This Summer’s Artist to Watch: NeMiss ChiYork

Some artists are simply better than others. It’s just the way it is. NeMiss ChiYork is as original as her name and that sets her apart from the rest.

When did you start performing?
I got my start performing as a teenager at the House of Blues Chicago opening up for big acts like Common, The Roots, Gangstarr and Dres of Blacksheep through well known Chicago promoter Duro Wickes.

Name some of the artists who have inspired or influenced you?
The new and the old, iconic Chicago artists like Chance the Rapper and Kanye to Chaka Kahn. Also, Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliot, and MC Lyte are iconic in my eyes in terms of women just trailblazing the game while not being afraid to be intelligent. I really dig the prose of Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and Kendrick Lamar.

How would you describe your style?
My style is hip-hop electro-soul. Hip Hop is my foundation. It’s the talent that I explored first as a child. The electro is the music that I have explored along with an organic live vibe. I have accomplished this through working with Nate Jones on Bass who currently tours with Trey Songz and having worked with Adam Ahuja who gives me those dope electro NORD piano soundbites.

What separates you from other artists?
The essence of my lyrics and the messages they carry. Female empowerment is a strong message that I carry. I would also say that I blend the original essence of hip-hop with the new sounds of soul. I am not afraid to try something new whether that be raw singing or an r&b vibe while still keeping that hip-hop foundation.

Name some of the major artists you have performed with?
In Paris at La Machina Moulin Rouge, I had the opportunity to share the stage with Ghostface of the infamous WU Tang Clan. In addition, I have shared the bill with newcomers Tank and the Bangas, through my band Cross Culture.

Do you have any major offers on the table?
I have had conversations with A&Rs from Arista and a few other record labels to discuss my project Love.Liberation.Grind. I would definitely welcome the opportunity to rock with a dope label on the East or West Coast so long as they allowed me financial and artistic freedom.

What advice would you offer other aspiring artists?
For aspiring artists, I would say that consistency is Key and that is a key insight that i am still tackling. Also investing in yourself and getting your own train moving will force people to get on board.

Aside from music, you’re big on social issues in regards to women and police brutality, can you share your thoughts on this? And shed light on any experiences you have as an advocate/speaker/etc.
I had to bury my father two years in Chicago in 2014, and although my father died of heart disease, strongly believe his poor health was a direct result of violence in the Englewood neighborhood he lived in, along with food deserts. Our families in some places in Chicago are facing incredible odds. There is a lack of good education and jobs and so people result to gangs and gun violence with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. I want to see it stop.I am passionate about anti-gun violence. I have a song on my new project dedicated to Hadiya Pendleton killed on the southside of Chicago shortly after performing at President Obama’s inauguration. I want the world to say her name and never forget her. It touched me because she was young, vibrant, and was a performer with a future that was so bright that it could blind anyone’s sight.

 

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