ALAYIA LOGAN is more than just a "female rapper". This 17 year old artist, has already gained quite the buzz. Not only is she skilled with the pen, but Alayia (also known as 'Bird') is also an actor, model, #mentor and entrepreneur. Just last year she launched a powerful movement called #NubiQueen17, aimed to empower young black girls while connecting them to opportunities to expand their careers. You could imagine how excited I was to finally catch up with Bird after seeing her amazing performance at Level Up Studios.
How long have you been pursuing a music career?
I actually began writing at the age of 7, so I've been in the game for about 10 years now! Back when I was 11, my best friend and I wrote a song called "Before You're Dead and Gone", talking about all the tragedies in our city. This song led me to performing and booking up to at least 25 shows within that first year! Just knowing that people were actually interested in hearing what I had to say and seeing me perform made me realize just how talented I was/am!
How did you get your name? Does it have any special meaning?
Lol, well my rap name is literally just my nickname... I got the name Bird from my grandma when I was first born because I was "so tiny with big eyes". So no the name doesn't really have any special meaning... just given based off the resemblance, but it is something that I have grown to love and treasure through the years. A special name given by a very special person.
What’s a typical day/week like for you?
I'm a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend, and friend before any of this so just spending time with my loved ones usually hanging out at home, school during the day, then chillin during the afternoon. Sometimes my weeks can get very busy though, including things like photo shoots, performances, studio time, etc., all on top of my school work. Sometimes I have at least 2 gigs or more in the same week, occasionally on the same day!
Any new projects we should know about?
Yes actually! I just released a #mixtape called "III". The sound on this project is very diverse and can definitely appeal to multiple audiences. It is a mix between popular and familiar remixes and some original jams. I just want the streets to hear, the people to feel, and for those sleeping to wake up after this! "III" is a very special project to me. I released it on my grandmothers birthday. The last song on the project, "Linda Marie", is actually a tribute to her. It is very important to me that all my listeners know and understand the kind of impact her life and death had on me and that they appreciate and recognize the fact that she is who I do it for. When I was 2, my grandma told me I would be a star despite what anyone else believed, and it is within my mission to speak her words into existence. Rest in paradise grandma, I will continue to lift your name and make you proud, I love you with everything in me!
How have you grown as an artist? Any favorite artists to link up and collaborate with?
Over the years I have grown tremendously as an artist. The appreciation I have grown to have for hip hop and it's culture is major! From my mental state, to my social and communication skills, to learning how to cope with different situations based on circumstance; are all things I've developed over the years.
My ear for music has also evolved, I now listen to many different genres, allowing me to appreciate other cultures as well. I really try to stress the fact that I am no longer just a rapper, I am an artist of many crafts! I see everything in life as art and I am still working on my masterpiece. I think it's super dope collaborating with the different artists around our city. You get to see the different vibes, talent, and personalities they bring to the table.
I work with a few artists here and there but I must say some of my favorites at the time have to be the homies, #Gusto, Treble, Zende, and #DejahMonea. I haven't really got the chance to work with too many artists, but I do hope to get some features in with some more fire artists such as Nay Hundo, Sobah, Black Boi, Keely Brady, #ClaraKent, #LiveFromTheCity, Lucky Leww, Keith, Julz Montana, Jaii Locc and that's just to name a few! As far as producers go I have to say my top 3 all time favorites at the moment are definitely #StevieB, #SemajRegah, and my brother #SlimThaDj aka Gizzle, these guys are amazing and I do look forward to making more magic in the future.
Any new shows coming up?
As of right now I can just say catch me around lol. I'll be performing at a bunch of parties, community events, vibe sessions, schools, fashion shows and more as always! I'm trying to get up out the Burgh at least once this year so hopefully we can make that shake. One place you guys can definitely start preparing for is the #InterstateShowcase this upcoming spring, I placed top three in a huge competition of 50+ people, these are the finals, so come out and support the kid!
Tell us about your ‘Nubi’ movement. What inspired it and what do you wish to accomplish with it?
I started this movement when I was 16 on January 3, 2017, and already I have 50+ girls! My mission with creating NubiQueen17, is to basically help my peers, especially young ladies, network and make connections with people and other organizations who can help them succeed in anything they're interested in. We do photo shoots to empower each other, to build up portfolios for those interested in working with us, and simply to boost ones self confidence. Through #NubiQueen17, for girls interested in expanding their career and taking advantage of opportunities, I try my best to find them other gigs such as, modeling, hosting, performing, catering, fashion, performing, videos, mentoring, public speaking, etc. This year I pretty much just want to help these girls network, while empowering one another.
We have formed this movement to create a #sisterhood to spread positive vibes and to bring black girls from all around the city of different ages, sizes, and shades to form unbreakable bonds and uplift each other. With us you are free to be yourself! Be unique! Be creative! Be bold! We are your sisters! We are #Brilliant! We are #Beautiful! We are #Black! And Most Importantly We Are #QUEENS!
What mistakes do you feel most artists make when pursuing a career?
Inconsistency, following quantity over quality, unprofessionalism, being unreliable, being a "Know it all", because honestly you can never know too much! Putting your trust in the wrong people can definitely turn your career upside down. There are many mistakes artists tend to make, I'm sure the list goes on forever but, I personally feel as though one mistake shouldn't stop anyone. If you want something you go and get it, and if you fall you get back up!
Do you feel as though you’re getting the support you want/need from your community?
To an extent... For me a like isn't 'support', coming out to a show is support! Donating to my movement is #support! Buying some of my merchandise is support! I have gone viral a few times, so I definitely have listeners and support through my social #media which I still appreciate, but I'm not too sure about that genuine support... Not yet at least, I'll get it sooner or later.
Where do you see yourself in 10 Years?
Successful! A long way from where I am now, somewhere changing the world. I don't see myself ever really making... Well out the hood of course but by that I simply mean, I would never want to limit myself to just reaching one spot, I feel like once you feel as though you made it, there is no where else to go, there is no up from there, in other words, you're stuck. I want to continue to prosper and succeed at everything I do! My only goal is to be better than I am today, to be further in my success, and to have experienced blessings out of this world. I just want to be great, and I will be! My mom always tells me to speak things into existence and, I will continue to do so.
Tell us about your accomplishments. Where have you performed and what are you proud of?
I've accomplished a lot these past few years, so I recognize that I am beyond blessed. I've performed at events throughout the city such as #Thrival, the #ThreeRiversArtsFestival, the #Regatta (Market Square), the Console Energy Center, #BoomConcepts, the Spirit Lounge, August Wilson Center, The Convention Center, The City Council building, #WAMO Day (Stage AE), Writings on the Wall (Flow Lounge), Level Up Studios, The Butterfly Effect, 1hood Day, The Bounce House II, the #Shyne Awards, etc. just to name a few of the major ones. The other places include schools, parties, community events, churches, programs, talent shows, fashion shows, etc. A few years back I made an appearance on WQED, which was super lit!
Within this past year I have been featured in a few blogs, was mentioned in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, went viral 4 times, for acting I was nominated as best supporting actress in "Sister Act" the Musical. I performed at the Benedum for the Gene Kelly Awards, I had an interview with the Pulse, and a radio interview with Wamo 100. I was featured in an Amazon commercial, and just last month my face was put on the Lundon storefront at Ross Park Mall.
From the performances, to the hosting, to the interviews, the modeling, the special appearances, to the social media takeovers, these are all things that I am externally proud of, and I am beyond thankful for each of these #opportunities.
Any special people in your life? Supporters you want to acknowledge?
So many special people!!!! I just want to say thank you to each and everyone of you who have supported me since day one, I wouldn't be anywhere without you guys! First, shout out to a very special lady on this very special day, I love you grandma continue to rest in Paradise! Happy Birthday! I promise I won't let you down! ... Shout out to her beautiful daughter, my momma for forever being not only one of my biggest fans but my biggest inspiration, she is my motivation, she feeds my passion and my vision, and for that I want to acknowledge her. You mean the world to me mommy! I love you with all my heart and soul! I also want to give a shout out to my pops for being one of the most supportive people I know, like genuinely, blasting my music day and night, rocking my shirts to every event lol I love you dad.
I also want to thank all of my crazy siblings, there's a lot of us, for always believing in me I am a sister before any of this and you guys really push me to be the best person I can be, thank you for believing in me and thank you for always supporting my crazy dreams, no matter how unrealistic they are. No matter what the world may throw at us, through all of our struggles and every success, we will continue to have each other! I love y'all!
Next I want to give a huge shout out to a special guy named Aaron, my biggest supporter aside from my mother, thank you for being all that I could ever ask for! You literally support all of my dreams and you push me to strive for the things I believe in, you genuinely believe in me and you make that very known! You are a beautiful soul inside and out and I am thankful to have someone like you in my life. You're an artist of many crafts, very talented as well! You are amazing, and no matter how hard it gets we never let each other give up and I honestly treasure that! I love and appreciate you so much!
Last but not least, I want to just thank all my family, friends, and fans who continue to follow my career. Thank you to any producer, artist, photographer, model, or mentor who has ever contributed to me career. You guys all mean so much to me and I wouldn't be anywhere without you all! Thank you for all the motivational messages and the consistent support you guys show me!
Follow Bird on Social Media:
IG: iscream_birdx / FB: Alayia Logan / TW: iscream_bird / SoundCloud: YG Bird Snapchat: Ayeebirdxx / YouTube: Birdwatchingtv