Aniana “Nia Star” Santos may be all of 21, but she’s lived a lot of life in those two decades. Ask her about it and she’ll tell you about her experiences growing with a troubled single mother trying to raise four kids. It’s why the young singer and songwriter titled her debut album After The Star. “This album is me from start to finish,” Nia says. “Every song is about something I’ve gone through, or an obstacle I filled.”
Her personal journey may have been riddled with obstacles, but Nia delivers her story with uplifting optimism, setting vignettes from her life, both happy and sad, to an irresistible backdrop of urban-influenced rhythmic groove and touching R&B balladry.
“I wanted the album to be something you could put on and have fun listening to with your girlfriends, or even roll to with your boys,” Nia says. After The Stars accomplishes all that and more, showcasing not only Nia’s soulful vocal styling’s, but also her emotional versatility. “Nia is feisty and strong, yet she has a vulnerability to her,” friends says. “She has this incredible ability to interpret emotion on a song that is really unparalleled. The music is her emotional channel.”
Tapping into her feelings didn’t always come easy for Nia, which was why music became such a big part of my life. i use to write poems and stories just trying to express how I feel, express all the pain I felt from either past relationships or just situations I was experience from home! People never really took me serious never listened so all I had was my music. I didn’t know that I wanted to be an artist, I just had a passion for singing. Music was my escape.”
Raised on the soulful sounds of her mother’s favorite Luther Vandross, Jodeci, and Tevin Campbell albums, Nia learned to deal with her feelings through singing. “My mom used to play a lot of sad R&B songs. That’s when I saw the emotion in music. I realized that I could apply that to my life and it would help me.”
In 2000, Nia met Conrad Robinson — a former member of MBK and founder of a organization called TEENS IN MOTION/ Alicia Keys — who taught her how to perform and work a crowd. Not only that but work on her vocals “I would get out of school, catch the bus and go straight to the program just so that I can show my talent and improve my skills also to find other hidden talents,” Nia says. “But I really loved it; singing was the only happiness in my life, aside from my siblings.”
“I always fall in love with the underdog,” Conrad says. “When I met Nia I thought she was a survivor, but also somebody who was still open. No matter what happened to her, she just kept persevering and moving on because she believed in herself, and that was very compelling to me.”
Beside’s that By the age of 16 Nia began trying to build her career she started focusing more and working with Adeka Stupart “Producer/ Song writer.” Adeka helped her in many different ways in the music business she taught her its tuff and without material its pretty much harder getting in!
Taking all learned from Conrad And Adeka Nia began to work on her own, went out in the real world and introduced herself to all the right people, she booked her show on BETS hit show (106 & Park) performed her Hit single at that time “Love Them Haters” got to open for a varies of artist such as Remy, Neyo and much more! She started getting into the game more and more. If it wasn’t a show she hit the studio from studio to photo shoot. When it came to music nia was ready image, vocals but one thing was missing SINGLES, that didn’t stop her she kept recording hoping to find the next hit!
Nia’s confidence and passion for music comes through loud and clear on her songs. Nia sings each song as if her life depended on it. And for her it does. Listen carefully to the lyrics on “Let It Slide,” a song she wrote, and you’ll hear why. The song not only describes her past relationship but it also describes her forgiveness’ to others even when maybe forgiveness wasn’t the answer.
“A lot of kids grow up in messed-up homes — whether they’re on drugs, or being promiscuous, or skipping school — and the root of the problem is whatever’s going on with their family,” Nia says. “ive grown into a stronger person then I was years ago. My past made me stronger and helped me understand to take avenge of every chance I get I never no who’s sitting in the audience.
My family is my strength “I wasn’t put on this earth just to sing,” she says, “I’m here to help people with my music. I want to make them smile. I want to help them get out whatever it is they’re holding in because that’s what helped me growing up. I had Brandy and Faith Evans to turn to and help me deal with whatever I was going through. If I can do that for others, then I’ve done my job.”
“A lot of people call it history / It’s only right to call it my story / Because I’ve been through a lot / And thought it’d never stop / With everything that I‘ve got I held on.” — from Nia Star