When we caught up with singer, songwriter and producer Nakkia Gold, she was chilling in her kitchen, smoking a joint and happy to talk about her newly exploding musical career.
From uplifting women and weed to rising in the star-studded ranks (all while staying focused on paying it forward to youth), we talked all things positive with Nakkia Gold. Freshly riding the waves of success from her recent release of “Justice (Get Up, Stand Up)” featuring the powerhouses of Wiz Khalifa and Bob Marley and The Wailers, here’s the conversation.
How did you first get started making music?
I fell in love with music at a very young age. I was always dancing, and when I danced, I would be singing the song instead of doing the dance, or remembering the dance because of the specific words in the songs. And I was always in church. Then, when I figured out I was able to create my own world and write my own songs, and say and do what I want, it made me fall even more deeply in love.
Who helped you along the way, and what all went into your journey of getting into music?
I grew up in South Central Los Angeles, so I got to see a lot of hip-hop and street artists really make it from nothing, just by telling their story. When I found out I was able to create my own world within music and write my story, like Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, like everybody from here, I wanted to do that for my community.
I kind of want to do that for my generation as well. There’s an opening for lesbian, gay women, and I want to be the face of LA and show that we can do it, too. So, just getting that confidence and assurance, and coming from where I’ve come from gave me more of a drive to do more for not just myself, but for my community.
How did you get into cannabis activism, and how does it show up in your music?
I dealt with social anxiety for a long time as a kid, so when I was introduced to cannabis, I was able to let everything go, no more stress. Now I don’t have to take medication for pain. When I feel sore after I go to the gym, I use CBD as well, so not just the THC part of it. I use the medicinal part. I use CBD bath bombs and body oil.
Also, cannabis really helps me create well; it opens up my creative space and my mind so that when I’m writing, I’m not concentrating on stress or what I’m going through in my personal life. I’m able to let it all go and really be myself and speak my truth without worrying about anything.
In terms of legalization, what changes do you hope to see, especially when it comes to people of color being incarcerated for cannabis?
I’d like people to be able to see the medical benefits, and finally just have legal use because it’s not hurting anybody. I feel like if the world would just hit a blunt sometimes, or a bowl, everybody would be cool. No one would be stressed out.
I think elderly people should be able to have a little weed sometimes if they want to. It’s not like we have deaths or people doing crazy stuff on it. I feel like everybody needs to be able to smoke up without consequences.
Do you find yourself working that, and other cannabis themes, into your music?
Oh yes, I definitely incorporate those themes. I mean, I did a song with Bob Marley and Wiz Khalifa, so how could I not? I think it’s well-branded that everywhere I go, I have a nice bag with me.
As a queer person in hip-hop, do you feel there is acceptance, or is there still a lot of work the community needs to do?
I feel like we have overcome a lot of hurdles, and I feel like there’s still a lot of teaching and a lot of learning out there for people to do as far as the people who don’t accept it. They have to understand, love is love, and we can’t fight who we love; we just can’t.
Where do you hope to see your career in five to 10 years?
In the stars, amongst those who are excelling. I want to drop a few albums; I want to go on tour. I want to do a lot of collaboration. I want to see more of people building their communities, and I want to see change in where I live. I want to help the homeless and make different foundations and organizations to help people. I want to create spaces for kids who don’t have money and benefits.
Can you tell us more about what inspired you to create those spaces for youth?
I was a teacher for a while, so I’ve seen the effect that music can have on kids in education, so that’s really, really deep in me. I’m going to create a foundation that’s like an after school program, but not one where you just give a kid a ball and let them go in the yard.
I want to incorporate and give them a trade, teach them something that they can do afterwords and carry on with their life so they can have skills that can make them money later on, whether it be music, dance, acting, plumbing or construction. I can give them a couple hours after school, and instead of sitting there just bouncing a ball, let’s do something physical.
Do you have anything in the works in terms of touring plans?
Nothing official yet, but when I tour, I want to head straight for Atlanta. I want to go to Atlanta first, and then back home and just go crazy all over again.
So you’d love to just play in those cities where hip-hop shows really pop off so that it’s a crazy time?
Yes, absolutely. That’s what it’s all about.