New Face of Gospel: Nikeya Young

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 00:01 Written by  Cicely V. Teal

The burgeoning new sound of Gospel music is steadily changing the face of the genre itself and subsequently uplifting the spirit of younger listeners with a more contemporary tone. There are many rising stars in the gospel industry approaching Gospel music in a more modern way. One of which is Chicago’s own Nikeya Young. Her current album, Victorious One, plays with uptempo beats and edgy melodies while giving an unabashed testimony of God’s love and power. The singer/lyricist is no holds barred and chatted it up with GlossMagazineOnline (GMO) about her upbringing, music career, future projects and not compromising her faith.

Nikeya was raised in the church all her life. Being the daughter of a Sunday school teacher, definitely instilled in her a strong faith background from a very young age. She grew up in the projects on the North side of Tulsa, Oklahoma, but understood that where you are doesn’t mean that’s who you are. “My mother always told me that we might be IN the projects, but we are not OF the projects,” Young says.

Despite her surroundings and circumstances, Nikeya realized she had something in her she needed to share with the world.

GlossMagazineOnline (GMO): When did you realize you had the gift to sing, that you could make it your life’s work and use your gift to glorify God?

Nikeya Young: I realized I had the gift of singing VERY early in life! When I was four, I spoke and sang ALL of the TV commercials! My mom was a singer as well, so she noted early on that I had great tone for such a young age. I was always very drawn to music. Pop, Hip Hop, R&B, Gospel, you name it, I loved it!

Singing professionally was ALWAYS something I desired to do, but I was encouraged by family members to go to college so I could get a real job! (laughing) I really got serious about singing in college. I was one of DePaul Gospel Choir's lead soloists and I also started singing background on projects here and there.

GMO: What is your personal testimony? What has been some of your God moments?

Nikeya: I have many testimonies which will all be included in the book that I have yet to write! (laughing). Here's the short version: I was born to a mother who was told that she would probably never be able to carry a child to term. There was certainly evidence to support that hypothesis. My mother had four miscarriages before having me. Nikeya means "Victorious One" in Greek. I'd definitely say my name is apropos. I've faced many challenges in my life (including losing my mother when I was 14) but by the grace of God, I have triumphed over them all. I am VICTORIOUS!

She began the writing process for ‘Victorious One’ in 2010. ‘Taking Dominion’ was the 1st song she completed in December 2011. She wrote a few more songs after that, but the majority of the songs were completed during the Summer & Fall of 2013. The title track was completed earlier this year. “The young, urban sound that this album has is definitely done deliberately! Remember, I grew up in the hood,” she explains.

“I also have a heart for young people, so I designed this album to appeal to this demographic and foil the enemy's plan to program their minds to idolize & emulate the kingdom of darkness.”

GMO: Who are some of the producers you worked with? Who helped you along during this process?

Nikeya: My wonderful husband Rodney [Young] is the sole producer for the album. There are 10 songs, three of them have guest artists: E.T. featuring King David that Vessel, Think They Know featuring Bro. Chosen, and I Can Feel It featuring Ebonee Oliver.

GMO: One of my favorite cuts on the album is “Winning.” Now is that you spitting those lyrics?

Nikeya: Yes, that is me spittin' fire at the top of the "Winning" track and my only "ghostwriter" is the Holy Ghost!

GMO: What’s your favorite song on the album and why?

Nikeya: As far as my favorite song on the album, it depends on which day you ask me! (laughing) Right now, I'm really digging "Victorious One." That cut has me feeling like Xena Warrior Princess whenever I play it!

GMO: What scripture do you carry with you everyday?

Nikeya: Philippians 4:13 has been my favorite scripture since I was a shorty in my mom's Sunday School class, mainly because I've always resented being told I couldn't do something. The quickest way to motivate me?? Doubt me.

GMO: What are your thoughts on holding on to your faith?

Nikeya: I think that it's important to keep in mind that what you compromise to GET, [and what] you compromise to KEEP. The devil is never satisfied with just a "little bit of compromise." He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. Nothing that this world can offer you is greater than the plans that God has for you. Just TRUST God and continuously seek Him.

Young is planning planning on doing a mix-tape at the top of 2014. Until that time, she’ll be focusing on promoting the Victorious One Album and focusing on her acting career.

Five Fun Facts About Nikeya Young

1) I'm a 4-Time Beauty Queen (1999 Miss Black Tulsa 3rd Runner-Up, 2008 Miss Illinois Plus America (4th Runner-Up to 2008 Miss Plus America), 2009 Mrs. Illinois Plus America (3rd Runner-Up to 2009 Mrs. Plus America), and 2010 Mrs. Tulsa County Plus America (2nd Runner-Up to 2010 Mrs. Oklahoma Plus America).

2) My favorite color is brown.

3) My favorite ice cream favor is Mini Chocolate Chip

4) I'm addicted to chocolate and ZUMBA!

5) My childhood nick name was...OH NEVER-MIND THAT! (laughing)


To check out all things Nikeya Young:


Cicely V. Teal

Cicely V. Teal

Cicely V. Teal graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a B.A. in Communication and Depaul Univeristy with a M.A in Journalism. She contributed to and maintained a column at N’Digo Magapaper, and wrote for Urban Influence Magazine, Breaking Tweets, The DePaulia and The Independent. She also worked on documentary projects at WTTW channel 11, children’s television programming at WCIU-TV and African American programming at Central City Productions.

She is a blogger and studies web analytics, social networking strategies and integrated marketing at the University of Chicago.

She can be contacted at