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NEW INTERVIEW!!- Stylin’ Wit Nikkiya

Check out this exclusive interview with break out star Nikkiya. She has been featured on Tech 9’s new album “6’s and 7’s” as well as Wiz Khalifa’s “Rolling Papers”. She has also collaborated with fellow friend and break out star Yelawolf on the song “Speak Her Sex”. With super producer Will Power behind her, (producer of Shady 2.0 and numerous other works), Nikkiya is looking to have a stellar year. Be sure to click “Read More” for the whole interview and to check her personal page along the right hand side for links to her music!

Jason
Where and when were your born?
Nikkiya
I was born in Virginia, but my mom was in the Navy, so we didn’t live there too long. We traveled around a lot. We lived in places such as Italy and even Guam. When I did get back to the United States, I lived in South Carolina. I lived there for a while and got my career started there, so I feel as though I’m a product of that southern environment.
 
Jason
When did you begin singing?
Nikkiya
Well, I started singing professionally when I moved to South Carolina, but I sang my whole life. I have been singing since basically birth. My mom was that parent that always made me sing for her friends. She would always go, “Sing that part from that movie.” (laughs) She was like, “that” mom and I was “that” kid (laughs).
 
Jason
What inspired you to begin performing when you were a kid?
Nikkiya
Well, like I said, my mom always made me sing at weddings and parties. I remember though, I always wanted to be on the show “Star Search”, but my mom would never do it. Instead I watched a lot of television and re-enacted all of the performances I would see. One person my mom watched a lot was “Downtown Julie Brown”. She was on MTV. I think she was a video host. I just remember she looked really fly and I would dress up like her and put on shows at home. My mom has a ton of pictures of me dressed up in these crazy outfits, performing and singing. I did a lot of pretending growing up.

Jason
Is that kind of how you developed your style? How did you develop the style you have today?
NIkkiya
I think living in Asia and Italy have contributed to my style. When you mix that with South Carolina, you get a very unique style. It is definitely unique to me. I always liked bands like “Ace of Bass” and all that euro-pop music. When I came to South Carolina, I started to hear all this crunk music. So I began incorporating those sounds in to my music. I also grew up with my mom listening to artists like Anita Baker and Whitney Houston. On top of that, my dad was a preacher, so I grew up around a lot of gospel. All of that is very genuine and authentic. It is so truly in my blood and make-up, that my genre is like, jamming. I don’t know, all these different sounds kind of come out of me just from being around it so much.
 
Jason
Is that how you incorporated sounds for your new album?
Nikkiya
Yea, I pulled a lot from gospel, techno, pop, euro. Obviously classic R&B singers influence me. I love Ashanti, I think she’s so slick. So I pull all of these things together. I don’t do it on purpose, it just kind of comes out of me, from being built into my memory. And I think it winds up coming out kind of dope. My philosophy is sort of like the saying “What goes up, must come down. The same applies to listening to all these artists, “What goes in, must come out”.
 
Jason 
How do you think you transformed what you have been hearing, into your own music and writing?
Nikkiya
Honestly, when I’m writing songs, it’s so super-natural. When I hear music, the song almost drops in my lap, so I don’t really know. It’s kind of like I said. My writing comes out whatever way it does. It just really feels super-natural, it feels like a gift. It just comes that easy sometimes, almost a little overwhelming.

Jason
How did you and producer Will Power, a.k.a. SupaHotBeats, meet and come together?
Nikkiya
Well I had this ex-boyfriend that did some work with Will. However, my ex-boyfriend would never let me sing. When he went to jail, he finally told me to go find Will. I think at the time Will was in New York with Yelawolf. So, I just sat around and basically stalked Will until he got back (laughs). When he finally got back, I was sitting in the studio, waiting to meet with him. I remember he was working on another song with this other female R&B artist. I was kind of just sitting in the back and once the music came on, the lyrics came to me right away. It really was just one of those super-natural moments. Will heard me and turned around and was just like “Whaaat?” I kind of took over the studio session and since then we have been working together.

Jason
What was it like working with Yelawolf on the song “Speak Her Sex”?
Nikkiya
Well a lot of people don’t know that me and Wolf go back almost 10 years, so we are pretty good friends. We used to sell our music out of our trunks together in South Carolina, like at flee markets and Burger King. So, we definitely have a great working relationship. When I work with him, it’s like working with family. He’s like a big brother. We are both very serious about our music. He always pulls the best out of everyone, it’s always great working with him.

Jason
What was it like knowing Yelawolf back then, before he began blowing up?
Nikkiya
He’s pretty much the same guy I knew back then. It’s so weird because I can still see the same hunger in his eyes now that I saw back when we were selling CD’s in flee markets. When you look at someone, you can just see it. We always tell each other, that we have to keep that attitude, that hunger. As long as we don’t lose that, we’re good to go. We have been doing this for so long, it’s just that everyone is starting to recognize. So, yea, he’s still cool. He’s still the same Wolf.

Jason
What other songs are you featured on?
Nikkiya
Yea, I have a record I did with Jackie Chain. I’m also on Wiz Khalifa’s album “Rolling Papers” The song is called “Middle of You”. I’m also featured on a couple of Tech 9’s songs off his new album. I’m on the songs “Delusional” and “Promiseland”. I got a couple more coming down the pipe, but you’re going to have to wait for those!! (laughs)

Jason
What was it like working with Wiz Khalifa and Tech 9?
Nikkiya
Well with Wiz, we did that on some “2000-shit”. We just emailed each other our parts and they put it all together. It was still cool though. We did the song not knowing if it was going on the album. Originally it was just for his mixtape “Cabin Fever”, but the fans really liked it and they picked it up for his album “Rolling Papers”. So that was pretty cool. Working with Tech, now that was something amazing. We flew out to Kansas City. We did everything live. He played the record and told me about the concept he had for the song, but he basically left me alone so I could bring my own unique creativity to the song. I wrote one of the songs in like 20 minutes. The next time he flew to Atlanta. One of his artists, Chris Calico, wrote it. Tech just wanted my vocals on the song. Both times though, it was authentic and genuine. It was old school, almost like MoTown. Everyone was vibing in the studio and contributing to the record. It was just a lot of fun and a great experience.

Jason
Can you tell me a little about your album that is coming out soon?
Nikkiya
It’s called “SpeakHer”. It’s basically me talking about many different things. It’s just like an introduction to who I am. There are all types of songs on there. There is the song “When I was High.” There are also love songs on there. There’s also a song on there called “Get in the Game”. It’s about going hard, about feeling ahead of my class. It’s not conceded or self-centered, it’s just meant to be a glimpse into who I am.


Jason
Is there a deeper meaning behind “When I Got High”
Nikkiya
The words are “Life seemed so damn good when I was high”. So that means life appeared to be better when I was high when I was going through tough times. You know, shit happens. I realized, masking those feelings by getting high is not the right thing to do. At the time, like my lyrics say, it appeared that life was actually good when it wasn’t. I think it’s a song a lot of people can relate to.

Jason
Were there a lot of different sounds incorporated into your album? Are there a lot of different type of tracks?
Nikkiya
Oh my god! Yea. That’s why I have to refer to my genre as “jammin”. It’s just all over the place. Will Power did most of the production on the album. I have pop, techno, dance. I also have some stuff on there that sounds like rap. I also have some old school R&B tracks where I’m just pourin’ my heart out. It’s fun and it’s fresh. It’s something for everyone. It’s real sultry.

Jason
Who has been the most influential on your career thus far?
Nikkiya
Will Power has been here since the beginning. He always tries to cultivate my sound and get me thinking outside the box. He pulls these things out of me. He is the one that pulled me away from just doing crunk sounding music. He was like, you have been living around the world. Why are you so caught up in doing only crunk music. You have been to Asia, you have lived in Italy. He really encouraged me to implement those sounds and experiences into my music as well. He is a producer in every sense of the word, he’s like Berry Gordy and Quincy Jones. Will has done the same for Yelawolf. A lot of people don’t know that he is also part Indian. When he first started he was on that Native American shit, hard. (laughs). Will was like, your living in Alabama dude, you have to try these sounds also. Will just builds confidence and keeps us thinking. He never lets us stay inside the box. You know, I was born a preachers kid and was very humble. He told me to be confident and that this musical ability is a gift. He said you have to be aware that what goes up, can come down, but be all that you are. Be confident. It’s okay.

Jason
Before you go, anything your fans can look forward to soon?
Nikkiya
Well, I mean, just stay tuned. Keep your ear to the radio for Nikkiya, cuz hot damn, it’s coming!

Filed under Tech 9 SupaHotBeats Will Power Nikkiya Run With It Interviews Jason Pollak

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