Introducing Niykee Heaton. She loves being naked, she turned down 2 Chainz and she’s in it to save the world

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There’s a new kid on the instafamous-for-my-sexy-selfie block…only she’s not that new and there’s so much more to her than meets your insta eye!

Chicago native, Niykee Heaton (pronounced Nicky), Russell Simmons and Steve Rifkind’s latest find on their label ADD-that focuses on bringing YouTube talent into the mainstream groov-o-sphere- has arrived with her debut EP Bad Intentions.  “Here is this girl who is singing hip-hop songs with a guitar and getting really popular from the fun stuff she’s posting [on Youtube],” said Russell Simmons at a private listening party at the Samsung Screening Room in Los Angeles last Thursday. “Then you meet her and find out there is so much more depth than meets the eye. That she has a talent as a song writer far beyond what you could imagine. She’s a star, she’s destined to be a star whether we found her or not.”

Beyond her vocals, Simmons didn’t sign her based on her sexy instagram posts, although I’m sure they weighed in!  He was taken by her drive and her emotional reality. “She told me when I met her ‘I’m a boss bitch,’” the mogul explained to the select audience who immediately began to chuckle. “The EP you are about to hear is very urban, but very pop and very mainstream but really hood in a way. She’s honest. It’s from her heart and you feel it across genres.”

Her breathy vocals and meaningful lyrics will indeed force you to look beyond her half naked social media pics which she justifies because “I don’t like to wear clothes.” After watching her rap song covers on YouTube and glancing down at the comments from her hundreds of thousands of adoring fans (654k on instagram and 190K on twitter) you’ll find a deep heartfelt fan-to-artist connection. “One told me ‘I don’t know how, but your lyrics saved my life,’” says the 19-year-old. And this is why Heaton does what she does.

She’s in the business of inspiring and saving lives. Probably because of the difficulties she had in her own. She admits there are countless reasons why she could have given up. For starters she watched her older sister battle cancer her entire life, all while dealing with an alcoholic father who couldn’t win the struggle against the bottle. She understands pain and wants to help alleviate it in others. So before you judge this book by its super hot cover, here’s a little more from the star, whose fans made sure she nabbed 3rd place on the Billboard Real Time charts and 8th place on iTunes yesterday upon the release of Bad Intentions.


HYPE EFFECT: You have such a free spirit! Your instagram photos alone hint at that. You posted a photo flashing an entire office building, what made you do that?

Heaton Flashing

Niykee Heaton: I was too afraid to look. I pulled my shirt over my head and I was like ‘Lauren take it!’ There were so many bored people in the office, I’m sure I made their day. But I couldn’t look, I was afraid of making eye contact.

HYPE EFFECT: So that’s where you draw the line with modesty?

Niykee Heaton: People always look at my instagram and they’re like ‘oh she loves being naked, she’s probably a slut,’ The thing is I was raised by a South African hippy mom so being naked was normal. I would walk around as a six-year-old naked in the backyard and the neighbors would be like ‘what are you doing?’ and my mom would be like ‘it’s natural!!’ So that’s normal to me. I don’t like to wear clothes and it’s not me trying to get up on anyone, it’s like I don’t like wearing clothes. So my style is literally like I’m always barefoot I’m hardly or never wearing pants, this is strange to be doing this (she points to her long skin tight Wolford pencil skirt).

HYPE EFFECT: Wait, you go to the grocery store with no pants on?

Niykee Heaton: Yeah, it’s like a big t-shirt, barefoot and Lauren is like ‘you can’t do that.’ People always think ‘you’re trying to be so sexy,’ I’m like ‘I’m not, I’m so lazy I just don’t want to put on clothes…’

HYPE EFFECT: Now you’re just showing off LOL

Niykee Heaton: Kind of. I made my album cover on my macbook you know. That’s authentic. I put a professional photo on instagram once and I was like ‘what is this?!’ My fans know me for my selfies so why not stay true to that.

HYPE EFFECT: Where do you find the strength to be yourself?

Niykee Heaton: I’ve always been like this. I had to grow up really really fast, from my father being an alcoholic to watching my sister die, my childhood was extremely hard and hardly anyone knows the kind of sh*t I went through. But I realize I could go one path and I could be the person who uses my past as an excuse to be a drug addict or a psychopath, I have every excuse to be a terrible person. In my family there are so many things wrong that someone has to be the hero. The thing is with this path I chose, the reason I did it, I remember the night that my sister died I remember all of us going up to her and she was comatose. I was 12, she was 21. Everyone was saying ‘goodbye,’ and I went up to her, held her hand and said ‘I promise to not only live my life to the fullest but to live the life that was taken away from you.’

HYPE EFFECT: I’m so sorry to hear that. What did she have?

Niykee Heaton: She was diagnosed with cancer when she was three and she fought it to when she was 21. So my whole life was witnessing her dying. It was every day. It started off as kidney cancer then it hit her liver, so she needed a kidney and two livers. She was on the waiting list, she had four transplants and it was that constant hospital sh*t. And it was just like if I could witness her living every day and never once say ‘I give up,’ then how could I not change the world with what I’m doing so that’s my reasoning behind it.

HYPE EFFECT: Is there a lot of your life in your music?

Niykee Heaton: Usually I don’t like to like explain exact reasons for my music cause I feel like explanation kills art. My songs mean something to me, but they mean something different to a million different people. But Sober is one I wrote because both my parents were raging alcoholics and my father still is. I wrote it about my father who could not achieve sobriety. My sister’s dying wish was ‘mom can you make dad get sober?’ And I remember being in the hospital room the night she died and he put his hand on her shoulder and he said ‘I promise you I will get sober,’ and I watched it from a 12 year olds perspective and he just couldn’t do it. I wrote it from his point of view. The view of ‘you know it’s tearing me apart. I wish I could be here for it. But I would rather feed my monsters than fight them and I just can’t get sober.’

HYPE EFFECT: Anyone who has a problem with your instagram account should hear this. So if you could change the world how would you do it?

Niykee Heaton: I already did it. On instagram and in my DM’s I have these 13-year-old girls. One sent me this message ‘I’m too young to get a tattoo but I wrote my ambition is my weaponry in sharpie on my arm over the scars where I cut myself. Your lyrics… I don’t know how but you saved my life.’ There are hundreds of them. 13, 14 and 15 year old girls who have said ‘I don’t know why but your strength and confidence gave me strength,’ and that’s all I want to do. Save a life with my life.

HYPE EFFECT: That’s very heavy, inspiring and moving, lets make it a little lighter – are you single?

Niykee Heaton: Yes.

HYPE EFFECT: What’s that like?

Niykee Heaton: It’s good I feel like if I was dating someone I would be bored. I had a serious boyfriend and I was like ‘f*ck this, this is not happening again and I can’t.’ Since that happened 2 Chainz tried to sign me and after I said no he said ‘so will you be my girlfriend then?’ And I was like ‘not really.’ Although 2 Chainz is the epitome of my perfect man, those braids, all I want to do is braid his hair. He asked me to braid it, I haven’t taken the invitation but it’s there.

HYPE EFFECT: So what kind of guy are you attracted too?

Niykee Heaton: Everyone asks me ‘do you like black guys or white guys?’ But I don’t even see it that way. I’m really about connecting to them as a person. I might be a lesbian, I don’t know. It’s about connecting with someone’s soul, so it’s someone who has to be as creative as I am, someone who’s kind, someone who has the same goals and ambitions and who can make me laugh. If you can’t make me laugh just go away. Jimmy Fallon might be my other option.

A US native (by way of a study detour in Sydney Australia), Raha Lewis is an influencer for all things fashion, pop culture and entertainment. A lawyer in her past life, who has written for publications such as the LA Times and People Magazine, Lewis is always on the latest news in the world of celebrity and is often seen touting exclusives on camera for the likes of E! News, Good Morning America and Showbiz Tonight. Her legal background anchors an innate analytic mindset, while her passion and have-fun-for-a-living attitude gives her the ability to provide telling insights on just about any subject matter. She extracts a unique reality in interviews because of her conversational free spirited interview style. She’s motivating, honest and reveals strengths in subjects that even they didn’t know they had.

She’s a content creator with a voice that speaks to the masses. And if she ends up at your dinner party, be prepared for a lot of laughter.

1 Comment

  1. Danielle

    September 24, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    This article say’s so much about niykke heaton ..That I haven’t knew about and happy that I do , but its sad what happen to her sister and make me sad..And her music definitely touch me and I no its gonna change the world as it did for me…You the best Niykke Heaton

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