Meet Nikki Jay: Steaming East Coast R&B and Rap Artist
Before electrifying City Stage, Nikki Jay shared her musical ascent, inspirations, and up-and-coming releases with the magazine.
Star-studded R&B and rap artist Nikki Jay is making fierce leaps toward fame with every new release. Hot on the heels of her latest single Mink Koat, Nikki geared up to astonish listeners with a jam-packed set of heat. But before her captivating performance launched, we had the chance to sit down with Nikki and learn more about her rise to stardom.
Ascending from the roots of New York, Nikki first began cultivating her talents at a young age. However, it wasn’t until after she graduated from D.C.’s Howard University that she transmitted her gifts to listeners’ ears. Earlier this year in April, Nikki dropped the vibrant hit Silly Heaux, amassing over 160,000 streams on Spotify. Since its release, Nikki has been mobilizing a string of zesty hits, with some releasing before the year’s end.
Check out our full interview with Nikki Jay below!
Have you ever been to Broccoli City Fest before?
No, I’ve never been to a festival in my life.
Oh really? Ever? But a concert right?
Maybe like once.*laughs* I saw Drake.
Is there anyone in particular you’re hoping to meet, see, or collaborate with here?
Oh my goodness, okay- Foggieraw. I love his R&B soulful vibe. Aside from hip hop, I love soulful R&B, so definitely him. Cookie’s dope as f*ck, we just performed together yesterday. And then as far as like the bigger artists- Jazmine Sullivan, City Girls, Ice Spice, Lola Brooke, everyone’s fire.
Melbourne, New York.
Was music always your career plan?
Yeah. I used to do it all the time- my mom used to say I came out the womb singing. So I always knew I’m gonna be a singer, I’m gonna be a superstar. I always knew.
Was there ever a moment you were like “I’m gonna take this to the next level”?
Many points in my life but 1000% as soon as I graduated. So May. *laughs*
Wow, thats crazy! Where did you graduate from?
Music is all about expression, what do you like expressing in your work?
I like to tell a story. Whatever that story may be, I try to portray it as well as I can with my lyrics. But I love writing about love the most. I’m a little lover girl.
What was your creative process like when creating your latest single Mink Koat?
I freestyled. I was in LA. Shout out to the producer of Mink Koat. We were in the studio and he played this beat for me and I’m like, “okay let’s do it”. I didn’t write nothing forreal. And I was like, I love Mink Koat and I love the summer and I love doing what the fuck I wanna do…so that’s what that whole song is about. It made sense to me.
This year you released the single Silly Heaux, which already garnered significant traction, amassing over 100,000 streams on Spotify. What was it like for you to see this single take off? Did you expect it to amass so many streams?
See we knew it was gonna go viral, we just didn’t know how soon it would. It took what, like 24 hours? And it just went up.
What was writing the song like for you?
Honestly, I think I had just come out of a relationship and there was one line that was about my last ex or whatever. But it was really about silly people. On the real, people are just silly, and I was just like “silly hoe”. *laughs*
What’s something someone would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m really good at basketball. That’s my favorite sport, I was basketball captain for a few years. And I probably played every sport you can think of.
The Fox Magazine is all about inspiration, who or what inspires you the most?
Anybody who pursues a dream of theirs that people feel is outlandish or too big to achieve. Anyone who has the guts to keep it real and be like “I can do this, it’s what I wanna do and I’m gonna do it”.
If you had to pick a top 3 for inspirations, who would they be?
My mommy, Erykah Badu because I love that girl, that’s my second mother in my eyes, and my younger self.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received so far in your career? What’s a piece of advice you would give to someone who is just starting to make music?
The best advice in my career- staying true to myself. It wasn’t really advice but it was a reminder. Because I stay true to myself, that’s what makes me me. That’s what makes my career and my success so amazing because I have all these beautiful people around me and everything’s genuine and I’m just myself. I don’t put on a facade or anything- I wake up, they accept me, and they love me for who I am.
Advice for another artist- literally just do that shit! I know it’s easier said than done but do that shit. Get up every day and make the choice that you’re gonna do it. That’s gonna take you further than anything else.
Can you give us any sneak peeks on future music to come?
Yes, so I’m performing one during my set today, it’s an unreleased song called Say Or Do. That’s coming out very soon.
Are you excited to perform?
Yes. I’m very excited. Usually, I’m nervous but right now I’m not nervous. *laughs*