Independent Artist Nu'Dai Talks Imperfections, Trials & Triumphs

Monday, 03 September 2012 18:43 Written by  Diamond C. Latchison

With everything that she’s gone through in her life with drug addictions, abuse and personal anguish, independent artist Nu’Dai is ready to release her first EP, Imperfect. Not only does she plan on inspiring women with her struggles and triumphs, she also aspires to take the music world by storm with the fusion folk, pop and soul music as she tells her story. Nu’Dai’s ready to prove that she may have been down before, but now she’s up and ready to show why she’s imperfect, but perfectly made.

GlossMagazineOnline (GMO): How did you get into music?

Nu'Dai: My father actually, he was a singer-songwriter. I was about five years old and he noticed that I had a talent. My sisters and I started a group called Hugs & Kisses, so that’s how I got my start. We recorded songs, started performing and we won the Apollo competition about 10 times before making it to Showtime at the Apollo, which was televised and then we won.

GMO: How hard is it to balance everything from your personal life to your business life?

Nu'Dai: [Chuckles] Very hard! I’m an independent artist, so I’m paying everything out of my own pocket. I work a regular nine to five, but after that I’m in the studio writing songs, working with other musicians, producing and then trying to force my way into an independent industry. So, I come from being a professional assistant for celebrities, but in 2011, I decided that I was going to pursue my only dream. It’s been very, very difficult, but it’s been rewarding at the same time because I really feel like I’m following my heart and every opportunity that comes is a blessing. I’m learning so many new things and sacrificing is definitely one of them, so it’s been difficult and challenging, but rewarding at the same time.

GMO: It is said that you sung background, wrote and performed with the greats. Who are some of the artists you collaborated with?

Nu'Dai: I worked on a song back in the day when we were working with Ella Fitzgerald, but she passed away. I’ve worked with people like Boyz ll Men and Shannon from back in the day. My father wrote for New Kids on the Block and New Edition, so those types of people have influenced me a lot definitely as well. But in the later times, being around the industry you meet the unknown and the known as well. I make it a general thing since I can open up concerts for Boyz ll Men, and I love the people like Spike Lee for all that he’s done. I also had the opportunity to meet Jasmine Guy. Those experiences were in my younger years as a teen, but I stopped doing music for about 11-12 years and just got back into it a year and a half ago.

GMO: What would you say your sound is like?

Nu'Dai: I say that my sound is a fusion of funk, soul and pop. I’m a folk singer, writer and folk singing is story-telling. I add pop to make catchy hooks to make it more universal. People would have to hear and relate to it, but it comes from soul and all my songs come from personal experiences. I write and produce my own music, so everything is coming from a place of healing, brokenness, aspiration and experiences. So, that would be my genre.

GMO: You’ve been through a lot over the years with living in a broken home, abuse within your family and other relationships, trouble with identity, prostitution and drugs, How are you able to transcend all of that into your music? Was it therapeutic for you?

Nu'Dai: It was therapeutic because for me my personal struggles have been … how can I say this? I say God will help me with everything and that’s just the real. If you would’ve met me seven years ago, I could’ve never said that going through what I went through and that I would have the clear mind to say it because I was into all kinds of things. But, for me, it was taking responsibility for what I wanted my future to become, tapping into my relationship with God and then making decisions on a consistent basis that was going to help me to be where I wanted to be essentially. So, I mean, I can remember where I’ve come from and I know I don’t want to go back. Everything I allow to inspire me has been to be positive, to move forward and to give back to people something that’s more than entertainment, but something that can say don’t do the things that I did and that’s what music is about, stories and lessons that I’ve learned. And I just want to continue to share that motivation in everything that I do.

GMO: What made you get into prostitution and drugs?

Nu'Dai: Well, my father was a very strong-willed man and like I said, he had a goal of what my goals should’ve been like. When you get to a certain age, you you begin to combat that. I was sort of rebellious by the time I was 18, so of course, my father kicked me out and to survive, I started prostituting and stripping. When you live that kind of a lifestyle, you become susceptible to drugs because it’s a numbing thing to numb away the pain. It started with ecstasy, partying, a little weed, coke and eventually I was completely, not strung out, but it controlled my life. Then, I used sex and manipulation to get what I wanted to try to get ahead, not even in the music world, because I never really messed with artists. I knew somehow I would end up in the limelight at some point and in some fashion, and I knew I didn’t want that coming back to bite me. But, I had other people in other industries that were supporting me, supporting my habits and my lifestyle. I reached my mom in 2005 and I was homeless, a drug addict and lost. My uncle came and got me out of that, and that was pretty much one of the things that made me realize that I wanted out. So, I got sick of playing with my life with drugs and alcohol. I wasn’t willing to do that anymore, so I started to search for my purpose. That’s how I got into it, but that’s also what caused me to get out of it by recognizing that’s not what I wanted.

GMO: Why did you call your debut EP Imperfect? What makes you “Imperfect?”

Nu'Dai: I’m imperfect because I’m human, so everything about me is imperfect. Some of the experiences I’ve been through, I would never thought I would make it, and for a long time I lied a lot. I lied and hid everything: being a prostitute and my drug addictions. I hid it all because I wanted to be perfect and I wanted people to respect me. But, God showed me that he would use those imperfections to make me impactful and I have to admit that that’s where I was. I was a very ugly person internally and externally, but through embracing my imperfect identity and my imperfect nature, it made me understand God better because He knows everything. He knows who you’re going to be and He knows who you are and so if God can accept me for that and allow me to prosper then why can’t I accept it? He says, “You’re fearfully and wonderfully made.” But even in that, there’s more stillness in my future, more successes and He still loves me in spite of that. So, that means I’m exactly who I’m supposed to be and so I named it Imperfect because that’s exactly who I am. I am imperfect, but perfectly made.

GMO: With bullying, suicide, and self-esteem issues arising within the young community, how have you used your struggles and successes to inspire people, especially women and young girls?

Nu'Dai: I just let everybody know that God loves you and God has a plan for you. It sounds cliché, but it’s really true because a lot of people don’t know what real love is. Love is not just superficial; you know Valentine’s Day kind of love. It’s that love that says you’re here for a reason because your next breath is not promised. Just having that next breath means opportunity and that’s love in itself. So, I always want to inspire young women to know that you’re here for a reason and tap into your purpose because tapping into that is going to give you the love for yourself that you need to be there for someone else. I used to be a very selfish person and I was very self-consumed and that was my demise a lot of the time. When I began to open myself up to love, like understanding who I was, that I had a purpose, understanding that we’re all here to help each other, that’s when my life started to form a better meaning and that’s motivating. So, every person that I come into contact with I’m always encouraging them and lifting them up. I’m an encourager, so if I’m going to accept anything, it’s going to be love and appreciation for women and not the opposite. We have so many challenges as women, and for the next woman to be discouraging or to hate on another is just too much energy. I only believe in love and encouraging people.

GMO: What’s next for you?

Nu'Dai: The album. The album will be releasing on my mother’s birthday in November, my birth mother’s birthday. We’re just growing in our relationship, and I love her very much. I feel if she didn’t have me, I wouldn’t be here. So, after the single is out for a couple of months, I’m going to release the album. Then, hopefully my prayer is that I can get on a tour opening up for someone or get married and have some babies [Laughs]. That’s the dream. People think that I’m dork because my dream is to be a wife and the nuclear family. I want to have a home, a husband, healthy children (God-willing), have a family business or something and just raise my kids and watch them grow. That’s my dream. But, I’m single and I’m talented for now, so I might as well do something with my time productively, you know? Hope that happens in the near future [Laughs].

For more information on Nu’Dai, visit her website at


Diamond C. Latchison

Diamond C. Latchison

Diamond C. Latchison, an intern at GMO, attends school at Columbia College Chicago. She majors in magazine journalism with a minor in creative nonfiction writing. In her spare time, the St. Louis-native enjoys writing stories and poetry and reading books and magazines.

She can be contacted at

Follow her on Twitter: @dlatchison011

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