For Black History Month we’re turning the spotlight on several prominent black musicians both past and present whose contributions helped put Austin music on the map. KUT reporter DaLyah Jones produced these profiles for KUTX with help from Clay Shorkey of The Texas Music Museum.
Many critique the invisibility of *female* rappers in the city outside of events like SXSW and JMBLYA, but Stacy “Anastasia” Smith has continued to persistently grip the attention of fans, artists and music venues like she does her mic. Anastasia formerly Anya was born in the Capital. The rap artist, vocalist and writer delivers candid lyrics and deeply-sensual vocals. As a young girl, her father helped her find her love for rap after teaching her how to deliver speeches like Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream.” Anastasia honed her skills by reading, writing, performing and ciphering during lunch in high school. Since then, she’s released several projects over the past eight years — “Pretty Color Bad News” (2011), “The Unkind Summer” (2012), “CAKE” (2016) and Kale & Yoga” (2016). Over time she’s been recognized as one of Austin Hip Hop Awards Best Female Artist, performed for Sound on Sound Fest, Urban Music Fest, SXSW and more. In 2015 she launched CAKE, a nonprofit organization that empowers female musicians. Anastasia has performed alongside acts like, Scarface, Aesop Rock, Boosie and more. Last month, Anastasia launched record label CREVIVAL (Creative + Revival) with Death Row records Co-founder and CREVIVAL CEO Lydia Harris. Her most recent work, “Born To Love You,” allows a look into her R&B side, further proving her validity as not only a creative artist but a flexible musician not looking to follow the water current constantly reminding us of Missy Elliot and Lauryn Hill.
– DaLyah Jones, KUTX News