BrooklynButtah: You described yourself as humble, different, and interesting. What made you choose those three words, particularly humble?
Nia Kay: I feel like that is something that describes me the most because now I feel like that’s what the industry is missing. I feel like being humble is what makes or breaks you because that’s how fans can really see if their fans of you. If you have this attitude where it’s just like, like you can know you popping, but if you walk around like that and have a certain perspective that you are and treating people on, I don’t think that’s good. Your fans want to feel like they’re apart of you. They want to feel like they’re family and they can reach out and talk to you. So, I think it’s always good to reach back to your fans and just have a humble spirit because that gets you so far.
BrooklynButtah: I love that. So, what is it about music that keeps you inspired to make music?
Nia Kay: So, I feel like a lot of old school rap, the people with real lyrics, that’s who inspire me because of the fact it’s just a total different lane. That’s real music. Now, it’s not music it’s a beat. [laughs]
BrooklynButtah: How did your experience with The Rap Game help you grow as an artist?
Nia Kay: It helped me grow because I got to witness the other talented kids next to me. I knew there were other kids in the industry and stuff but being in The Rap Game, it gives you a different drive because you have competition in the house with you. You have to work to accomplish your goals in the house. So, it’s not like you’re by yourself, you’re with others. You’re on the same platform as others so you’re actually looking at what you can perfect. There’s a lot of things you can pick up on to grow yourself as an artist being in the house because you’re with people who do the same thing as you.
BrooklynButtah: Nice. What is one major lesson you learned from the show?
Nia Kay: One major lesson I learned is just to always be ready. That’s what I feel JD [Jermaine Dupri] really keyed in on.
The challenges were set up where we don’t know anything. We walk into the building and he’s like, “okay, so what I need y’all to do is, I’m going to send y’all on a trolley. Go back home and what’s going to happen is I need y’all to put on y’all best outfits because we’re going to have a photoshoot tonight.” And I just be like, well, I wore my best outfit yesterday so what am I going to do today because I need to go to the mall but you don’t have time for that. He’ll say there’s like 15 minutes and on TV you would think that we have an opportunity to get our minds together. But no, we walk in the house and we’re like, “okay you grab that, you grab that. I don’t know what to do.”
So, it’s really to be ready because that’s something you have to always be to be on that show.
BrooklynButtah: Dope. Switching it up a bit. As a young lady, you’re in the spotlight and you do a lot on social media whether it’s your Instagram videos. Have you ever encountered any cyberbullying?
Nia Kay: Yeah. But it never really got to me because it’s like as much haters as it is, there’s fans as well. So, it always balances it out. I mean the fans, they dog the haters so you will be arguing with them at the end of the day. So, it really doesn’t matter to me. Every artist I feel gets that. It’s nothing new. I am learning it at a younger age but I have people to teach me and let me know don’t focus on that, focus on you.
BrooklynButtah: What is some advice you can give to girls who are experiencing being bullied in school? How would you tell them to kind of avoid that negative energy?
Nia Kay: I would say talk to somebody because that helps. A lot of people are afraid to reach out and talk to someone because they’re embarrassed. So, it is good to talk to someone to let off that steam and just get your mind right. Also, you have to remember where you came from, where are your boundaries and if you want them to have that much effect on you. Think of it like this, if you’re thinking someone is talking about you and if you say well she’s talking about me, that’s something good at the end of the day because she has something to say and all publicity is good publicity. So, if they want to keep talking around the school, then okay I’m just going to be the most popular in the school.
You never want to give that person what they want. What they want is for you to be mad so you can’t give them what they want. If they’re making you mad, you can’t show them that you’re mad.
BrooklynButtah: So, what are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not in the studio, recording or studying for school?
Nia Kay: I would say writing. I just really rap, write, travel, and do interviews. I don’t really know because this is a school week and I’m still working. So, I haven’t really had time to be a kid because this is what I want to do. That’s like asking me what’s my hobby and my job, it’s rapping.
BrooklynButtah: How do you find that balance of being a kid and also having this job that is your hobby and your passion? Where do you find that, “alright, I’m going to go hang out with my friends and then I got to go record this?”
Nia Kay: Well, I’m the only child and I’m really just with my parents, so I don’t really think about it. A lot of friends have switched up so I’m not really focused on that. I get to travel, I get to do all this stuff so I still get a peace of mind by myself.
BrooklynButtah: Since you love to travel, what’s one place you haven’t been yet that you want to visit?
Nia Kay: I don’t know. I just want to go back to Cali. I don’t care if you ask me where I want to go, where I’ve been, it’s always going to be Cali because that’s where I want to go back to and that’s where I want to stay. It’s so nice out there.
BrooklynButtah: Let’s talk about Duchess. What can fans expect?
Nia Kay: Well, Duchess is my EP and it’s dropping May 16th. It’s basically just an introduction to me. This will be my first project because I haven’t dropped anything. I’ve dropped singles. My single, “Issa,” is out right now. It’s going to show different sides to me. Different sides to me growing up. Some of this music was even recorded before The Rap Game. It’s really going to show the diversity and how I’ve changed. Real bars to the turn-up side. It’s all of that on one so therefore all ages can enjoy it. It’s just Nia Kay.
BrooklynButtah: What changes can you say that you’ve seen in yourself, if anything, like looking at the records before The Rap Game and after, do you see the growth within yourself?
Nia Kay: I would say my flows, being more on point and more precise with everything. Knowing how to fix my own clarity without someone else having to tell me. Somebody else can say I think that line could be better, but now I can figure it out myself and kind of critique the situation how I want to. I think it’s because I was in that house and around the different kids. At the end of the day, we all feed off each other and we get each other’s niches and make them our own pretty much.
BrooklynButtah: For someone who’s new to you and new to your sound, what’s one major takeaway you want them to hear when listening to Duchess?
Nia Kay: Empowerment, believing in themselves and knowing that anything is possible.