We all know that Westchester is full of talent. Music icons, movie stars, and television faces. But how often do we hear about a young rap artist from Yonkers?
Robert Nikic, a/k/a Rob Twizz, has created a presence with previous works such as his mixtape “Another White Rapper”. He has achieved national attention through his performance on MTV’s hit show “My Super Sweet 16”, and he is now back with his latest work, a mixtape entitled “The Price Is White” which is a compilation of brand new FREE music for the summer of 2011. On this release, he was assisted by artists such as former Bad Boy recording artist Dylan Dilinjah of MTV’s “Making The Band” and “Mash Rock”. Twizz was also assisted by his own father. His Dad was previously sampled on a record after Twizz pranked him on Spike TV with z100’s Greg-T. This latest release is brimming with versatile, feel good music!
Westchester Happening was lucky enough to recently sit down with Rob, and learn a few interesting tidbits about his life, and his music.
WH: Rob, can you tell me all the basics about yourself?
RT: “I’m 21 years young, born in the Bronx and raised in Yonkers NY. I love it in every way possible because it molded me into the goal oriented individual I am today. I graduated from Yonkers High School in 2007 and am currently working towards finishing my bachelors at Mercy College this coming Spring. I’ve been pursuing music heavy now for about 4-5 years and every 365 days that pass, I see major growth in every way, so I’m excited to continue this process.”
WH: I know you are of Albanian Heritage. Growing up in a traditional Albanian family, how were you able to be influenced by, and inspired to start rapping?
RT: “Growing up in a traditional Albanian family really influenced my work ethic. Both my father and mother came from absolutely nothing. My father literally didn’t finish the 4th grade and was living on his own since he was a child, and my mother was not far from that lifestyle either. To this day they still work their a** off, so to see them have everything they have now with so little to begin with, really made me notice how much I have a head start to get to where I want to be with music and any career path I choose. As for being inspired to rap, it really came from the environment around me. New York is the birthplace of Hip Hop, and it was all that kids around me listened to since elementary school until even now. “
WH: Was your family supportive initially?
RT: “Initially my family looked at this as a hobby for me to stay out of trouble and didn’t really give me the full push, but when they saw my dedication and success such as putting myself on MTV with no help at such a young age I guess they started to take me a little more seriously! Just like every other relative, you just want to see each other succeed so it was always more of “watch your back” and be aware of your options and decisions in life. “
WH: Who do you feel is your greatest inspiration musically, and who is your greatest muse personally?
RT: “Growing up I had so many inspirations musically. I loved listening to Biggie Smalls, loved listening to Ja Rule, 50 Cent, but than I had a whole different side of me that loved all the other different genre’s – so I would listen to Celine Dion, Madonna, Mariah Carey. I was always a fan of music, and poetry in general. I have no greatest personal muse – I think its just “life” as a whole that I find pretty crazy. A person’s life can change in the blink of an eye so you never know what’s going to happen next. “
WH: Every artist has ups and downs in the pursuit of their dreams. Even though you are young, you have most likely felt this way. Who or what do you rely on to bring you back up when you are having a “down” moment?
RT: “Definitely, in my down moments (which usually don’t last too long) I usually say a prayer, it helps me stay focused mentally; but on different occasions I have cousins who support me non stop, so just talking with my family usually gets the job done. If not, than I go to my back-up plan, which is to shut off my phone, get some chocolate (w/ chocolate chip) Haagen Dazs, and watch some Family Guy, ha ha. (giggity!)”
WH: Where do you see yourself in 5 years down the road? In 10 years?
RT: “5 years from now I see myself with a successful album out under major distribution, touring nation wide. 10 years from now I see myself with a successful album out under major distribution, touring world wide. “
WH: What exciting events/releases/performances are coming up where people can get out and learn more about you, listen to your music and just catch the Rob Twizz vibe?
RT: “My next major release is my newest mixtape “The Price Is White” which will be featured on Datpiff.com and will be all over the net. It’s my newest, and I would personally say best material up to date. Otherwise I’m always doing something new, so to keep up please follow me at twitter.com/rtwizz , or be my friend on facebook.com/rtwizz”
WH: God-willing, you live a long and healthy and happy life. In the end, what is the one thing you want fans and friends to remember you for?
RT: “When this is all said and done I just want to be remembered for TRYING, and trying something new and not just living in the same box that a lot of people fear to jump out of. “
WH: Lastly, where does that funky name of yours come from?
RT: “Haha, “Twizz” was just a weird nickname that came out of nowhere in school and “Rob” has a crazy story to it, believe it or not..that’s my REAL name, oh my God, crazy right!?! Ha ha!”
We really enjoyed our time with Rob. He is a dynamic man on the way up, and it will be a pleasure watching and listening to him rap his way to the top! Be sure to check him out on Facebook at facebook.com/rtwizz!