South Carolina native Nikkiya has been generating a buzz for herself among the Hip Hop community. The singer first garnered the attention of rap fans with her appearance on Interscope artist Yelawolf’s song “Speak Her Sex”. Since then, she has laid hooks for rappers Wiz Khalifa, Tech N9ne, and more. She has also released her own solo project ‘SpeakHer’ which was entirely produced by popular up and coming producer Will Power, a.k.a. SupaHot Beats.
After over a decade of struggling to break into the music industry, Nikkiya is about to make her presence known beyond just the Hip Hop community.
Mom’s vs. Dad’s Style… “My dad’s side of the family is very religious, and I grew up under that. On my mom’s side of the family, it’s not so much. It’s more wild and parties when I go to visit them, but then it’s like it’s no parties at all when I go to dad’s side. So it’s like I had the best of both worlds, I guess. [Laughs]”
Gritty to Pop to even the Classic Love Songs Inspirations… “‘I Like What You’re Doing‘ is my favorite; it’s kind of like a Euro-pop dance song. I lived in Italy for nine years, so when I heard that record, it reminded me of that time of my life. The long songs are from my mom. She’s a 80s R&B type of chick, and those songs came from that place of my life. So everything comes from a genuine place.”
Hitting a Low Point and Getting Discouraged… “Never wanted to give up, but definitely discouraged. Definitely discouraged. With anything in life, anything you do, it’s going to come with challenges. I really believe that the greater the rewards, the greater the challenge will probably be. Anytime I see a challenge, I just think, “It must be big. This must be good. This must be right.” Anything that comes easy goes easy. Anything I work hard and diligently for is going to stick and stay. I welcome challenges. I do get discouraged, but I work through it…”
Taking Extra Time to Perfect Your Craft… “Before, I would have been so much more irresponsible with money. [Laughs] I would have been way more wild. I’m still a little wild, but it would have been bad. [Laughs] Now is a good time because I can manage my wildness and really take my craft seriously. Before, it was like I’m broke and I want to go get drunk. Now, I’m like “I’m broke but I’ll have a drink with you.” [Laughs] Now is the perfect timing.”
Words of Motivation… “To just keep going no matter what. Walk by faith and not by sight. Don’t let what it looks like dictate what it could be. Look past the door being closed in your face. Just keep going. If you really believe in yourself, bet on yourself. I will bet my last on myself. So if you have a gift and a talent, give it your all. Bet on yourself.”
Housing Cleaning Influence My Style… “. I think the biggest influence on my singing style would be the late 80s stuff that my mom used to make us listen to all the time like when we clean the house on Saturdays and she would turn that on… Like Stephanie Mills, Sade, Whitney Houston, my mom used to love Mary J. Blige, Xscape. The late 80s, 90s.” —— By: Interview By Connie Tang