Inside The Gifted Mind Of Najja Iman
The YouTuber, artist and entrepreneur chats 2000s fashion, musical inspirations and staying hopeful.
Solidifying her stardom, Najja Iman isn’t slowing down any time soon. After bodying YouTube with her GRWM’s, storytimes, vlogs, beauty and hair vids, the make up mogul broke into the music scene at the beginning of the year, gifting us with her soul infused sounds. As the ultimate ode to the Y2K aesthetic, @nydollasign launched her and her sister’s clothing label Fine Girl in mid-2018, feeding and fuelling the global adoration for noughties fashion. We caught up with your fave baddie from the bay for a lil chat on inspos, creativity, Miss Rona and more.
Najjaaa, welcome girl! First things first, what’s your current mood? What’s on your mind?
I’m currently feeling very confused about what life after this pandemic will look like. I know for certain nothing will be the same, we’re literally entering a new world, and although I am excited for the future I’m also scared of the unknown.
Your first song “Crush” has been on repeat since it dropped. It’s deadass food for the soul. How does it feel to have gone from releasing one song to your EP ‘These Aren’t Love Songs,’ and now your latest single “Stuck,” in such a short space of time?
Thank you so much! I’m super proud of myself for sharing my projects with the world. A year ago I wasn’t nearly as artistically confident as I am now, and I was actually scared to showcase my talent publically. I actually recorded “Crush” and “These Aren’t Love Songs” in a studio, but after the country went on lockdown I was forced to learn how to produce music on my own, which was definitely new for me, but I got the hang of it and literally recorded “Stuck” in my room. I was actually hesitant to release that single because I was unsure if my supporters would vibe with it, but I received so much love from everyone, so it feels wonderful to know that I created a project that my supporters truly love.
Who are your main musical inspirations? Who can’t you go a day without listening to?
I am inspired by so many artists, but my main musical inspirations are Jhené Aiko, Snoh Aalegra, SZA, and The Internet. Their styles are super unique, but they inspire me all the same. Their discography is absolutely beautiful, I’ve probably listened to every song they’ve ever released 1000 times lol. I’m absolutely obsessed with Brandy! Her recent album “B7” has literally been on repeat, I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is listen to “Borderline.” Drake is another artist I can’t go a day without listening to. Literally every one of his projects are gold. But who doesn’t love Drake, right?
You’ve been on YouTube for a minute now. What are your fave types of vids to create?
I have a segment on my channel called “Baddie Chats,” where I do my makeup/hair and talk about various topics. My supporters really love my advice, so I like to talk about things that are relevant to them. I try my best to share valuable words about confidence, self-love, boys, positivity, etc. I’m so appreciative of all of my supporters, they message me daily telling me how helpful my advice is. The positive reassurance I get from them makes me so happy, and actually is the reason why I continue to film videos! I consider my “subscribers” my friends, I don’t call them “fans” or anything like that because that puts me on a pedestal that I don’t feel worthy of being on. So my “Baddie Chat” videos are basically just girl talk with my friends.
Tell us a secret!
Girlll it’s called a secret for a reason! If I told you I’d have to kill you lmao.
Your clothing label Fine Girl embodies the Y2K aesthetic down to a T. What draws you the most to early 2000s fashion?
I think the 2000s was the start of women embracing their feminine freedom and not feeling ashamed of raunchiness or sex appeal. Icons like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Ciara, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, etc. made it cool to love your body, which was extremely important for other girls to see. Women began to wear crop tops, mini skirts, fun colorful make up, etc. I’m drawn to 2000s fashion because of how free it was. Everyone’s style was so fun and different, no two people looked the same! That’s what I admire the most about the 2000s, the fashion was so simple, yet unique. Back in the day, you could wear a basic tracksuit and shades and it was such a huge yet simple fashion statement. Nowadays, everyone looks the same. No offense to IG models of course, but I feel like they are the standard at the moment.
What advice would you give to someone launching their own clothing label?
The biggest tip I could give to anyone starting a clothing brand is to express authentic creativity! The fashion industry is such a large industry, and with constantly emerging trends, it’s easy to see the same thing everywhere. The key to having a successful brand is creating something that the world hasn’t seen before, or in my case, in a long time. That’s why my sister and I decided to *bring back* the classic Y2K tracksuit style, because we hadn’t seen that in this generations fashion industry. I would also suggest jumping on an idea asap. I know too many people who have had amazing ideas but slept on themselves for so long! I’ll never understand why, but to anyone with an idea, just go for it. Don’t sleep on yourself because you never know who is willing to support you.
What was your most recent cosmetic purchase?
Girl I haven’t purchased makeup in a longgg time since I can’t leave my house lol. But I do have my eye on Rihanna’s new Fenty Skin products, I know that isn’t technically a cosmetic but with all the free time I have right now, I’m mainly focused on getting my skin right honey.
2020 has been a difficult year for many reasons. How do you stay hopeful during turbulent times?
Prayer is the main thing that has kept me grounded and positive during these times! I have a prayer journal that I read every night. This season has actually been quite positive for me because I have tapped into my spirituality more and strengthened my relationship with God. I am currently doing a daily Bible study plan through the youversion app, it’s almost scary how applicable each devotion is to my life. The messages/scriptures I read are so on point, and keep me in high spirits during this time. I know that this pandemic/quarantine season won’t last forever, and keeping that in the back of my mind keeps me on a straight path. I’m a huge believer that everything happens for a reason.
What are you most excited about for the future?
I think I’m most excited to see how far my brand will go in the upcoming years. We’ve seen so much growth in only seven months, just imagine how many opportunities we’ll touch in a year or two. I’m also excited to see what doors will open for my personal brand, outside of Fine Girl. I’m so grateful that I got the opportunity to do this interview because getting interviewed was in my 2020 goals list! So thank you so much for reaching out, it means a lot! My dreams are finally coming true.