Grinding: Nikki NTU

(Photo by King Texas)

1. Name/Alias: Nikki NTU

2.Where are you from/ Where do you currently live?: Brooklyn, NYC

3. Where did/do you go to school and your major?: I attend Fordham University. I major in African and African American Studies.

4. What is your Grind? I’m best known as an emcee, writer, musician, teaching artist, facilitator, and speaker.

5. How did you get into what you’re doing now?: I had a love for writing and speaking at a young age. I started rhyming when I was a teen and got into artist development and workshop facilitation around the same time through a mentor of mine. It just grew from there.

6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?: My mom brainwashed me into thinking I wanted to be an Entertainment Lawyer for most of my childhood, ha! But I always loved writing and drawing. I grew up around that creative environment and got to see a lot of that lifestyle so I knew whatever I would be it would have something to do with expression and cultivation.

7. What are some contributing factors that shaped the life you live now?: Being around folks who push beyond their limitations has been a great influence. Having the opportunity to be exposed to what the world has to offer and understanding how I can contribute.

8. Any specific people that mentored or helped guide you to your current path?:Absolutely. Toni Blackman for one. She was key in me being and doing what I do today.

9. What motivates you?: Other artists. Being around them, speaking with them, enjoying their vibe. Learning about artists and figures who’ve come before me and the things they faced. I think learning or experiencing inspires me in general. Seeing what is missing and working to fill that gap.

10. Your favorite author and why?: That’s a hard one… Right now I’m on D.J. Conway and Ra Un Nefer Amen. Subject wise, they are some of the best. But when it comes to tone, Pierre Stephen Robert Payne brings so much heat to a his writing.

11. What are 3 goals you want to achieve within the next year?: Hmmmm…..
1. Tour 2. Have my organization up and running 3. Map out a space and place of my own where I can put roots

12. One person that continuously inspires you and why?: It’s hard to pick one…I’d really have to say MeLo-X. I’ve always admired his ability to keep moving. His vision and work ethic is crazy. I just sit back sometimes and smile. Gives me a great sense of pride.

13. 3 Indie brands you LOVE to rock?: ALIEN, Vane NYC, Open Ceremony¬†(if my pockets are right), and though I don’t have any pieces yet, I stumbled on¬†Loza Maleombho, which I think is a really fly brand.

14. What annoys you the most?: Ha! Constant sneezing and coughing! I can’t STAND it! Sounds like they can’t breathe and then I feel like I can’t breathe and then we’re both weezin’. And it’s nasty. Get ya immune system up mang!

15. Your best quality?: My sincerity. From anger to complete joy it’s always raw passion. Sometimes a jerk…but always honest.

Check out Nikki’s blog & download her latest EP Medulla Dinner, its wicked ya’ll!

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