Meet Nita Jonez, an Artist Handpicked by Pusha-T

"I like to have fun and I like to really speak my mind. Just off hearing the records, you’ll be able to tell."
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Nita Jonez was on her way to work when I called her. A few months earlier, she got another, much more exciting call, letting her know that Pusha-T selected her to be part of the 1800 Seconds album. This is amazing, except, and Nita tells me: "I thought it was a scam so I didn’t respond right away."

"It means that I’m obviously, maybe, doing something right," she continues. "I must be doing something good. I feel blessed and really ecstatic about being picked, especially being a female... I do [feel pressure] because a lot is expected from women so there is pressure there. You just gotta maintain and just do what we gotta do."

Even so, Nita Jonez has measures in place, namely a strong support system, to ensure that this pressure never gets her down. Her boss energy is exactly what she brings to the 1800 Seconds album. 

"I want women to feel themselves and be able to have that woman power," she explains. "I felt like I stepped out of my shell with this track, having more attitude and just putting my foot down. Like, ‘This is how me and my girls are gonna do it’ [laughs]. I feel like I brought a lot of attitude to the record."

Stepping out of her shell is one thing, but on the regular, Nita Jonez brings a multifaceted sound and flavor to what is already popping, making her a marketing wiz and savvy creative. "I’m very outgoing, I have a crazy side," she says of her music. "I like to have fun and I like to really speak my mind. Just off hearing the records, you’ll be able to tell."

DJBooth's full interview with Nita Jonez, lightly edited for content and clarity, follows below.

DJBooth: Bring me to the moment 1800 reached out.

Nita Jonez: Honestly, I thought it was a scam so I didn’t respond right away.

At what point did you realize it was real?

I got a few reach-outs from different people, and then I was like, "Okay…" I started doing a little research on the people that reached out and realized it was legit.

What does it mean to have been handpicked for this record?

Man! It means that I’m obviously, maybe, doing something right. I must be doing something good. I feel blessed and really ecstatic about being picked, especially being a female.

Is there any pressure?

Yes, I do [feel pressure], because a lot is expected from women so there is pressure there. You just gotta maintain and just do what we gotta do.

How do you overcome that and focus on the music?

I may reach out to someone for a little guidance or ways to handle situations that I may feel some type of way about, and just take a breather and get back on track.

Do you find it difficult to step away from being creative?

For sure, it can be. There’s a lot of things going on in our personal lives that can be distracting. With that being said, you have to find a balance, but nothing’s impossible.

Tell me about your song. What does it mean to you?

I’m bringing a more bossy type of energy to the track. I want women to feel themselves and be able to have that woman power. I felt like I stepped out of my shell with this track, having more attitude and just putting my foot down. Like, "This is how me and my girls are gonna do it" [laughs]. I feel like I brought a lot of attitude to the record.

How do you usually create?

Whatever I’m feeling… Sometimes, I may also go off of what another artist may be talking about or a song I may like. I try to find a way to go around what’s already current and make it my own.

How would you define “your own” sound?

Well, there’s a lot of words [laughs]. I’m very outgoing, I have a crazy side. I like to have fun and I like to really speak my mind. Just off hearing the records, you’ll be able to tell.

Do you think music is enough anymore, or do you need a viral moment as an artist on the rise?

These days, I feel like the music is not enough. Music has changed a lot, so if you run across the right people that believe in you, then music can be enough. Other than that, you gotta pretty much build up your own fan base, your own social media. All of that is important. Social media is very important. Some people make it based off of that, and not just off their music because they have 500K followers. They may be able to be marketed a little better than a person who just has good music.

How do you plan on using this opportunity to your advantage?

Social media is a great platform to get out there and I would love to start creating more content while everything is in the process, as far as posting more content, whether it be visuals or anything of that nature. Just basically posting a lot of great content.

What’s the next big move for you?

I really don’t know what’s gonna happen next, but I definitely hope and would love to be prepared for anything that comes my way so I can take it to the next level. I would love to drop some music that I have, like an EP. I think that would be a great idea to go ahead and drop a project.

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