Published on April 20th, 2012 | by jbrow1301
The Adventures of Smokahontas: From ODU to NYC, up and coming Music Phenom Audra The Rapper is Taking the Industry by Storm
Most of her fans know her as Audra the Rapper, but some are coming to associate her with the nickname Smokahontas. Audra known for her strong disapproval of gimmicks says the whole association was organic.
“I’m in love with weave. I always wear weave. Every time I would wear weave it would get longer and longer. People started calling me Pocahontas and I’d correct them and say Smokahontas.”
“I am the anti-rapper,” Audra laughed. “People will talk to me and be like, ‘you don’t talk like a rapper, you don’t look like a rapper.’ I just happen to be me.” Audra’s honest and easy going nature has helped her establish herself in the music industry and gain a fan base, which is no small feat. A former graduate from Old Dominion University, Audra has always known that music would be it for her.
“ I never had a plan B. I always wanted to do music. When I was six my mom got me vocal lessons, and when I was seven she got me piano lessons. I’d do All State Choir and we’d travel. When I was 13, I realized I couldn’t sing, so I wanted to be a rapper,” she said.
For Audra, life after ODU was reminiscent of Woodstock. “I kind of just played in different directions. I had just graduated not even a year ago. My three friends and I moved in with my home girl and we just lived like hippies the whole summer. We just chilled all day and none of us had jobs. We just lived like we were at Woodstock,” she said.
In 2007, Audra released her first mixtape aptly titled “Sweet and Sour.” The mixtape had a total of 13 songs. The mixtape was a great stepping stone in establishing Audra and gaining a fan base. In 2010, Audra released her mixtape “Miseducation of Audra.” Audra showcased her singing talent on the song “Comfort Zone.” The popularity generated from the song led to the decision to include it on her 2011 mixtape, “No Such Thing Exists.” Audra’s natural talent has given her the opportunity to share the stage with artists such as Trey Songz, Jadakiss, LaToya Luckett, Lloyd, Ray-J, MC Lyte and many others. In 2010, Audra’s hard work finally paid off when she was approached by well-known rapper Rick Ross and was invited to join the Maybach Music Group family.
Audra accredits much of her success to the support of her mom and family, in general. Audra’s mother changed her dreams to fit Audra’s. She took classes on management and has always been there to support Audra through the ups and downs of the industry. “I think family support is huge when you’re chasing your dreams. Me personally, when I’ve thought about quitting I would think about my Mom supporting me. She changed her dream to concede with mine. My mom wants me to succeed in this. My family has always been a huge support. My family will chase state lines to come support me, I’m so blessed.”
She is known for her music, but often identified by her whimsical sense of style. Audra’s wardrobe consists of eccentric heels, adorned headbands, leather jackets, hipster readers and vintage pieces, to name a few. It’s often hard to get a precise feel of her style because she wears what she feels. “I’m a chameleon. I really am. I think how I feel be written on my face, on my clothes. I do what I like. I really like vintage pieces. I’ve always dressed the same, even when I was at ODU,” she explained.
Audra urges her fans to stay in school. She acknowledges the hard economic times, but is also aware of some of the frustrations students feel. “Stay in school. I wanted to quit school every day. My junior and senior year I’d take the bus to NYC to rub shoulders with people that I’ve seen on TV. Every day I’d wonder why I’m in school because they didn’t finish school and they’re established but school grooms you. People like hearing that you graduated from school and now you’re out there trying to make your dreams happen.”
At 22, Audra has a bachelor’s degree from ODU, several accolades including “20 Emcees to watch in 2012.” “I don’t want to act. I really don’t. Being an artist is my end all be all. I don’t see anything else besides music. I just want to have my hand in music always… I have a charity called The Audra M Green Music for a Cause Foundation. I founded it when I was 17. The foundation helps people who have HIV/AIDs, and prevents youth violence and teenage pregnancy.” Audra helps to organize the events for her charity. She was nominated for the Role Model of the year by Southern Entertainment Awards. For Audra the sky is the limit and she realizes that. “If anything, I’d want to own a hotel one day. I try not to go to the same hotel twice. I’m obsessed with the little things about hotels and the little details,” she said.
Interested in finding out more about Audra? You can find out more by following her on her Twitter page @AudraTheRapper or Tumblr page audratherapper.tumblr.com. On April 10, Audra will be on the cover of Celebrity Magazine. She will be featured in the June issue of Essence Magazine. She will also be in the 2012 Rocawear Lookbook.
By: Haja Kabba