"Who's Hot?" Interview
By: Omar Cook
This week's "Who's Hot?" Artist of the week is Pittsburgh singer, Najj Andrea! Najj is only 17 years old but has the voice of someone who’s been doing this for a long time! Najj’s real name is "Najjah" which means "success" in Arabic. Age ain’t nothing but a number and Najj Andrea is proving that her talent deserves to be heard! Najj has a catalogue of music that is second to none as just about every song is fire! She’s brings a soulful vibe to her music that you can hear on every track.
I've always had it hard when it came to knowing myself or having "self-confidence". It's hard when you know you're different than everybody else but you feel like you have to fit in with the crowd. Music became an outlet and a way for me to say how I feel without actually saying it. I make music for people who wish they were able to state their feelings but can't.
We talked with Najj Andrea in an exclusive interview, check it out below!
QUESTION: How long have you been making music and how did you get started?
Najj Andrea: I have been making and writing my own music for 2 years now. I started singing in the church when I was 5 years old. It started off as something I loved to do for fun and then eventually people actually started to pay attention so I decided to take it seriously.
QUESTION: Musically, who has been your biggest influence in helping you along your journey and who are your favorite musicians?
Najj Andrea: My biggest influences have been H.E.R, Summer Walker, Lucky Daye, & Snoh Aalegra. All of their music is somewhat different in a way but somehow still the same genre and very smooth.
QUESTION: What artists would you like to collaborate with and why?
Najj Andrea: I would love to collaborate with H.E.R., Brent Faiyaz, Bj the Chicago Kid, and Kehlani. I want to collaborate with them because all of their music inspires and pushes me to make more and better music.
QUESTION: What do you feel is your best song/project ever released and why?
Najj Andrea: I feel that my best song ever released probably would be my song called "What U Want". I say this because I was going through a crazy time with an ex of mine and while making this song, I was just so angry and confused and I just poured out my feelings and stated everything I wanted to say to him but couldn't say it directly.
QUESTION: What projects can we look forward to in the near future?
Najj Andrea: I'm actually working on a project now and it's about the 10 Stages of love. Each song will be titled and will be about a certain stage you go through during a relationship. During relationships sometimes we tend to either skip steps or spend to much time on a specific step which derails or complicates the relationship and makes up give up.
QUESTION: How do you generate new ideas for your music?
Najj Andrea: It honestly depends, sometimes I'll simply go off of how I feel, how I've seen others feel, or what I think feelings are. I usually listen to a beat, come up with a melody and then put words to it later.
QUESTION: What motivates you and how do you define success?
Najj Andrea: What motivates me is the fact that how hard I go now will pay off later on when I'm fully invested in my career, when I am even bigger and I get the recognition I deserve.
QUESTION: How would you describe your music to people and what separates you from other artists in your genre?
Najj Andrea: I would describe my music as the things people wish they had the guts to say. What separates me from other artists is the fact that I'm young and not afraid to say how and what I feel in my music.
QUESTION: Do you believe there is a formula to being a successful artist?
Najj Andrea: Timing, Demand, Image, Experience, Work Ethic, & Talent.
QUESTION: Who is your greatest inspiration?
Najj Andrea: Honestly myself, I inspire myself to go harder everyday. I've seen what I'm already capable of and it makes me push myself.
QUESTION: Which emotion more than any other, currently dominates your music? Joy, sadness, anger or passion etc. , and why?
Najj Andrea: Pain, Passion, and Pleasure. Even though I can switch it up my music is mostly about love and usually about the bad parts of it and I think that's because that's all I've seen rather it was me, my friends, or through my family.
QUESTION: What sacrifices have you had to make, to make your dream a reality?
Najj Andrea: I've had to turn down certain things because of my age, and because I'm still in school. I've also had to sacrifice nights of sleep because I had to stay up and finish features, or songs that had to be done.
QUESTION: What aspect of the music making process excites you most, and what aspect discourages you the most?
Najj Andrea: Finding different melodies excites me the most, I love making and trying out new melodies because they're so many. Actually writing the words takes time and constant focus and sometimes discourages me.
QUESTION: Where do you see yourself and your music in 10 years?
Najj Andrea: I see myself on tour for maybe the 3rd time, managing other artists, and living a happy and fulfilling my dream.
QUESTION: What advice would you give to other up and coming artists or people looking to break into the music industry?
Najj Andrea: It's going to be a bumpy road, you're going to lose people along the way and sometimes you're going to want to give up but if you work hard until you get what or where you want, you're going to be so happy with the results.
QUESTION: Is there anything else you would like people to know about you or your music?
Najj Andrea: I would like people to know that all of the music I have I wrote and came up with the ideas myself. People love to discredit me and assume that somebody else wrote my music, but I take my time and make sure that I put out good quality music. Also, I want people to know that age doesn't matter, people love to doubt, or treat you different than older artist just because you're a little younger. If you love what you do, then do it, and don't let anybody tell you any different.