Pittsburgh Native Najj Andrea is a singer-songwriter from the East Side who masterfully creates music for the soul. In her younger years, Najj didn't quite 'fit in', but music transformed her life allowing her to find a unique voice.
The songwriter brings a fresh sound to the music scene with her dynamic fusion of soul and R&B. The stories behind her music feature candid lyrics about her life and hypnotizes you with elusive melodies you'll never forget. Getting the opportunity to ask her questions about her journey was such an honor:
Tell us about yourself, how long have you been making music?
I am a singer/songwriter and performer. I first started singing in church when I was around 6 years old and I've loved it ever since. It wasn’t until 3 years ago that I started singing professionally and writing my own music.
When did you realize music was your passion and how do you balance your lifestyle?
I realized I found my passion when I was in school. I always had good grades but I was never heavily into academics like the people around me. I went to a catholic private school from K-12 where they focused mostly on religion and education. We didn’t really have good music and arts programs. I felt so out of place, I loved music, art, and just being creative and there was none of that for me.
I started to find after-school activities that offered those things for me. One program that changed my life was the K.R.U.N.K Movement. I could always sing before the movement, but I didn’t have the same level of confidence my peers did. I couldn’t write my own music, and I didn’t have a good stage presence. Having a community of people who felt the same way about music helped me transform myself as an artist and gain a forever family.
As of lately, it's been a little difficult balancing my career and self-care. Some days, I feel like I’m doing enough, and other days I don't. I feel like I owe so much to my supporters and the people who pay attention but sometimes I just don’t have the mental strength. Just like everyone else, I’m human and I’m still learning.
How do you get your inspiration?
My creative process usually depends on how I am feeling at the time. Music is my outlet and it’s always been my way of saying how I feel when I couldn’t say it with my words. I write when I am feeling a type of way, I see somebody else in a mood or something I can relate to.
I can also create off of how the instrumentation and the melodies in the music. Sometimes I write the song before going to the studio if I already have a beat, but if I don’t I’ll go to the studio and build one with the producer.
Advice to youth on setting and accomplishing goals?
There is no better time to push and achieve your dreams than RIGHT now. We live in a world that's constantly judging us and telling us what we can't do and who we can't be. We have to reach for the stars and uplift the people around us while doing it.
"Your dream may not happen today, tomorrow, or even the day after that, but everything will fall into place if you really want it and work hard for it. Don’t rush it and always manifest and speak positivity into everything you do. "
When you go into something with negative thoughts you receive negative outcomes because you entered with ill intentions. Sometimes the bad days will feel like the worse but you have to always be ready to prepare for the best days.