Over the last few years, Justina Valentine has made massive strides in the entertainment game. From freestyling online to clowning around with Nick Cannon on MTV’s Wild’n Out and from amassing six figure YouTube numbers to collaborating with Fetty Wap, it’s obvious that Justina Valentineis on her way. The Pop Break recently got a chance to sit down with one of New Jersey’s most promising rising stars to talk about music, comedy, touring and being from Jersey…
You are from Passaic County NJ, how has that shaped your sound/personality/career? A lot of Jersey artists site growing up just outside NYC as motivation to get in the game, how did it effect you?
I’m right outside the biggest and, I dare say, dopest city in the world…New York City. Growing up, I was definitely in and out of NYC a lot and although Jersey is heavily influenced by New York, we also have our own style and our own flavor. Where I’m from is very diverse with a lot of different people, culture, religions, etc. I’ve always liked all kinds of music, from rap to rock to R&B to pop and my dad put me onto the classics. Being from where I’m from helped me have a love for all genres of music.
Personality wise, I’m very outgoing and kind of spit-it-straight-from-the-hip and in this part of the country we’re known for keeping it real rugged and raw.
Career wise, the Northeast is fast-paced and you can run with it or get trampled on. They say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere and it’s the truth.
Social media is a big part of your career. How did you become so popular and what strategies did you use to grow your online following?
It’s a part of today’s climate. There’s no way to reach people faster than the internet. I posted a video recently that got over 600,000 views and that’s more people than I could reach by touring for a month. I’ve always tried to be myself and let people see me do regular everyday things. Showing them behind-the-scenes stuff lets fans get an understanding of who I am as a person and make a real connection.
You’ve been on a number of big tours, who have been some of your favorite tour mates and what city has the best Justina Valentine fans?
I love hitting the road and I love to tour. Every time you hit the road it’s new experiences, new memories, new fans and it’s awesome. Some of my favorites are my boy and my good friend Chris Webby, Machine Gun Kelly on the Warped Tour was awesome and I’ve finally been able to do my own tour, which is a blessing.
The best Justina Valentina fans? I have to go with my home team in NY/NJ, but I definitely have great fans all over the US and I’m looking forward to doing some international touring in the future.
Wild’n Out is currently on tour, that show looks like a blast and it seems like an insane group of people to hit the road together. What’s the environment like on the road with that crew?
It’s been an awesome, crazy experience. In a few cities we had to add a second show because the first sold out. It’s a great time and a constant laughing-fest. Nick Cannon is a great guy and super humble, he’s one of the first people in the industry to give me a chance and put me on, so I’ll always be grateful to him for that. We play all the games from the show and the crowds love it and have a great time.
How did Wild’n Out happen? What’s the audition process like?
You have to go through many steps and many levels. I’m known for my freestyle rapping, so a friend of mine named Tonio Skits connected me with the right people and showed them my online freestyles. They brought me in for the audition process and I made it through for Season 8. We’re about to start Season 10 and I’m only the second female to do three seasons of the show. I’m honored and blessed. Wild’n Out has been one of the best things to happen in my career and my life.
In 2015 you collaborated with Fetty Wap at the absolute peak of his popularity on your single/video “Candyland.” How did that collaboration happen and how was he to work with?
It came about organically, we are both from the same part of Jersey and record at the same studio. We knew each other before he blew up crazy and we had been talking about working together. Fetty heard the track, laid his verse and killed it…like he kills everything else. Fetty made everybody from Jersey proud, he was one of the first people to break through from here in a long time and I was super thankful that he did the record and showed me love like he did.
What’s next for Justina Valentine?
I’m about to start filming Season 10 of Wild’n Out, I’m also on The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars debuting in November on MTV where you will see a different side of me. I just dropped my singles “GOAT – Greatest Of All Time” and “Deep End” so look out for those and I have a secret project that will spin some heads right off their necks…it’s going to be crazy!
Justina Valentine can be seen on MTV’s The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars debuting next week and at The Underground Arts in Philadelphia on December 15. Click here for tickets.
5 Quick Questions
You recently remixed Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” what other 5 songs by female MC’s would you like to take on?
Nicki Minaj – “B’s in the Trap”
Missy Elliot – “All In My Grill”
Lil’ Kim – “Crush On You”
Aaliyah – “Are You That Somebody?”
Remy Ma – “Conceited”
Who are the 4 coolest celebrities you worked with on Wildin’ Out?
Waka Flocka Flame
There were a lot of cool ones, but those were the first four to come to mind.
What 3 producers would you like to work on your next project?
First, I want to shout out my current producers: Shy Boogs, Peoples, Pyramids and Infamous. And then…
Who are your 2 favorite New Jersey artists/entertainers?
Easy! Fetty Wap and Justina Valentine!
1 reason everybody should check out Justina Valentine?
I’m a real artist. Nobody gave me anything. I write my own music, I’m self-made and pushed myself to get where I am. Support a real artist, someone who did it on their own, someone who’s music is real and when you hear this new project you’re definitely going to know why you should listen to Justina Valentine.
Check out her website and get 10% off all merchandise (excluding emojis) using the code “POPBREAK” on all orders placed before December 15th here.