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NJOMZA Reveals the Best Advice Mac Miller Gave Her and What Working With Ariana Grande Is Like (Exclusive)

NJOMZA Stefan Kohil

NJOMZA is one to be noticed. With her incredible singing and songwriting skills and turquoise hair, it’s no surprise she has gotten the attention of artists like Ariana Grande and the late Mac Miller.

The Chicago-born star, who was discovered by Miller, sat down with Us Weekly on Tuesday, August 20, ahead of her Live at Aloft Homecoming Tour, and dished on her sound and what working with Grande is like. 

Related: Ariana Grande Through the Years

“I’m really excited just to go back home and perform. I’m always excited going back to Chicago. I just feel like every time a show comes around, it just feels like the first time all over again. I get the same pre-show nerves and it’s really exciting and definitely a dream come true too,” the singer said.

Although NJOMZA gets anxious before getting on stage, she tries to keep in mind the best career tip Miller, who died in September 2018 at age 26, gave her. “He told me not to really worry about all the outside stuff when it comes to the music industry. He really was always adamant about me just focusing on the music,” she explained.

“I think he would be proud and excited for me. … I miss having one of my best friends around. He was someone I could go to about pretty much anything, so that’s definitely the thing I miss the most and just kind of having that friend in him.”

Mac Miller Performs
Rapper Mac Miller performs on his Space Migration Tour at Festival Pier, in Philadelphia. Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Related: Ariana Grande’s Dating History: A Timeline of Her Exes and Flings

NJOMZA told Us that she finds inspiration for songs everywhere. “I usually write songs about things that happen in my day-to-day life, relationships or things that I see in my friends or think of somebody else’s point of view,” she said. 

“Because all my songs are so personal, I get so nervous before any song comes out especially if I’m writing a song about someone specifically and think about them hearing it.

When it came time to co-write “Thank U, Next” with the Grande, the two artists focused on the Grammy winner’s own experiences, but NJOMZA didn’t expect it to be such a hit. 

“Every day we were making songs about her personal life and everything she was going through. … We did this song together and it was just about a group of women going in and killing it. … I loved the song, but I had no idea how big it was going to be,” she explained. 

Another track NJOMZA helped the Grande with was “7 Rings” after the pair enjoyed a champagne-filled morning at Tiffany & Co.

Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande attends Billboard’s 13th Annual Women in Music Event on December 6, 2018 in New York City. Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix/Shutterstock

Related: 9 Pieces You Need from From Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank U, Next’ Collection at H&M

“That day specifically, she decided to ball out and get seven rings and then I was like, ‘Aright, now we gotta make a song out of this,” NJOMZA dished.

As for other artists she hopes to work with someday, The Weeknd is at the top of her list. “I would love, love, love a collab with someone like The Weeknd. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

The Live at Aloft Homecoming Tour will kick off in Chicago on Friday, August 23, with eight additional stops around the world with intimate performances by top artists. 

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