Rico Nasty on idolising Joan Jett: “She taught me how to take ‘No’ and smile”

Rico also cited Nicki Minaj, Tyler, the Creator and David Bowie as being major influences on her career

Rico Nasty has spoken about her admiration of Joan Jett, saying that the pioneering Blackhearts frontwoman “taught me how to take ‘No’ and smile”.

Rico was speaking to NME in her debut Big Read cover interview about the influence she drew from Jett early on in her career.

Rico said that she was particularly inspired by how Jett took on her male critics when she went solo in the late 1970s.


“[Jett taught me] how to take ‘No’ and smile,” Rico said. “So many people told her that her music was too hard and too raw.

“When I came on the scene, I was definitely on the softer side but then I started telling people to kiss my ass. I felt like I worked so hard that I deserved what I have, so I started making crazier music.”

Rico Nasty Big Read 2020
Rico Nasty (Picture: Jonathan Weiner for NME)

Rico also cited the influence of the likes of Nicki Minaj, Tyler, the Creator and David Bowie in formulating her musical personas, saying of Minaj: “A lot of people may be like, ‘Nicki Minaj!?’ But her [male alter-ego] Roman was hard.

“I really fucked with how she was the first to give her different personality a different sex. Like, Roman was a guy and he was always trapped inside of her and I feel like that’s why she was able to bar up with guys.”


Last month, Rico staged a fan giveaway to tie in with her single ‘IPhone’ by giving her fans the opportunity to win the namesake smartphone.