2019 has been kind to many individuals but it has been an amazing year for Neo-Gospel artist Shariffa Nyan. This versatile, Indie artist is finishing the year stronger than ever with multiple Gospel award nominations & very memorable performances. She continues to be a blossoming indie powerhouse in the music world. Her hit singles “Heaven” and “Do It For Love” continued to receive college, national, and international syndicated radio play, gaining a strong traction and fan base for her music. Shariffa Nyan is far from a fresh rookie, Shariffa Nyan began etching out her own unique sound, coined "Neo-Gospel" back in 2014 with her debut single, "Toast to Success".
In 2016, she released her 2nd studio EP entitled "Every Part of Me" which allowed Shariffa to cultivate a far more diverse and broader reach. Shariffa Nyan has proved to be ahead of her time by fusing popular mainstream melodies with faith-based lyrics. Though it wasn't until the emergence of Kanye West's Sunday Service in 2019 that this style of genre-merging gained the recognition it deserved, Shariffa Nyan definitely helped pave the way. Shariffa is finishing her 3rd studio EP, entitled "Foreign" which is scheduled to release early 2020. Fans can expect another project delivering a sound that is fresh, creative and innovative with inspirational content that speaks to everyone.
Be on the lookout for this "Queen on the Rise" as she brings new collaborations, new partnerships, and more inspiration into 2020! Listen to Shariffa Nyan's music here.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Shariffa Nyan! What initially inspired you to get into Gospel music and the genre-bending direction you chose?
Hello Loves! Well, I began singing at the tender age of 4. I grew up in the church and all throughout my childhood and teenage years sang in church choirs, community choirs, praise and
worship teams and such. I also sang in my middle and high school choirs which allowed me an opportunity to learn elements from other musical styles such as classical and chamber. My mother had a record collection out of this world which consisted of Gospel, Rock, Reggae, Classical, Blues, and Jazz; so my musical palate was sundry, to say the least! Hip Hop and R&B were two of the most poignant and influential styles of my generation, so naturally, those elements ring true to my sound as well. Because I am big on delivering meaningful messages, content is super important to me. Though “Gospel” music allows me the freedom to encourage and uplift through my content, it has a very traditional and distinct sound. So, my style of genre-bending comes naturally because my musical influences are so diverse.
What are some challenges you face in the creation process of your music? Mind telling our readers some of the obstacles you stumble upon?
I think the most difficult part of creating new music is finding the right pieces to the puzzle. Collaboration is key, but can also create some pretty stressful situations when deadlines are put into place. I like to let things flow freely and not rush the process, but also know the importance of getting things done in a timely matter. Sometimes it’s the production, sometimes it’s the mix...sometimes it’s the whole concept that needs to be re-visited and re-vamped. But, it always has a way of working itself out, so I try not to stress too much.
Let’s talk about your releases this year! Which song do you feel best cultivated the style of Shariffa Nyan the best and why?
Oooou, that’s a hard one! I collaborated A LOT this year so each track brought out a different vibe depending on who I worked with. But if I had to pick just one...I would say, “Do It For Love” ft. Dauntee VellVett. This track definitely wove my love of Hip Hop, R&B, Chamber and Gospel into a beautiful ensemble that created the perfect backdrop for my vocals. Both sonically and conceptually, this was one of my favs this year.
Which single out of your 2019 released would you say had the most emotional conviction? In what ways were you able to personally relate to the record?
Wow, all great questions today! Well, each time I write a song or asked to feature on a track, I always try to come from a truly authentic place...from the inside looking out; reflective and introspective. I find that is where an artist is most impactful and relatable. “Do It For Love” has a line that states “I’m starting with the woman in the mirror, and I’m asking her to change”. That entire record was a reminder to myself to always put love first and never allow my pursuits to be driven by any other factor. I was also featured on the track “Follow Your Dreams” by Genuine Life which really hit home. Many times throughout my journey as an artist, I questioned if I was really cut for this. It took encouragement and support from key people in my life to keep me going. That track is extra special to me because my two oldest children made special appearances at the end!
Let’s talk about this exciting upcoming EP “Foreign”. What can your fans expect from this project? Mind hinting to us some of the arrangements you’re planning on creating?
I am very excited about my new EP, "Foreign"! Conceptually, the album explores the feeling of uncertainty and unfamiliarity that accompanies spiritual and emotional maturity. Sonically, I will be playing with a few musical elements that are a little “out of the box”, especially for what is popular mainstream right now. Without giving too much away, the album will have a foreign yet familiar sound...so fans can expect to put a few stamps on their musical passports!
How do you plan on preparing yourself for another stellar year Shariffa Nyan
I just plan to keep up the momentum. I have my upcoming EP release, fresh new singles w/ hot international artists, the launch of a sweet business venture, mini-tours and so much more. Wherever God leads, I am there! I am actively looking to add to my team of dream builders, so creating new partnerships with people that can help me bring my goals into fruition is a must. Consistency is key when planning for success, so I just plan to keep going steady as we enter into a brand new decade!