On the eve of her showcase with TheFader.com in New York City, the talented singer took some of her time to introduce herself to the readers of MSDTV. We covered just about everything: from her time in South Carolina to selling mixtapes at flea markets with her homeboy Yelawolf to working with Tech Nine. Even spoke about Basketball Wives…sort of! Lol. But most importantly, her debut album entitled, Speak Her, which you can download HERE. The introduction to Nikkiya is one click away, hit the jump.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…where are you from?
I’m from South Carolina. Been around the world. Did some travelling all over but I’m big in South Carolina.
When did you know you wanted to get in the music industry?
Hmmm..It’s funny you asked that ’cause me & my producer was just talking about this not to long ago & I’ve never…there was was never an age or a time when I said “Oh I wanna sing!” It has always been with me, you know. As long has I can remember, I’ve been singing. as long has I can rememeber, I’ve been big dreaming…and performing for my mom and you know…all that. So it’s never been a time when I was like” You know what? I’m a do this!” IT ALWAYS BEEN WHAT I DO!
How would you describe your style of music?
My style of music is all over the place! It’s street sometimes! Classic RnB sometimes! Lady like sometimes! Hood sometimes! Worp…it’s cultured. So you know I’ve had travelled! But hmmm…its all over the place but it’s genuined. It’s a true representation of who I am.
We’re pretty sure growing up, you had mentors or musicians/influences you looked up too in the music biz, can you name a few?
Growing up…everyone my mother was listening too like: Sade, Regina Belle, Whitney Houston, down to Mary J. Blige. I remember my mom was in a talent show; we were watching the tape the other day. And she did Mary J.Blige…she was lip-synching Mary J. And I use to be like: wow…my mother doing Mary J.! I’ve been following MJB up until now. She’s very very much one of my influences.
One of the most talented up & comer in the game right now, signed to Shady records, your boy Yelawolf, how did you guys meet?
Wolf is family. We know each other for 8-9 years now. He was in Carolina with me, pumping mixtapes at flea markets. We’d jump out the car, get to selling records in the streets. We could be at Burger King, Popeyes…it didn’t matter! If we had music on us & we were among people, we were talking about it, selling em…give them too. We go back & been grinding together for a long time.
And for the people who doesn’t know, she’s the voice on the chorus of Wiz Khalifa’s “Middle of you”, which was produced by your producer Will Power. Talk about that record & Will Power.
Well Will Power is my producer. He produced Trunk Muzik (Yelawolf’s mixtape) & he’s worked with soooooo many people & when we came across the Wiz record; that was on some 2008 sh*t. We were in Vegas when we cut that . We gmailed it or mp3 it (whatever) to Wiz & he did his part whenever he did it. Then it got put together. But Will Power, when we work with other people, obviously together, it’s more organic! It’s more on that Motown, Quincy Jones type sh*t.
Not only that but you’re featured on Tech Nine last album, 6s & 7s. You were bless to be on 2 songs on that album. How did that come about?
Like you said: “It’s was a blessing!” All of this is just…huge! An out of body experience & I feel super super super bless! Specially the one with Tech Nine. We got to fly out in his hometown, for two of the records & he came down to Atlanta, worked tn a studio down there for another one that didn’t make it on the album but each time, it was fun, it was genuine & like I said, we be on the Motown, hip hop…we out there going in! (Mimicking studio environment) “Try that! Try that! Do this!” It was super kind working with Tech Nine.
Your album, Speak Her, comes out on August 15th. Why name it “speak her”?
You’re going to find, like i said earlier, a lot of everything. Classic love songs, a little more edgy songs. Its all in the vain of rnb but clearly…Im coming from a different prospective, feelings & emotions. It’s a great masterpiece. Theres something for everyone…I even have a little Pop..a little odeto my time when I was in Europe. You’ll find some of that on the album. The name “Speak HER” clearly sounds like the word “speaker”…everything I love comes thru speakers. Life comes thru me. So “Speak Her” is me, rapping all this stuff that I love….the good, the bad & the ugly.
Your single, “Nobody but me”…is that based on a true story or…
But of course…(searching for words) I’ve fought hard for a man & I’m sure women around the world go hard for their man when they’re in love. Sometimes that love isn’t given back & it’s ugly…it’s painful.
Now that the LP is done and we’re sure you’ll have a follow up, which artists would you love to work with on that second project?
Probably….that’s a great question! I have so many male features on this one. I want some female features on the next one.
If you had one song with 5 features on it, who would you pick? This can be your “dream” record.
Mary J. x Celine Dion x Adele x Nicki Minaj x Lady Gaga
Let’s step out the box for a second…are you a fan of reality tv shows, if so which one do you enjoy watching during your free time?
I really don’t watch tv…every now & them, I can catch a hot ten minutes of Basketball Wives, Real Housewives, Jersey Shore, Bad Girl Club but nothing consistently. I’m not going have tv on every Tuesday night to catch anything but I catch a little of all of that.
Did you get a chance to watch the finale of Basketball Wives?
I probably watched a hot ten minutes of the finale, that was it. Why? What happen?
Well the whole Eric & Jennifer fighting over their divorce. The biggest thing was Eric throwing a glass of water in her face…
(laughing) Ohhhh I missed that but I heard on the news that..they said it was staged. They made him do that.
And if you missed it, you can always watch it on MSDRAMATV.COM..it’s on the site.
(laughter) Nice plug! I got you. I will check it out.
Anything else you wanna tell the people before we wrap this up?
All the best in your music career & we’re sure one day, the whole world will know the name of Nikkiya!
Thank you & GOD bless!