Na’Sha: Straight Up

The road to a singer following their dreams of becoming a household name is often long-traveled. For Na’sha it has been a struggle all the same, and the path to an already bright career. Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, she fell in love with music as a child, listening to everyone from Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner to Whitney Houston. When she was only 17, she drove 22 hours to Miami in search of her heart’s desire.

In the recording of her first project, Na’Sha has already worked with reputable producers like Scott Storch, Cool & Dre and James Poyser. She wrote all but one song on her debut album My Story, and she is ready to prove her talents to the world at large.

Bringing her inspirations and ambitions to the table, Na’sha recently took a moment to talk with Alternatives about the past, present, and future of her rising star. Alternatives: When was the moment you knew you wanted to be a singer?

Na’Sha: I think I knew when I was 10, I did a Black history play in Columbus and I was Mahalia Jackson singing “Amazing Grace”, and the response I got was ridiculous. I said I know I have to do this.

AHHA: What were some of your struggles as of this point getting on in the music industry and becoming a household name?

Na’Sha: When I first started looking for a deal I was 17, and basically it was all about image. They look past the talent and they were trying to make me be overly sexy and I wasn’t ready for that at 17. The politics of the business was what held me back, but I also think everything happens in due time. In your time you’ll get it. Right now my smaller struggle is radio, radio looks for you to have spins on TV, and TV looks for you to have spins on radio. So you kinda gotta balance it out - it’s hard but it’s working.

AHHA: How have your experiences been as a songwriter - not only for yourself but in aspiring to write for others?

Na’Sha: It’s been excellent, because that’s the one thing that really comes naturally for me. I started off writing poetry and then turned them into songs. I can write for someone else as long as I know their situation. I really try to get to know other people who I work for, because I find that real situations are what inspire me to write, not necessarily made up ones. I really specialize in writing realistic songs.

AHHA: Tell us about your album and some of the producers and guest appearances.

Na’Sha: Scott Storch did a couple of tracks, then I had Cool & Dre, R&G Productions from Ohio, Zukambe who’s an up and rising producer, and the Beat Boyz from Florida. The features I have are Shaggy and B.G. on “No Good”.

AHHA: What advice do you have for anyone trying to become a singer?

Na’Sha: I have this thing that I live by and that’s listen to your ‘yes’ and nobody else’s no’s. You might hear a lot of them, but you have to know that when one door closes maybe 10 other ones will open. The same is the case vice versa - if 10 doors close one might open if you just walk towards it.

AHHA: What do you want people to know about you as both an artist and as a person?

Na’Sha: As an artist I want people to know that I’m creative and I’m dedicated to this. I really believe this is what I’m supposed to do. After I’m an artist I really want to be an executive in the music game. I never plan to get out, seriously I want to retire from this. As a person I’m a realist, I believe in being true to yourself and not compromising the essence of you. I seriously think that in the future I’ll be a great businesswoman.

AHHA: What can we expect from you in the near future?

Na’Sha: Promotions, promotions, promotions. I just plan to promote to get exposure, continue to write, and build my character as an artist. The [first] single is called “Fire” I’m getting spins certain places like L.A., Florida, and Hawaii. It’s number one in Holland but that’s overseas. We’re trying to bring it to the U.S. We’re planning to shoot the video after the UK promo I’m doing with Shaggy. Depending on how successful this record is I really do want to eventually get my own company started and make decisions on the executive side.

AHHA: Do you have any final comments?

Na’Sha: Everybody who’s trying to make it in the game keep going, but don’t compromise yourself. Be real with yourself, know what to really make a decision on. If someone tells you to do something business wise that you really like, you have to know in your heart what you can and can’t be lenient on.