Four time Beauty Queen, Singer-Songwriter Nikeya Young is using her platform to inspire young women everywhere.
AJ: When you hear the word, IT GIRL what are the first words that come to mind?
NY:To me, an “It Girl” is a girl who is someone who every other girl wants to emulate whether it be because of her looks, popularity, style, or some combination of all of the above!
AJ: Being a four time beauty queen, what’s the best advice you give young women on the essence of true beauty?
NY: The best advice that I can give to young women is that there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who knows exactly who she is and who God has called her to be. Once you have that knowledge, no one can take that away from you. It frees you from the bondage of living for the approval of others. When I was doing pageants, of course I wanted to have the right dress and stage presence, but I always focused on doing well in the interview because that was when the judges would get a glimpse of my inner beauty. Outer beauty is relative. Inner beauty is everything!
AJ: Talk about your new album Victorious One, what inspired it?
NY: My debut album “Victorious One” was released on May 28, 2013 and is now available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, and Google Play. My first and middle names (Nikeya Nicole) both mean “Victorious One” or “Victory of the People” in Greek. My mother chose these names for me after having 4 miscarriages before giving birth to me (and I was two months premature) so I’ve been beating odds since birth! This album is my testimony set to music and was created to inspire everyone who hears it to live the victorious life that God has called them to live! There were several life experiences that inspired the songs on this album. The music touches on topics such as the importance of forgiveness, being secure in yourself & not comparing yourself to others, Christians not being afraid to shine and dominate OUTSIDE of the walls of the church, and more! I grew up in the projects, so the music definitely has an edgy feel to it as well. I even spit a few bars on a couple of songs.
AJ: What piece of encouragement would you give young women looking for purpose?
NY: I think that aside from prayer and seeking God on what He would have you to do in life, one should think about what you true passion is. What is something that you absolutely love doing so much that you would do it for free? For me it was being an entertainer. I sang and danced all over the house as a kid & drove my mom nuts! LOL! I’ve also loved to write and I’ve kept a journal since 2nd grade and written songs since I was like 6! Do you love journaling a lot? Perhaps you could start a blog, become a freelance writer, or be an author. Does baking bring you an insane amount of joy? Start a baking business! God generously put gifts and talents within each of us. It’s up to us to use them. I think where we’re 1st tempted to lose our sense of purpose is right around the time when we go to college and listen to well meaning (or in some cases, not-so-well-meaning) relatives and “friends” who tell us to go for the college major that’s going to “make the most money”. NEVER CHASE MONEY! Chase your purpose and the money will follow.
AJ: What inspired you to become a motivational speaker?
NY: In addition to being an entertainer, I am also a Certified Teacher . I’ve been teaching in the Chicago Public Schools system off and on for 5 years. I know that teaching is not what I’m going to do for the rest of my life, but I love the opportunity to inspire young people to be their best selves! For me, becoming a motivational speaker was just a progressive next step in combining my training/experience as an educator with my life experiences and expertise as an actress, singer/songwriter, former beauty queen, fashion writer, blogger, & etc to inspire people of all ages to step out on faith and do what’s in you! You’re worth it.