HomeMusicINIKO Opened Up About The Viral Success Of "Jericho," Dealing With Social...

INIKO Opened Up About The Viral Success Of “Jericho,” Dealing With Social Media Hate, And Being A Nonbinary Musical Artist


Your song “Jericho” went viral last year on TikTok. What was it like seeing such a strong response to the song?

It was a bag of mixed emotions. At first, I was grateful that it was reaching so many people and existing in so many different forms [from covers to remixes], but it became very frustrating because people were putting out versions without clearing the sample. I know that sampling is very common now, but it’s important to do it the right way.

At the time, TikTok didn’t have [protections for artists] in place. I think it does now, but we had to reach out to them first, like, “Hey, what is going on? You should be able to protect the artists and musicians that are essentially making people download your app to follow them and be a part of their journey.” It was a double-edged sword, but a learning experience, too. The great thing is that I discovered a bunch of dope artists, producers, and instrumentalists, who took the song and made it their own, which is exactly what art is supposed to do.

How has music helped you express yourself, specifically as a Black queer person?

Without music, I don’t know where I would be. Music is and has always been a medium for me to discuss hard concepts I think everyone should understand and to convey feelings in ways I may have felt like no one else could. It’s therapeutic and healing for me. I make music trying to better understand the human experience and in turn, it helps other people understand and see truths for what they are and not what others tell them. It’s not an agenda. It’s reality. [I get] to be open about topics and concepts that have always existed, but have literally just been hidden.

Were you ever afraid of being an openly queer artist?

Absolutely. When I started artistically developing at 27, the biggest thing that was hindering me was my confidence. I was going to a Baptist church and an independent, fundamental Christian school and had been told during the developmental stages of my life that who I was was not really who I was. You know, “That’s evil. You’ll go to hell for that.” It led me to repress my true identity and made me feel like my gifts were not mine.

Any time I would get a compliment, I’d shy away from it. It started trickling into my performances. But once I started to be more public about who I am artistically, I was surprised to see how many people reached out to me. They were coming from all walks of life and appreciated me for me. It became much easier to continue being myself. It’s still very hard. I get a lot of transphobic comments today. But I’m also reaching so many people.

Content Source: www.buzzfeed.com


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