By Cameron Lee
March 17, 2020
For many, Charlotte is a budding city for music, arts and creativity but, for others coming from smaller towns, the Queen City has already blossomed. For Nia Johnson, better known as Nia J, who moved to Charlotte to study business at UNCC in 2016, the landscape was daunting at first. That was until she met fellow student and musician Ike Byers (Caelan & Ike) in 2019, quickly establishing a musical chemistry.
Nia J’s voice carries an alluring vulnerability cultivated over years traveling with award-winning choirs in high school at Pinecrest in Southern Pines, NC. She wrote her new song “Bad Faith” while wandering in Italy for a spring trip in 2019. It’s an enchanting track with whimsical guitar plucks and clever use of snaps and drums by Ike Byers that splendidly showcases her voice and tone.
Johnson’s choral background is evident when listening to her elaborate harmonies over her own voice, crooning notes that add several layers to the already entrancing songs. Johnson, who is also a self-taught pianist, released two more impressive singles in 2019, “Bliss” and “Before You,” both silky love songs that have a refinement rarely exhibited by a new artist.
In addition to being a full-time student, Johnson is also the VP of the UNCC section of The National Council of Negro Women, and works multiple part-time jobs. Right now, she’s working on three songs (and music videos) planned to be released in the coming months. She’s enthusiastic about working with fellow Charlotte and North Carolina artists and, with her brief but remarkable catalog of music, there is no doubt she will have plenty of suitors.
Listen to the new single “Bad Faith” by Nia J and follow her progress on Instagram.