• Jason Leal

Kristinia DeBarge talks about life experiences, what's next musically, and more

Kristina DeBarge, the songstress, actress, and entrepreneur, chats with us about when to expect from her forthcoming project, Nia.

Kristina DeBarge has seen much success as a singer, actress, and entrepreneur who started very early in the music industry, working with Babyface, Pitbull, Problem, and more, even opening up for Britney Spears Circus Tour -- and now the songstress is back, dropping some heat with her latest release, "Bet," featuring Eric Bellinger.

The song features a dope beat and a mesmerizing and electrifying cadence. So the only question is, when is Kristinia DeBarge going to bless us with another project? Well, the singer states-

"I have about two more singles I want to drop first, and then after that, I will put out my project, but the good news is my second single will be released this late August/early September, along with another music video, to follow."

So in preparation for Kristinia DeBarge's upcoming project, be sure to follow her via social media @kristiniadeb on Instagram and @kristinia on Twitter, and be sure to scope out her website kristiniadebarge.com to see any upcoming projects or ventures.

In the interim, check out Kristinia DeBarge's single, "Bet," starring Eric Bellinger, below, and check out her interview below!

What city are you from/ Where are you based now?

I am from South Pasadena. Currently, I'm based in Lake Las Vegas.

What is your artist name? What is your real name? How did you get your artist name?

My Artist name is Kristinia DeBarge. I am rebranding myself though, and am going to change my artist name to my nickname, Nia. I was brought up being called Ne Ne along with other cute nicknames, but Nia always stuck with me.

At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music?

I was 12 years old. I decided I wanted to be on American Junior Idol and made it to the top 20! After that, I went on tour with my dad James DeBarge until I was 14, and then I decided I wanted to pursue music on my own and work with BabyFace, a legend and someone I always dreamt of working with. Fortunately, I got to him, and he made me his artist when I was 14 and developed me until I was 19.

Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?

My upbringing has definitely played a role in shaping who I am. I listened to Mariah Carey, Aaliyah, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Beyoncé. The list goes on. I always knew I was going to be a Pop Star. My Fiancé, who has worked with Mariah, tells me my writing style is very similar to hers. This makes sense because when I first started writing music, she was all I listened to back in 3rd grade, I came to school with an “On the 6” poster (J-Lo’s first studio album), and I told the whole school that I was going to be her when I grew up for 'show and tell!' I was such a confident little girl, and I always believed in the impossible. My sound has changed a lot from when I first released music back in 2009. I was a teenager then, so I was being marketed at a pretty young age, and my sound was very Pop! I am still making Pop music, but my sound now definitely has an urban flair and has matured A LOT! I started stepping into urban music around age 24, and I have never looked back.

How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?

I’m the girl that's sweet and nice out in public, and then when I get home, my alter ego comes out. If you know what I mean!? That’s my music. So my voice on top is Pop and commercial, very radio sounding but underneath, my beats are raw, hard, and edgy.

What ultimately inspired you to dedicate yourself to a music career?

My Father is the reason I am so dedicated to music. I would watch him sing in the studio and perform on stage and think...Wow, I want to make people feel that way! He always had such air about him. What’s crazy is my dad did not want me to pursue music. He wanted me to do anything but, so I kept it from him and didn’t tell him I could sing until I was 12. Fortunately, my Mom was already very supportive and had put me in so many performing arts camps and plays at that point, so I felt pretty confident in telling him that I wanted to pursue music, thankfully he was very supportive and took me into the studio that same night. We are recording my first song, a duet with my Father called “How I feel Inside”. He wrote and composed the whole song and let me write as well. We ended up staying In the studio till 4 am and still hadn’t finished the song. He was testing me and said, “Krissy, I am tired, let's finish tomorrow,” I said, “No, we're gonna finish this song first.. then we can go home”. He began to cry and said, “Oh no, my baby really is gonna do this.” That’s when he knew I was serious, but I always knew from 3 yrs old that music was a part of my sole purpose in life.

What’s one reason you are passionate about music, and what inspires you?

One big reason is my family. I grew up being raised in an already musical family, so going to family gatherings seeing them all play instruments and sing together was one of the most inspiring things I ever experienced. On top of being born into that my family was already being sampled by some big huge artist that I listened to as a young girl like “Backstreet”, “Tu-PAC”, “Biggie”, “Mary J Blige”, “Ashanti”..it doesn’t get any more inspiring than that.

Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?

Yes, I love beauty and own a cosmetics company called Krissy D Cosmetics. I have now had the company since 2018 and have done many beauty events here in Vegas throughout the years. I actually am doing one next weekend. I absolutely love the beauty industry, and I am now a certified makeup artist as well. I got my certificate last year right before COVID hit. So if you wanna come and get your makeup done and are in the vegas area, hit me up on IG :).

What were you doing before music?

Lol, well I have always done music, but there was a moment when I took a break and decided to act for a while. I was in a few movies with some pretty amazing actors. And then I got back into music again. While pursuing music, I have had several jobs like babysitting, waitressing, bartending, being a temp, and doing credit repair. I have a lot of life experience, and I am glad that I have those jobs included in my resume. It was always very humbling and kept me grounded. There were definitely times when I got recognized, and people would be like, "Why are you working here? You're famous!" I would say, "this is my reality."

A lot of people have the wrong perception of fame. Just because you’ve accomplished a lot and have been on TV does not mean you are now rich. I will say that when you live a certain kind of lifestyle and have for so long, it is hard to go backward. I always struggled with that and would work extra hard so that I could still live a better lifestyle. What can I say? I like nice things, but then again, who doesn't?

Who are some of your main musical influences?

My main musical influences are My family, of course, “DeBarge”, Mariah Carey, Prince, Aaliyah, Jlo, Britney Spears. The list is very long as I am a lover of all kinds of artists and music. These are the artists that had a huge influence on me growing up, and I would listen to them-on repeat.

What are some of your music career goals for the future?

I would love to win a Grammy! That has always been a dream of mine! Working with BabyFace and going double platinum was definitely a dream come true! So I am very blessed to have achieved so much already! I just would love to hear that I am a Grammy award-winning recording artist! That’s every artist's dream right?! My fiancé has 3, and I always ask him what it was like when he won? He said one of the best surreal feelings in the world! My short-term goals are to finish my project though and continue releasing my music to the world. I would love to be able to perform again and go on tour, hearing everyone sing my songs. That feeling is priceless! So praying for a tour in the near future.

Tell us the name of the project you are currently promoting? What inspired this project?

The name of the project is “Nia” I decided this time around, I wanted to reinvent myself, and so what better name than whom I am rebranding myself as.

Is there a date that this project dropped or is set to drop?

So, I am actually not planning on putting out an EP just yet. I have about 2 more singles I want to drop first, and then after that, I will put out my project, but the good news is my second single will be released this late August/early September, along with another music video, to follow. I am so excited for this one as I feel people will really love this. It’s a special record to me.

What is this project about in your own words?

If I could use one word to describe this project, I would say GROWTH! You can hear the sweetness still in me from when I was younger, but it’s definitely grown and sexy! I did not hold back at all, and I really went there in my songs, from my lyrics to the hard beats and the soulfulness of my voice. It has an urban R & B feel. We are still working on getting more features, so hopefully, the listeners will be surprised with more wonderful talented artists on the project with me.

Is there a specific song on this project that speaks to you most?

If so, what’s It called and what’s it about?

Yes, aw man, you are making me give it away! It’s supposed to be a surprise! Lol, just kidding. No, I can tell you, so it’s my second single actually.. called “Self-care”. This record is about a girl who decides to put herself first and is tired of always being put last. It’s an empowering song because she realizes that she deserves better and chooses herself in the end.

What’s one of the proudest moments of your music career so far? Definitely opening up for Britney Spears on the “Circus Tour," that was so surreal and a total dream come true! I never thought in a million years that I’d get to open up for one of my idols!

What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for?

Mostly, singles and dates are TBD as things change from day to day, but the good thing is I am already gearing up to do my second single music video next month, so I am super stoked about that! “Self-care” should be released no later than early fall.

What message do you hope fans take away from your music and this project?

The message I want people to take away from my music is Self-love and POWER! I wasn’t always in a place where I felt both of those things, and it took me a long time to finally realize my worth. I hope this inspires others to realize their worth too, and that no one can ever dim their light! Remember the power that lies within all of us as we have the power to do and be whoever and do whatever we want in this life! Life is already hard as it is. Let's all stop worrying about what people will think and live it the way we want. Unapologetically.

Where can we follow you on social media? Website

Instagram: @kristiniadeb

Twitter: @kristinia

Website: kristiniadebarge.com