Spotlight

Nia Dinero: From On-Air Radio Personality to Rising Artist Redefining Music w/ Hip-Pop

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Nia Dinero

Meet Rising Hip-Pop Star

Since reemerging as a solo artist, Nia Dinero has been creating a lane for herself. Coining the term Hip-Pop, she redefines her presence and artistry in the music industry with two new hit singles “Birthday” and “Meditate”. While “Birthday” brings an edgy upbeat flow to listeners’ ears, Nia sheds light on her upbringing and rise in the music industry as an artist. “Mediate” showcases Nia’s diapason from sensual yet witty lyrics to a pop-soul flow.

With the recent releases of a three track EP called Just for Now and two new singles “Birthday” and “Meditate”, the rebirth of this Virginia native has her back on track showcasing her natural talents as not only a musician, but as an artist and a creator whose brilliant and unique approach is not only displayed through her music, but through all aspects of Nia Dinero’s artistry, as the rising star seems destined to be in the spotlight.

Stream and Download Nia Dinero’s Latest Singles: “Birthday” | “Meditate”

Meet and Get To Know Nia Dinero

Kulture Vulturez: When you was growing up, what role or involvement did music, or anything creative and artistic, have in your life?

Nia Dinero: I’ve been writing music seriously since 17 [years old]. Growing up, music was all around me. My uncle, he owned his own concert promotion company in California. I guess you can say at that time, even at a young age, that’s kind of when [music] was introduced. But like I said, at 17, I started writing seriously. I went to Norfolk State and immediately got into audition for the radio station, Norfolk State’s radio station. So, I was actually an on-air personality and that was my next big [thing], like this is what I want to do. I want to be in this industry. It just went from there. I ended up connecting with a producer on campus and the rest was history as far as me taking on this musical path.

Kulture Vulturez: Do you feel the radio station was the one moment to leading you to where you are now?

Nia Dinero: Definitely. Because working at the radio station, I was able to meet other big artists, interview other artists, and go to different events. Not only was I able to interact with other artists, but I was able to kind of see the hustle and bustle and a little bit of the work that it took to really go and tap into this industry.

Kulture Vulturez: You grew up in the DMV area, musically, did that have any influence on you?

Nia Dinero: I think not even just the DMV, but just growing up in Virginia. Virginia has a sound. Growing up, going to Norfolk State, being in that Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton Roads area you’re around a lot of producers and artists that truly are musically inclined to another level. Like playing instruments, it’s not just I guess you can say quote unquote, button pushing.

Just being able to be around musicians that definitely influenced my sound, just how I listen to music, what I do listen for, and how I create my music. But just living in [Virginia], aside from the DMV, just being brought up in Virginia it pushes you differently. It pushes the sound; it pushes the musicianship. Virginia has a little bit of that bounce, so my music definitely has a little bit of that color to it.

Meditate – Nia Dinero (Official Video)

Kulture Vulturez: Can you talk about your official start, being part of the group called Dreamz2Dinero?

Nia Dinero:  That was a very, very, very, very big part of my whole journey. After being on the radio, the producer that I did connect with was Dreamz. Dreamz pretty much kind of took me under his wing. Initially, he was the producer, and he was just producing for me. Later on, we became a five person group. Then after the five person group, we became a duo.

He really helped me in the very beginning of my career, just kind of honing in on my sound and helping me with a lot of my writing. We travel, we did shows, like the Fillmore at the time when Young Money (Lil Wayne’s record label) was big on the scene. We were looked at by a couple of reps from their camp and Def Jam. So, yeah, it plays a really big role in my career and my start.

Kulture Vulturez: Since then, how do you feel you evolved as an artist and as a person in the music industry?

Nia Dinero: I think when you choose to really do this and you really commit and say, ‘you know what, I’m really going to go all the way,’ it’s inevitable that you’re going to grow as a person in the midst of you pushing towards the musical goal. I’ve grown in every way, every way musically, especially being a woman in the industry. Just learning how to be assertive, learning how to just know what you want, how to speak up for yourself and do it in a way that you know is true to yourself, but at the same time people still take you seriously.

Musically, I listen to a lot of my older music sometimes when I just need a pick me up and just to remind myself where I’ve come from and how far I’ve grown. I listen to a lot of my older stuff just to hear vocally where I’ve grown and just to hear like as far as cadence, lyrical content, just in every way. There’s no way that you can’t grow as a whole from from personal to professional if you’re choosing to take this this path and do it seriously.

Kulture Vulturez: Have you had your share of struggles in music?

Nia Dinero: I mean, going back to what I just said, just being a woman doing it comes with its own hurdles. Being so serious about this you meet a lot of people that they see it from the outside. It looks right on the outside, like I want to do this from the outside, but when you are really in it and when they see the hard work and what it takes sometimes you come in with one person, but then you have to do what you have to get to the next step. It comes with this process. It comes with it and you have to know yourself. What I pushed to do is learn. Everything is a lesson, at the end of the day. That’s how I look at it.

Birthday – Nia Dinero [Extended Version]

Kulture Vulturez: You have decided to call your music Hip-Pop. Why give it that label?

Nia Dinero: For me, I’ve always had a love for both genres. Growing up I listened to everything from Celine Dion, to country, to rock, to all the way down to some of my influences like MC Lyte, Missy Elliott, Eve, and even artists like Fergie. For me, going back to me creating a sound, an original sound, that’s authentic to where I come from, that’s authentic to what I represent. Hip-Pop was just natural. It was just natural.

It’s just natural for me to merge my love for Hip-Pop and the culture of Hip-Hop and my love just for popular music. Just the different elements of pop and the sense and the structure of pop music. So, that is Hip-Pop.

Kulture Vulturez: Do you think you offer something different to the industry?

Nia Dinero: I think nowadays there’s so many ways to bring something different to the industry outside of just music as well. It can be just in personality, it can be in music, it can be just how you carry yourself, just your energy. There’s so many things I feel now that people are looking at when it comes to what are you bringing to the table. I feel like Nia Dinero definitely brings a lot of those qualities, definitely to the table.

Kulture Vulturez: You have two new released singles, “Meditate” and “Birthday”. Can you talk about those?

Nia Dinero “Birthday”

Nia Dinero: “Birthday” was actually created during the pandemic. It’s really like a celebratory celebration track, of just not only getting out of that part of life, but also just growing. Just in that time, I was just really figuring out who I was and figuring out who I was creatively. When I wrote that track, I was just really in a space of knowing who I was and knowing what that would look like. That’s the background behind “Birthday”. That’s why the energy, the feel of the video, and the track is just real fun. It’s just fun. Everyone in the video are my friends and we shot it in D.C. and it was truly it was a real party. What you see in the video is really what it was real.

Stream/Download “Birthday” here

Nia Dinero “Meditate”

Nia Dinero: Meditate is one of my favorites because Meditate was created honestly in real time based off of a conversation. I was talking to the producer, we were having a conversation about relationships. He asked me about love or what am I looking for, I was just like having looks and all that is great, it’s amazing, but to have someone who can pray with you, go get deep and meditate with you is the key. Then as soon as I said that, it was like it was nothing. I wrote the hook and we just went from there. Meditate is another side of Nia Dinero. Both both tracks definitely represent me as Nia Dinero.

Stream/Download “Meditate” here

Kulture Vulturez: In 2020, you released an EP Just For Now. Can you talk about the concept behind it?

Nia Dinero: The EP was created in the  middle of the pandemic as well. “Birthday” and “Meditate” are all a part of that same project, that time during the pandemic. Like most creatives, I was really just trying to figure out what were my next steps, know what’s my purpose and what am I supposed to do. There was just so much going on in the world that for a moment I just didn’t feel right putting out any music while people were struggling and there was just so much going on.

Then as time went by, I had seen this meme or something, and it was just talking about gifts and talking about how even as an artist, as a creator this is the time to use your gift. I had to look at myself and say, ‘You know what, music is one of my gifts. I’m not going to stop. I’m going to keep going.’ I ended up hitting up the producer, [and went] to Virginia Beach. I had the idea in my head, but I didn’t have it down pat. I knew I wanted to create something dope, but small, nothing crazy, not ten tracks or anything, but something dope that really hit home.

We literally wrote the whole project in a couple of hours and recorded did everything in a day, that whole EP. That’s a really special project for me. And it really was the beginning of the rebirth, honestly. It was like the new Nia Dinero, the Nia Dinero that I wanted to be and the sound that I wanted to have. Just branching off of that was the focus.

Kulture Vulturez: Musically, where do you see yourself? What do you want to be remembered as an artist or where do you want to go with your career?

Nia Dinero: Musically, I just want to be remembered as one of the greats. Honestly, I want to be remembered in this time. I want to be remembered as the artist that really pushed the envelope in more than one industry, whether it was music, whether it was TV and film, whether it was writing a book. I really just want to go down as someone who really believed in herself and really went after it and wasn’t afraid to make a statement in her way, like in her most original way.

My whole thing is authenticity, authenticity and originality. I just want to go down as someone who was true to herself as from an artist standpoint, [also] as a person, as a woman, and really go down having great relationships in industries. For me right now, the biggest thing is doing just that. There’s levels to this. That’s one thing I am seeing, the higher you go with each new level you have to become a more humble you.

You have to understand that with each new level, you’re learning new things within that new level. You may have maximized level one and been the best, but then when you get to level two, you’ve got to understand that you’ve got to be a student again to get back to maximizing level two. And it keeps going and going and going until you reach the top. So it’s truly a process for me, but I love it.

Kulture Vulturez: Do you have any ambitions outside of hip-hop and music?

Nia Dinero: Actually, some of the things that I mentioned are things that I want to do. But these are things that I’m also positioning myself to be able to do. Especially being an artist now, being multifaceted is very important. Getting into film, getting into TV, establishing solid nonprofits, writing books, and really being a very respectable brand is important to me. That’s where I’m at right now.

Kulture Vulturez: Following these releases, what is next for you that you’re able to share right now?

Nia Dinero: So up next, we actually have a performance, a really big performance, Juneteenth, June 19th at Union Stage. I’m actually performing with DJ Akademiks from WPGC and I’m super, super, super excited for that. It’s actually the same weekend as Something In The Water (D.C. music festival). So it’s really going to be a big weekend for the DMV. I’m just super excited to be a part of something really dope.

Kulture Vulturez: Well, that’s about it for me. Anything else you would like to share?

Nia Dinero: Definitely follow. Definitely check out my EP. Check out my two singles “Birthday” and “Meditate”. I’m also going to be dropping a visual album June 19th, that same day. I’m super, super excited about that. We shot about four or five videos in one day for that project. It’s like a mini movie. I’m super excited about that. We drop that June 19, the day I perform. So definitely keep a look out for that and follow me at @NiaDinero.

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