New Jersey doesn't get the credit it deserves. While we may thank the state for its premiere reality television, and, as it turns out, the most diners per capita in the world, its latest and perhaps best offering, is 070 Shake, of the 070 collective. The artist bridges hip hop and RnB, singing and rap, and with addictive, androgynous vocals, she's en route to being the next big-time artist to emerge from the East Coast.
When (and where) are you most creative?
I'm always lost in my thoughts, even when I am surrounded by people. My best and most creative thoughts come to me when I go to a place where I can be alone in my head.
How did you get your start?
I was spending a lot of time in the studio because my friends would be there recording. I always had poetry written in my phone, words in my head that I had to get out and write down. My sister and cousins were always active in school music programs but that was never for me. So I was always surrounded by music but never thought about it for myself. One day I decided to just go in the booth and record, put what we made on Soundcloud and the rest handled itself.
What are you working on right now? Can you describe any current projects or activities?
A lot changed for me pretty fast last year. I've been taking this time to slow down and really ground myself. I have an EP releasing this year called "Yellow Girl." I've already started putting songs together for the album as well. I have a ton of music I want to get out but the visuals are just as important to me. There's tons of things I want to do including producing films & there's a play idea I've been working on. Acting etc. All of it.
What is success to you?
Success to me is being happy, healthy and able to make change in this world. I won't be successful until I've accomplished what I am set here to do.
Do critics matter?
I will always value feedback but at the end of the day, this is me. My music, my message. I don't really care what a critic has to say. I'm not here to please everyone, I am here to be myself and make the kind of music I like.
Obviously you've seen success in your career but can you tell us about a time you failed?
I was the worst student in my high school, so there wasn't much success there. I played basketball and there were girls better than me. There were teachers that failed me, you know, so I had a lot of failures and I am sure I will have a lot more. When I started making music, my outlook on failing changed. Now that I know my purpose, I see every obstacle as a test from the universe. Am I strong enough to take loses, pick myself up and fulfill my destiny in the end? That's my biggest hurdle now.
Do you think about legacy?
It's one of the only things I think about. If I don't leave this earth a better place, what was the point in being here? 8.What advice do you have for someone looking to break into your industry?
Did you ever give up (or want to give up)? What were the circumstances?
Giving up has never been an option for me. It's not even a thought.
What trends in your field do you find most exciting / are you most optimistic about? What about your field is frustrating? What would you like to see change?
It's exciting to see that you can really bring people together and make a difference through your art. When I have a show it's beautiful seeing people that don't know one another having a great time together, living in the moment, carefree and dancing. It's frustrating to see people with a huge platform not using it to spread knowledge or love, especially now with everything that's going on.
How do you plan to build on your success so far? Is there anything you fear will set you back?
I just have to keep making music and keep working hard. I am the only thing that can stop me. Its a battle with me and the person looking back in the mirror.
What was the first moment you knew you were going to be able to do this as a job – not necessarily your first big break or success, but the first time you thought, "This is it, this is my career"?
I guess when I put my first song out and saw the reaction and plays it was getting. The song really resonated with people in a major way, I saw my words were touching people and I realized this is what I am meant to do.
What's been the biggest choice you've had to make in your career so far?
Every choice is equally as important to me.
What is your morning routine like?
I usually wake up around 9:30am and smoke. Just depends on what I am working on at the time, my schedule is always different depending on whether I am in recording or touring mode. I find myself being lazy throughout the day whenever I am home in Jersey but I guess I make up for that when I am on the road working non stop.
What are you most excited about for the future? (Can be about your career, your personal life, the world - anything.)
I'm really just excited to continue to grow this audience and have this dialogue with them. I can't wait for the rest of my crew to be on the road with me, for everyone to know about 070 the group. As we get bigger, our message will be louder. I am excited to make a difference.
What are you most worried about for the future?
I worry about not being able to reach the people I want to reach, but then I remember this was all written. It will happen.
Are you good at giving advice? What is the best advice you've ever given?
I'm not really into giving advice or telling people how they should live their lives. I am more into opening a persons mind by showing them a different perspective, pointing out the positives in a negative situation. If there is one thing I always tell people it is to find their purpose, know why they are here and live it out.
Are you good at receiving advice? What is the best advice you've ever received?
The best advice I've gotten is from books. Celestine Prophecy is one of my more recent favorites.
What makes a person beautiful? What makes you beautiful?
Love makes a person beautiful. When a person is genuine, has a good heart and wants to help others. That is beautiful. Thats what makes me beautiful at least, cos I know I'm only a little cute on the outside. LOL.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my recent growth mentally as a person. I am extremely proud of my team and us just being in the position we are in right now. Its a blessing, I thank God every day.
Check out the rest of our Beautiful People here.Photography by Maya Fuhr
Styling by Ella Cepeda
Stylist Assistant: Katie Rintala
Makeup & Hair by Alberto Luengo at Wilhelmina Artists using Afterglow Cosmetics and N4 haircare
Photography Assistant: Sarah Deaner
Location: Dune Studios