When I arrive at NGY for 17 year old Nikita’s interview, she’s plugged into a microphone. The energy that comes with her lyrics is infectious. Dre, our Youth Worker, drags Nikita away from the mic to chat to us about what inspires her and where she sees herself in 10 years time.
Nikita jokes about being used to the limelight and already owning celebrity status; it’s not an overpowering confidence. It’s endearing and fresh.
When did you start writing your own songs?
I always used to rap to Nikki Minaj when I came here…Ben (YMCA Youth Coordinator) said that I should start writing my own songs. So I did! I wrote about school, my experiences of bullying… it just came naturally to me. I write at home, I’ve been writing for about 2 years now.
How would you describe your music?
I mostly rap. I’m inspired by Iggy Azelea , Charlie XCX and Angel Haze. I’m starting to do some singing too… like Drake. I’m learning to sing properly at the moment.
Tell us about your new music video
It’s based on a video I did myself, one of my friends filmed it. Dre has made it more professional for me. We’ve filmed it behind the church, with a grave and leaves hanging down in the background… and in the dance studio where there are loads of mirrors.
Have you seen it yet?
I’ve seen some of it. I think it’s really really cool, I love it. It’s really different – you’ve never seen anything like it before.
Do you prefer to work alone or with others?
I like to be independent. I do a lot of stuff here [at NGY] by myself. Everyone’s friendly here and you can always ask for help if you need it. If I need advice, or someone else needs advice, we can help each other. That’s what it’s really here for – so we can support each other.
Where have you performed?
The Maze and at [Nottingham] Contemporary for Young Creatives Live. It was amazing…
Do you get nervous?
No. Why would I be nervous? (laughs). I always used to be really shy when I came here. It’s built my confidence.
What do you want to do with the skills you’ve learnt with the YMCA?
I want it to be my career. I see myself global! I’m not a celebrity, but I will become a celebrity. In September I’m doing a Level 3 in music technology and I’m getting more experience here [at NGY]. I’m going to start volunteering to learn how to work the mixing desk. I can become a sound engineer and make my own music!
What else do you get up to?
I’m at Nottingham Trent Uni; studying a subsidiary diploma in animal management. Then there’s the volunteering I’m doing here… a bit of karate…
Do you play any other instruments?
No… I play my voice!