for himself — at the ripe age of 20.
Although central Pennsylvania has a vibrant music scene — "People know about the 717" — he said it would be nice to travel around the world and get signed to record label.
Besides his own music, he also is a music engineer for artists who might need a studio to record in. He has had his own house studio since ninth grade.
Whether he makes it with his own music or not, he foresees always working in music and hopes to get a degree in music engineering when he has the time.
As for his current music, he has a mix tape out called "Tuned Up." For more information, check out his website at www.yaboynakuu.com.