Ever dream about finding a way to do what you love for a living? In my "Do What You Love" column, I ask people who've done it to tell me their secrets. Here's hoping they inspire you to do the same.
NiRé AllDai has heard a lot of famous people sing her songs. In fact, she has sung hooks for heavy-hitters such as Timbaland, Dr. Dre, Swizz Beatz, and Stargate and written lyrics for Mary J. Blige, Keri Hilson, KeKe Palmer, and Demi Lovato.
Earlier this year, however, AllDai came out from behind the scenes and released her own songs “Hella Bad” and “Inside Out,” marking her debut entry into the Billboard Dance Club Song Chart.
In 2013, AllDai will release her first, as yet unnamed album, on Virgin Records. It’s the culmination of all of her hard work and reflects her passion for what she does for a living. She tells BusinessNewsDaily in an email interview why she loves what she does and how you can find a way to do what you love, too.
BusinessNewsDaily: Explain you what you do for a living.
NiRé AllDai: I am a singer/rapper/songwriter. My job consists of writing songs for myself and other artists, dancing, performing on stage, doing interviews and most importantly, connecting with my fans.
BND: How did you end up doing this for a living?
N.A.: Music and writing was always something that was a strong suit of mine, but I had a lot of hobbies growing up and music was just one of them. I was really involved in theater, and sports and dance, so I wasn't sure what was going to end up doing. I used to write these little Choruses to songs and sing them all the time around the house or in practice or rehearsals. And because I wasn't thinking about recording at the time, I never thought about finishing the whole song, I was just happy singing the little piece that I thought was cool because I came up with it for fun. But one day, I was in the shower and started singing this one hook that I had been singing for a year already, and the entire rest of the song just spilled into my mind, and I just magically knew in that instant what the rest of the song was. So I jumped out grabbed a towel to hurry and write it down, and literally in five minutes, the entire song was on paper. That's when I knew that my talent in music was something really special and it deserved a lot more of my attention. From that point on, music has been the biggest part of me.
BND: What was the crucial decision you made that led you to this place in life?
N.A.: One of the crucial decisions that I had to make in order to make this life possible for myself was deciding to no longer play sports. Being an athlete take so much determination, time and focus, so it was a huge step to completely commit myself to making music a career and taking the steps to make it my No. 1 focus.
BND: What did you want to be when you grew up?
N.A.: I hadn't really decided, mainly because I was such a busy kid. I just liked to whatever I liked to do. I wasn't thinking about the future. But I think in the back of my mind, I thought I would be a touring background singer and write jingles for television, because I knew it could be lucrative and I’d get to do what I liked to do.
BND: Why do you love your job?
N.A.: Because it comes so naturally to me. Creating lyrics and harmonies and melodies and using theatre to bring them all to life is what I would naturally be doing if no one was looking. If I was in a secluded jungle with a population of zero, I’d be somewhere making harmonies with the birds that are chipping and performing for the trees or something … LOL. That’s just me. I dance in my living room with on a stage in front of millions in my mind.
BND: What's the biggest misconception about your job?
N.A.: That it's an easy life. What people don't see is the years and tears and dedication that it takes to finally make it through the gauntlet. It's a hard long road. And that's before you even sacrifice you privacy. They don't mean it as a joke when they say this business is not for the faint of heart!
BND: If you didn't do your job, whose job would you like to have and why?
N.A.: If I weren't doing music, I would be teaching somewhere. I have always wanted to be one of those cool teachers that actually got through to the students. There were always those few teachers that really cared and made a real difference. I would want to be that.
BND: Do you think having a job you love has made you a better person in other areas of your life?
N.A.: I think doing what I love has definitely given me the gift of forever being young at heart. Life is difficult and it’s hard enough without having to show up every day to do something you hate with people you don't like. I truly feel blessed to live a life where I am exercising my natural talents. It isn't easy to make a living doing what we love, but to have that opportunity inspires me to constantly push my own boundaries to become a better musician, artist and all-around person, so I never take advantage of it.
BND: What's your best advice to other people who are trying to pursue their career dreams?
N.A.: Be patient. When venturing out on your own, life tries to make us prove our dedication and usually it may take a while to see the true fruits of your labor. But be patient and have ultimate faith along with your diligence, and eventually the universe will have no choice but to reward you for your efforts.
BND: What's your idea of the perfect retirement?
N.A.: Honestly, the perfect retirement for me would be traveling the world full-time. I want to visit all of the sacred places on the planet and get the true history of the ancient lands. I want to live in different rural parts of the globe and just fully understand the human experience. I also want to become a professor at some point to go back and teach everything I’ve learned along the way.