- Eye Color
- Hair ColorBrunettes
- HometownChicago, Illinois
About Niykee Heaton
Singer-songwriter and social media sensation Niykee Heaton was born in South Africa and grew up in suburban Chicago. Childhood was not easy for Niykee, whose older sister battled cancer from age three and died when Niykee was 12. “My sister and my mom were always in the hospital; my dad was always drunk; the rest of my family was in South Africa so they were never around,” Niykee told Huffington Post. “I was always alone, so I would just write all the time. It’s kind of sad, but if I didn’t go through all of that shit, I wouldn’t be the artist that I am.”
Niykee started writing songs at age five and taught herself to play the guitar at nine. She dedicated her childhood and high school years to making music and writing songs, and began posting covers to YouTube. “On Friday and Saturday nights when all the other kids were going out, I was staying home and writing songs or, when I got a little older, driving hours to some broke-down bar and begging them to let me get up and play,” she said on her website. “I was doing everything I could to move my music along, but nothing was working out at all.”
Niykee promised her parents she would go to college if her music career hadn’t made major strides by the time she was 18. But the day before her 18th birthday, WorldstarHipHop picked up her cover of “Love Sosa,” and interest from record labels came flooding in. “I owe everything to them because that was the first community to really see me,” she told Huffington Post. “The hip-hop, urban community I owe everything to.”
She eventually signed with Steve Rifkind and Russell Simmons’ All Def Music in partnership with Capitol Records, and released her debut EP “Bad Intentions” in fall 2014. The EP was a huge success, fueled in part because of Niykee’s incredible social media presence.
In addition to a huge YouTube following (more than 271,000 and counting), Niykee has grabbed attention on Instagram with both her music and her sexy photos. She has more than 1.2 million followers.
“If I can use what I have aesthetically to draw people in, then why not use it?” Niykee told Complex. “I’m not going to put on a turtleneck just to prove a point, or to make people feel more comfortable according to society’s standards. If people think I’m hot, cool. They’ll come and look at my bikini pics, and then they’ll click on my Soundcloud, and love my music.”