“I feel that life is harder for a female period. We get overlooked and discredited when we are the reason for your favorite rapper.”
— Casey JaNissa
Often, female MCs are held to a higher than average standard with their bars more likely to be held under a microscope. Being the underdog has never been an issue for Texas rapper Casey JaNissa. Having successfully held her own the premiere female battle league, Queen Of The Ring, opening up for R&B “it boy” Bryson Tiller, and performing at SXSW, she’s on a definite roll.
We recently sat with her to chat about debut album, Finally, Casey JaNissa, her career goals, and more. Check out the interview below.
Introduce yourself to the people.
My name is Casey JaNissa, a hardworking, self-driven Hip-Hop & Rap artist from San Antonio, Texas. I have been involved with music, writing and performing my whole life. I ‘ve been rapping since nine, and at that time got most of my inspiration from Eve of Ruff Ryders. That led me to battle rapping and winning battles at QoTR in NY, which lead to a lot of my fans knowing me as the Queen of Texas. My uncle who was incarcerated at the time was the best rapper I knew growing up. For some reason, I felt like I had to do it for him every time I wrote a sick verse. I am an overachiever and will always look out for opportunities to showcase my skills. I’m a Scorpio, so I have a lot of love for family and keep a small, tight and sometimes goofy circle. All of these emotions and feelings, I express in my music. I try to give what’s real and pour my heart and soul into my music.
What made you get into music?
I began listening to music from various artists who were popular in the 90s. I then started freestyling at school and decided to get more serious in high school, writing raps and poetry that received great responses. Eventually, people didn’t see me as a female rapper they just saw me as the rapper who was beating all the male rappers in our area. I gained confidence and ever since then I never stopped rapping.
Who were some of your influences?
My influences were Eve, Missy, Lauryn Hill, Eminem, Boosie, Zro. I think all of them came from different backgrounds but how they expressed their pain and their joy through music is something that I still find fascinating till this day. I still throw on my headphones and zone out to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Tell me about Finally, Casey JaNissa – who did you work with? How long did it take to complete?
Finally, Casey JaNissa was my debut EP; it took me about six months to complete. I wrote all the lyrics on the album. Songs were produced by both Cruz DiVinci, Troy Williams and Engineered by Jay Flash. The Tracklist is a variety of turn up, vibe out, and relationship songs created during a happy and exciting time in my life. It can be found on all media outlets.
What do you hope listeners take away from it?
I hope listeners can connect and relate to my stories that I’m telling, the pain and the release. I hope audiences take away joy and fun in the music that I make. Finally, Casey JaNissa speaks about my ambitions; as well as anybody striving for something great that wants to get out there a scream to the world “I’m finally, here!”
Tell me about your SXSW experience!
SXSW was a great experience and an opportunity that I’ve been waiting a long time for. I killed the stage got the crowd hype, and left memories in people’s head. People I’ve known since a little kid couldn’t even believe it was me that was on stage. People knew lyrics, were jumping around and wanted Casey JaNissa shirts, sunglasses, wristband and all shorts or memorabilia; it was an amazing experience!
What are your goals in the industry?
I just want to stay focused on the music and become an impactful voice in the industry. A lot of people don’t think that a girl can have a college degree and be a powerful female rapper. I’m out here to prove to those people that, that’s an antiquated way of thinking. My thoughts are the most powerful things I have, and I look forward to using my music career to portray these thoughts to the world.
You’re currently indie – are you looking for a deal?
I’m never opposed to weighing out my options. I think when the right circumstance presents itself, regardless if it’s an Indie route or with a label I’ll be open to it. To me, it’s about the music and being able to showcase my talents.
Do you feel it’s harder in this industry as a female artist?
I feel that life is harder for a female period. We get overlooked and discredited when we are the reason for your favorite rapper. I don’t know why society has been socially constructed to devalue women, but I do know that it’s the same in the music industry. Women don’t get the attention or respect they deserve. With that being said, I look at it as just another challenge to overcome and not be complacent with my efforts in my music career.
What bars – from your album – would you say best describe you as an artist and person?
“Knocked on doors for bread, now that bread finds doors instead. Told me follow my dreams, I’m dreaming of having a dad. Wondering where he at? My suspicion had me acting different, momma did her best! I’d admit she had some bad ass children. But at nine, I wrote down my first line. Knew within my life that I’d be destined to shine. I put my education. First, coach saw me at open gym. Temper made me quit in school; college was a second chance. Now I am I champion, but I ain’t a champ to him. Cuz he ain’t wife me, it ain’t likely we’ll go down that road again!”
What’s next for you?
We have a lot in the works right now, and I’m just really excited to see everything coming together. My upcoming mixtape titled “RACA” will be dropping this summer, featuring my latest Single “Head 2 Toe” and RemixesIncluding Panda, and Big Rings which you can find on Soundcloud. I’ll be opening for Bryson Tiller in May, and have several radio interviews lined up that we are finalizing now. I just performed in NY and Colorado; I’ll be in Chicago, New Orleans and LA in the next month, so that’s amazing. All dates are available at caseyjanissa.com. I’m also in the middle of working on a full fashion line called “So JaNissa” expected to come out later this year. Just based on the type of clothes that I like to wear out.
Any last words for our blog?
Huge Shoutout to aahiphop.com Thanks you for having me. Make sure you follow me on all social media and tell me what you think about my Panda cover on my Soundcloud.