She’s private, but pivotal, passionate and progressive, a pianist since the age of 4 and an avid reader. She considers herself a one woman’s band that caters to one’s mellow melodic mood: Her style of music is a combination of rhythm and blues, funk, down tempo, hip hop and electronics. Her name is Nekaybaaw which means “warrior women” and that she is.
She has transformed from a member of an all girls group out of Birmingham Al, Black-n-Myld, into a writer and music producer and has traveled from Alabama to LA. We were drawn to Nekaybaaw because of the mystery that surrounds her. She is a woman of few words and speaks only when spoken to. She leaves you wondering if you have asked questions which properly describe her. Nekaybbaaw’s demeanor is quiet and charismatic…there were points in the interview where it seemed if though getting an answer was like pulling teeth, however she had no problem answering her interview questions with clarity and charm. She is currently seeking vocalist to produce who has that special something that she can take to another level.
Nekaybaaw talked with Lesbian Life about her fears of becoming a solo artist, her personal passion of photography, and how she deals with being in a relationship while continuing her journey as a musician and working with well-known artists such as Latimore, Kut Klose, Da Brat, Xscape, many others.
Lesbian Life: I’ve read your bio so I know a little bit about you. What was it like playing the piano at the age of 6, was that when your passion for music developed?
Yes and no, my love for it really started before then, I probably remember around the age of 4. I say yes and no because I really hated the discipline aspect of the piano because I always had to practice, my mom was really strict about practice; I always had to get lots of practice in. I could do with it or I could do without it, (practicing the piano) just came so constructed and I really had an issue with the whole “I needed to do it this way” and I couldn’t really do it my own way.
You are also an avid reader, what do you like to read?
I’m really into research, whether it is spiritual or science related, I’m also into various aspects of law, I research different cultures. I really don’t have a particular genre that’s my favorite. I started out reading fiction and it just sort of progressed. I kind of feel like I have to read any and everything to make a truly informed decisions.
You where a member of an all girls group, but you say in your bio that you weren’t content, or fulfilled, what was the bottom line for you…what made you say, okay this is it, I don’t want to be a part of this group anymore?
At the time it was really a mixture of everything, we signed a bad contract deal and at the time I really thought that the decisions we were making were not truly the best decisions. I wanted to do whatever it took to get a record deal. It wasn’t until years later I realized that everything works how it is suppose to work. We weren’t supposed to do great things because I don’t know if I would have agreed to a lot of things that I see happen in the industry now. I kind of felt that I had reached my peak in what I was doing it was really time for me to sort of set out on my own journey.
Tell us what that was like after leaving the group, what was your biggest fear in becoming a solo artist and how did you overcome that fear?
To be honest with you it was very hard because one of the things that I kind of took for granted and that I realize after the fact is that; it was very different being an artist on my own I always had three other people who I could see on the side of me or in a circle with me that I’m actually sharing that experience with. I had to do twice or three times better than what I would have had to do with three other people. It was this eye opening experience. I think with that is when I sort of withdrew from doing the solo artist things and to learning how to produce music.
Sounds like you have traveled around a lot, tell us about that journey and how much of it was to follow your passion?
Once I left Birmingham I moved to Texas, I lived in Texas for about 4 ½ years, during that period I didn’t do a lot of socializing I really stayed at home and really worked on music I just sort of withdrew from the world in a sense and I just buried myself in being creative, I also had a series of different spiritual experiences because I just spent so much time with myself it was a learning experience (in Texas). From there I moved to California and that was really a different experience that was were I really got into working with other people that definitely taught me a lot about patients and how I am, in the mode of a producer, verses being a singer in a group or a writer. But I would have to say my journey has a lot to do with what’s going on with me now. Right now I’m in Georgia. My time in California was really spent networking and building relationships with people.
Now that you are in Georgia, will you be hooking up with that Atl sound?
I am open to all things but I will say I like to do things independently. I’ve only been in Georgia 2 ½ weeks I definitely plan to promote myself more but as far as picking up a sound, I really try not to. I really try not to listen to the radio or listen to what other people. Not that I want to count anyone out, I’m always open to working with other people, but I think the way I want to do things is a little bit different.