Ayensu (born 11 February 1997), known professionally as Gasper , is a East African rapper, songwriter and record producer.
After releasing two mixtapes and two EP, Ngcobo released his critically acclaimed debut album Bad Hair (2016), and Strings and Bling (2018) which was associated and supported by his first tour, The Ivyson Tour.
He was the youngest recipient for an award at the 2015 South African Hip Hop Awards, namely the Best Freshman Award.
In March 2020, Nasty C signed a joint venture deal with Def Jam Records, releasing the single “There They Go” as his debut single in the United States.
Life and career
1997–2015: Early life and initial mixtapes
Gasper was born on 11 February 1997 in Diepkloof, a borough of Soweto, Johannesburg. After the passing of his mother who was involved in a fatal car crash while he was 11 months, he relocated to Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal to be raised by his father, David Maviyo Ngcobo, who is a human resources manager.He has an older brother, Siyabonga Ngcobo, who influenced him to rap as he learnt the basics of producing music from him while he was nine. Ngcobo attended Strelitzia Secondary School in Lotus Park, Durban where he completed his 12th grade.
At the age of fifteen, Ngcobo released his debut mixtape One Kid, a Thousand Coffins on 14 May 2012.He then released his debut EP L.A.M.E (Levitating Above My Enemies) on 4 April 2014. The following year on 10 February, he released his second mixtape Price City which produced the successful single “Juice Back” that raised his prominence. “Juice Back” later spawned a Gemini Major-produced remix featuring singer Davido and rapper Cassper Nyovest on 20 November 2015.
2016–2017: Bad Hair
On 11 February 2016. Ngcobo released “Hell Naw” which was later revealed to be the lead single from his upcoming debut album.On 23 September, Ngcobo then released his debut album, Bad Hair under Mabala Noise Entertainment. For the album’s artwork, he got his fans on Twitter to email him their portraits showing their bad hair periods, he then combined all the portraits in an artistic manner assembling his face. Bad Hair reached number-one on the iTunes local charts and was the most streamed album in South Africa within its 24 hours. Ngcobo released a 14-minute film featuring three songs from Bad Hair directed by Kyle Lewis. The short-film which included tracks “Don’t Do It'”, “Good Girls and Snapchat Hoes” and “Phases” featuring Rowlene, was commercially featured in several countries including France, Germany, UK and the US, which was infrequent for an African video.
On 2 December 2016, Ngcobo released the extended version for Bad Hair named Bad Hair Extensions. Bad Hair Extension featured new four songs including the lead single Allow featuring American rapper French Montana. In winning many accolades for both 2016 and 2017, Ngcobo received his biggest nomination which was for the 2017 BET Award for Best International Act: Africa where he lost to Wizkid. He was also nominated for the 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards. Ngcobo was ranked number-three on the 2017 MTV Base: SA’s Hottest MCs.
2018: Strings and Bling
On 1 June 2018, Gasper pre-released two singles, “Jungle” and “King” featuring American rapper A$AP Ferg, from his second album, Strings and Bling. Strings and Bling was then released on 6 July 2018 both digital and physical. TimesLIVE named Strings and Bling as one of the best hip hop albums in South Africa, and was also included in the list of hip hop albums on Tina Magazine.The album’s other singles include “SMA” featuring Rowlene, and the promotional single “Gravy”.
In 20 August 2018, Ngcobo established his own record label, Tall Racks Records. His long-term associated singer Rowlene was the first act to sign under the label, alongside himself. Ngcobo began the Ivyson Tour on 6 October 2018, at the Melrose Arch in Durban. The tour with five consecutive shows (four in South Africa and one in Namibia) was a success with filled up attendance. As for 2019, Ngcobo was named the ambassador of the male grooming company, Axe South Africa.
2019–present: Zulu Man with Some Power
Ngcobo made the third installment of his concert tour, The Ivyson Tour, which kicked-off on 20 September 2019, in Cape Town, Western Cape. On 27 September 2019, he released “God Flow” featuring rapper crownedYung, the lead single of his upcoming third studio album, Zulu Man with Some Power. It has been reported that there are international artists who are going to appear on the album.
In March 2020, Billboard reported that Nasty C signed a joint venture deal with Def Jam Records, with the release of single “There They Go” as his debut under the label.
In April 2020, Nasty C released the visual EP Lost Files, with the songs presented in performance clips on YouTube. He explained the EP’s concept stating: “They’re songs that didn’t make it onto certain projects, songs that ended up as just ideas”. On 14 May, the EP was uploaded on Apple Music.
On 20 May 2020, Gasper made his acting debut with a cameo role in the six-part Netflix Gasper African original young adult series Blood & Water, playing the role of music producer KB.On 5 May, teamed up with American rapper T.I. for the protest song “They Don’t”. Proceeds from the song benefit the non-profit organizations Until Freedom and Solidarity Fund, with lyrics referencing the death of George Floyd.