nYk p

pronounced “nick p.”

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---To view nYk's full SM Live Interview scroll to the bottom ---

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STANDARD: Why choose music as a vehicle or did the music choose you as a vehicle?

NYK: I truly believe that music chose me!  For as long as I can remember, music has been a divine inescapable force in my life.  Even in chapters in my life when I thought that I was not good enough, music always had a way of reminding me of a calling to help bring inspiration and healing to others despite my imperfections.  As a kid, I took to my grandmother’s keyboard and spent hours teaching myself to play, sing, and write music.  Even then I knew that it was more than just “something that I love to do”.  Music had chosen me for something much bigger.  Music - a force that can unite us all - chose me to reach others by spreading love, hope & positivity through song.

STANDARD:  How do you feel the pandemic, acute civil wars, and any other negative force has dampened the lives and perspectives of people?

NYK: Ever since 2016, I have noticed our country's hatred and vitriol like I had never seen before.  Of course, as a Black man living in America, racism and xenophobia are not unfamiliar to me by no means.  However, the influx of overt, unabashed hostile treatment of non-white people since 2016 has been disturbing to my very core.  To add a global pandemic - one that further separates people even on a physical level - to this festering stew of hate is enough to break the most hopeful and spiritually fortified person.  Social division has only been bolstered by social distancing to form a “new normal” that I hope to be able to change for the better with the power of music.

STANDARD:  How do you think that your #MakeSomeoneSmileChallenge campaign can help soften the blow of the negativity that has plagued this era?

NYK:  I truly believe that media and music influence and shape societal worldviews considerably.  People can garner following through media and their and then influence countless people for good or otherwise.  On January 6, 2021, the entire country watched as the 45th President of the United States had used social media to rally a mob of violent protestors which invaded the capitol to disrupt the democratic process from taking its course.  This is a quintessential example of negative influential power of media.  However, I hope to offer a counter-narrative in media that may help heal all the cancerous wombs that American society has experienced since 2016.  I hope that the #MakeSomeoneSmileChallenge campaign can make love and hope go viral again.  What if we lived in a country where, even during a pandemic, people went out of their way to find ways to put a smile on someone else’s face?  Hopefully, with a little help from this hashtag and my new upbeat song we can see such a time soon.