WHO’S NEXT: Sharaya J



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Female rapper Sharaya J is a musical force to be reckoned with. The Hawaiian-native is best known for her latest singles “BANJI” and “Smash Up the Place.” The blue-haired rapper signed to Missy “Misdamenour” Elliot’s label, The Goldmind Inc., back in 2010. As a 30-year-old artist, she brings strong lyricism to the table and puts creativity in the forefront of her music.

Raised in Jersey City, Missy’s protégé developed her love for music while witnessing her father as lead rapper in the Hip Hop group Double XX Pose. Growing up, artist such as TLC, Aaliyah, Biggie and others served as her musical influences. Before rapping, Sharaya cultivated a successful dance career by working with top choreographers such as Laurieann Gibson and Fatima Robinson, while dancing in movies such as Step Up 2 and Step Up 3D. It wasn’t long until she started working with a slew of well-respected musicians from Diddy and Jay Z to Rihanna and Alicia Keys.

Though she is still in the early stages of making a name for herself as a performer, Sharay J has successfully garnered the attention of fashion powerhouses. Along with taking the stage at the Alexander Wang fashion show after-party, her second single “Smash Up the Place,” appeared in a June 2014 promotional video for T by Alexander Wang.

Her fresh sound and “colorful” style cultivated from 90s Hip Hop has brought attention to underground dance music. In efforts to put Jersey Club music on the map, Sharaya J has collaborated with the likes of DJ Jayhood on her singles. As Sharaya takes center stage, she has fashioned “The Banji Movement,” which encourages individuals to embrace Uniqueness and Originality, thus birthing the acronym ‘Be Authentic Never Jeopardize Individuality’ (B.A.N.J.I).

Sharaya J’s confident, full-voiced delivery shows a clear path of her authenticity, filling a hole in the music industry that’s been empty for years. Look out for her yet to be titled EP, set to drop some time this year.