NINO AUGUSTINE “AGUA”
Born in Panama City’s San Miguelito barrio, Atlanta’s Nino Augustine seamlessly links the intersection of Spanish-language hip-hop futurism of his chosen city and the new wave of plena from Panama, the birthplace of reggae en Español.
With his debut on Riobamba’s APOCALIPSIS imprint, “Agua” contrasts hip-hop en Español with an uptempo plena beat, broadcasting an unapologetic take that says “no me jodan que mi madre tiene que comer/ y a mi me importa un carajo lo que piense usted” (“don’t fuck with me, my mom needs to eat/ and I could care less what anyone has to say”). The video treatment for “Agua” was shot in Panama City by @directedbykarma, showcasing the relentless energy of the scene, and a nod to the city as a foundational point in Nino’s past and future.
True to his self-proclaimed Leo bravado, as a self-taught composer Nino is rightfully claiming his place in a journey he’s been on the past 14 years as an artist, denoting a patience for the arrival of the paradigm shift moment seen now in música urbana’s takeover of the pop music worldwide. “Agua” was written by Nino Augustine, with Los Angeles based, Trinidad-rooted producer Josiah “Jott It Down” Noray on the beat.
Nino grew up witnessing performances by the likes of Nando Boom and Kafu Banton, seminal names that went on the form the foundation of plena, as well as the vision of Nino’s career. Growing up absorbing his block’s sound systems intermingle sounds of soca, kompa, reggae, and plena, Nino later relocated to New Jersey, integrating the sounds of Dipset to Big Pun, and in 2012 settled in Atlanta. In 2017, Nino’s tracks “Treat You Better” and “Plans For You” landed placement on CW’s “Dynasty” series, which grew a momentum to land a fanbase in Brazil that led to collaborations with Kondzilla Records and GR6.
Release date: March 15, 2019.
Producer: Josiah “J/OTT” St. Lewis-Noray
Composer: Mario Nino Augustine, Josiah “J/OTT” St. Lewis-Noray
Lyricist: Mario Nino Augustine, Josiah “J/OTT” St. Lewis-Noray
Cover Artwork: Moe Suliman.