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Interview: Q&A with Nikki McKnight (@706Nix)

Q: What else have you been working on since the last dropped “Too Many” and recently “Wings”?
 
A: “I’ve actually been working on perfecting my skills in audio post-production. I’m having fun learning more with each project I work on. I’ve also been working on the score for an upcoming indie horror film. Someone I’ve worked with a few times in the past reached out to me and presented the opportunity for me to put my degree to work. And I can’t forget to mention my FIEcrū (Family Is Everything Crew) apparel clothing line. My cousin Ty and myself are working diligently to build the brand and make it a household name around the world. I guess you can say my hands are a bit full these days.”
 
Q: How does it feel to have the Full Sail University Audio Production Degree?
 
A:” It feels great to accomplish something you set your heart and mind to do, then actually follow through and complete the journey. Even after graduation, I still take every opportunity to learn more and more because things are always changing in the audio production world. I look forward to working on future projects with other people as well as my own.”
 
Q: What motivated you to pursue a degree in Audio Production?
 
A: “For years I’ve been wanting to produce, mix, and master my own project. I had been thinking about going to Full Sail for a long time to learn the craft, but I was so busy as an artist with creating the music, promoting it, and doing shows in different cities. Add in a full-time job where I’m working anywhere between 40-50 hours a week, I just couldn’t find the time to dedicate myself to school. I wanted to be in a place where I was mentally prepared to do it. While I was working on Episodes, I just came to the conclusion one day that there wasn’t going to be a “right time” and to just go for it. If this was something I was passionate about, I’d make a way by any means. I signed myself up and the rest was history. One of the best decisions I ever made.”
 
Q: Speaking of motivation, what was the inspiration behind a track you have titled “Black Skin”?
 
A: “Black Skin is a song I have on a joint project with my guy King Kamaal. He actually had the song on another project that I mixed for him. He later snatched the first one down and asked me to hop on the new version. King has a way of taking me out of my comfort zone as far as content, but I love the challenges. During the time I was writing for it, I happened to be scrolling through my twitter feed and seeing the controversy behind the Serena Williams match where she was having issues with the umpire. Just reading all the love and support everyone had for her after that match was inspiring. With all the obstacles that she’s been faced with because “they” refuse to or just don’t believe that this much Power is inside this Black Queen, it was just destiny for me to see her all over my timeline before I wrote my contribution for a song titled “Black Skin”.”
 
Q: What are some of the challenges you have had or still face as a female with “black skin”?
 
A: “It’s actually quite the same. One of my good friends says to me all the time that I have three strikes against me; I’m black, I’m a woman and a lesbian. This friend works with me as well, so one can imagine what goes on around us for him to say this. In my younger days, I viewed “hate” as jealousy. It was funny and sort of flattering when people hated (on you) because it made you feel like you were at a certain status or level that they wished to be on. Now that I’m older, “hate” is just what it is…hate. It’s frustrating, disgusting, and at times scary. I deal with it every single day because of those three “strikes”. But I get through life by looking in the mirror every day and seeing them as my three superpowers.”
 
 
 
Q: So what’s the meaning behind “Wings”?
 
A:Wings was actually inspired by the assassination of Nipsey Hussle. The first few lines was just me expressing my thoughts on his situation and others like it. “That jealousy and that envying be so real, ain’t no sympathy for the family and friends that be left behind with just memories. How you leave somebody kids to grieve?” What happened to him is a situation I’ve seen happen to people I’ve known personally. I just question what could be so bad to make a person have it in their heart and mind to take people away from their loved ones for good. As the song goes on, I just go in detail about how I’ve trained and continue to train myself mentally, spiritually, and physically to keep whatever that type of energy is from around me. I have to be good for myself so I can be better for others. One thing I will always be is solid to anyone I allow in my space. But I will remove myself from any situation that I feel is pulling my energy down. “God sits high and looks down low. Watched ‘em the whole time poking holes in my boat. They ain’t know He gave me Wings so when it’s time fo’ me to fly, they’ll watch me soar high while they drown slow.”

Q: Do you feel artists have as big of an impact on the world as many believe?
 
A: “In some cases, yes. But a lot of people will only follow what they feel will get the likes and attention. For instance, an artist can get a lot of people to go out and buy a certain brand because it makes them look like they’re on a certain level. When that certain brand does something to make a mockery of and disrespect our people and culture, that same artist will ask those same people to boycott that brand. Not as many are going to be willing to do that because they want to keep that image they have from being able to afford that brand or it’s just not that big of a deal and it’s not getting them any likes.”
 
 
Q: Do you think its fair people feel artists should be obligated to use their platform for social
issues?
 
A: “No. You most likely take a liking to an artist because of their craft. Don’t get me wrong, much respect to artists who do use their platform. But they do it by choice and for their own personal reasons or beliefs. And yes, some of them do feel they have an obligation to do so because of that. But again, those are their personal decisions. I wouldn’t feel any way towards an artist who chooses not to. However, there are serious social issues out here in the real world no matter who you are. So if you don’t use your platform for them, keep that same energy and don’t use it against them because you feel like you don’t have regular people problems. Tables will turn one day.”
 
Q: As an artist do you feel obligated or is it a choice?
 
A: “As an artist, I just write whatever is on my heart and mind. I don’t view it as if I need people to hear this because of what’s going on in the world. If it’s on my mind, I’m going to speak on it through song because that’s the best way I know how.”
 
 
Q: How do you want the world to remember Nix?
 
A: “In a positive light. I try to be as humble, giving, selfless, and loving as my sanity allows. If my energy starts to feel anything other than that, I have to walk away. Remember me with good vibes and a smile.”

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