Interview: NiRe Alldai

bill bodkin rocks the party…

NiRe Alldai is the latest in bold, dance anthems divas to hit the music scene. Her musical bravado (as evidenced by singles like “STFU (Shut The Fuck Up & Party)”) can only be matched by her bold and unique persona. This budding star is on the cusp of producing the next big club banger — so keep your ears open for an artist that you might have on repeat on your iPod all day (see what we did there).

Recently Pop-Break caught up with Alldai via e-mail (hence the emoticons throughout the interview) to talk about her music, her persona and her new music video.

Pop-Break: Can you talk about the people both from your personal life and from the music industry who:

a.) inspired you to make music your life’s work

NiRe Alldai: As a kid, the people that initially turned on the metaphorical “idea light bulb” & that gave me the first hint that I could possibly have a future contributing my weirdness to the music world were Missy Elliot & Erykah Badu. At the time they broke, both were so unique and out of the box I immediately felt connected to them. I mean seriously, the first time I heard Missy say “yeee eeee eeee yaow” & then again to see this person dressed in a garbage bag & space goggles sitting on top of that pink hill, My mind = BLOWN!!! My love for all genres of music gave me a hint that it would be my life’s work, but I was also into dance, theater & sports so it was really my mom that encouraged me to stay true and stay dedicated to my music. There were so many times along the way where it seemed so hard, or too much of a long shot, or I felt it was taking too long, or i felt maybe I had missed my window. And each and every time my mom would re-encourage me by just simply believing wholeheartedly in my potential. She kept saying to me along the way,” No way, You were born for this! You are not getting a 9-5. You are going to see this thing thru! What you have is too special & I just have to see what you are capable of. The world deserves you!”

So it’s safe to say my mom was my greatest support & my greatest motivation to make music my life’s work. Her and God 🙂

b.) Who inspired your current sound?

NA: My sound is totally a jambalaya of all the cool music I listened to in the 90’s with a pop sensability of NOW. Groups like Outkast & TLC were major style & originality influences. Bands like Red Hot Chilli Peppers, System of a Down & No Doubt influenced my punk attitude. Me being a LA native, u kno we always are known to rep for our city, so u gotta expect some classic West Coast braggery influenced by Ice Cube, 2Pac, Snoop & Dre 🙂 My lyrical & rhyming ability was totally influenced by Eminem, Busta Rhymes & the FuShnickens. My desire to be a strong artist/songwriter came from artists like Babyface, Mariah Carey, Teddy Riley & R Kelly. And just being an all around Bo$$ a** b%#ch, I Look to Madonna & Beyonce.

PB: Why do you feel people should people be listening to your music NiRe’ AllDai?

NA: I feel that I bring the all around reminiscent feel of great top 40 music that everyone loves, with a brand new twist that makes it all futuristically nostalgic. It’s like peering into our favorite music collection of the past 20 years, in the year 2022 🙂

PB: I read in an interview that before being signed to a major label, you were very punk rock/anti-label in your philosophy and that you made some highly unique music. What made you change your thoughts about labels?

NA: Well I’m still very punk rock in my attitude & lifestyle, & I’m totally returning to creating that music again in the future. But you know, as cool as it sounds to say I’m this “Black Punk Rock Chick” it’s also a cliché attached to that like, “Hey, but she’s black.. Is this really gonna work??” And it’s true I could have fought tooth and nail to be that, and fight thru people’s expectations of who I was to make music that’s true to me, but I also realized that as a songwriter, pop & hip-hop is just as true to me as punk is. Honestly I just want my message and music to reach as many people as possible at once, and take them all along on my journey thru music, so I figured that buckling down and getting pop savvy was the best tactic. I can’t be mad at the executives that don’t want to take a chance on this random “Black Punk chick” and loose their job, especially in this day & age, & especially given that punk isn’t all that I am. Truthfully speaking, indie artists although they have plenty of creative freedom, also often have a much more difficult time getting the masses to connect with them simply because the marketing dollars are not there. So hey, I’m spoiled. I want the best of all worlds! 🙂

PB: And how has your experience being on label been so far?

NA: I am IN LOVE!!! So many people have nightmare experiences being signed & controlled & shelved and then ultimately getting dropped. So in my attempt to avoid that at all costs, I took my sweet time and focused on just getting better as a writer and as an artist before even approaching a label to get a deal to ensure the best possible situation for me in the long run, and that plan completely worked out for me. I’m surrounded by a team of people that wholeheartedly believe in me and my talent and vision, it’s literally like a dream to have this the very first time I signed a recording contract. But I’m 100% sure that it’s because I worked to refine myself and waited till the universe opened the perfect opportunity for me, instead of shoving my music down someone’s throat before I was prepared to get what I truly deserved. Now I’m not only musically prepared but mentally strong enough to keep this train going for a good while.

PB: You have a bold sense of style — can you talk about how your style reflects your music?

NA: My style is really the same description & reflection of my natural personality: Original, Loud, Colorful, Risky, Punky, Edgy, Classic, Multi cultural, Creative, a rad mix of different time periods… And that totally is a great description of my music as well 🙂

PB: Can you talk about performing live and how your music which is very dance and electronic-based translates to a live performance?

NA: I admit it’s not the same type of fun as performing with a band, but it’s a different type of cool because I get to show off my love of dance! Electro music sounds awesome with the DJ element and my dancers just put the perfect touch to make it an onstage party at all times during the show! I absolutely LOVE performing!! 🙂

PB: Are there adjustments or difficulties in performing your music live?

NA: No. The electro sounds crappy when youU try to recreate it with a band (unless the band is uniquely awesome) so the dancers are perfect for these songs. I think the only adjustment is that I sing a lot more in my shows than on record so I get excited to show my true vocal ability during the live shows.

PB: If someone wants to check your music out, which song would you recommend they list to and why?

NA: Well. All my songs are my babies so it’s hard to say which I love the most, but “Hella Bad” and the remixes are crazy insane, so I’d recommend that right now. And then I’d recommend that they go back & listen to “Inside Out” & “STFU!” 🙂

PB: What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

NA: Tour & promote, then tour & promote.. And then ill try a little touring and promoting! Oh & did I mention I wanted to tour and promote? Oh. Just checking 😉

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites