A popular song once said we aren’t too young to love. Often younger artists find themselves unable to express themselves in their music as they wrestle with the perception of their friends and family and a world that doesn’t want to allow young women and men to be free. For Nani Goins, her music is her canvas, allowing her the chance to paint the world as she sees fit. Since she first started releasing music under her name, she’s fought to present her authentic self in a music industry that values catered images. Ambitious and focused, her goal is to get everything she wants from music and get the happy ending she’s due.
Nani’s demeanor on the day of our talk reflects a mix of poise and hopefulness that’s stressed with periods of nervous energy. This isn’t her first interview and you can tell by how composed she is when speaking about her music and her life. Born in Baltimore in the early 2000s, she saw a city brimming with potential as it went through its own renaissance with Baltimore club music. Nani sought an environment with more opportunities than what the city had.
“I lived in Baltimore for eleven years before I moved to Atlanta. The environment though is limited and I saw the difference when I moved here.”
Nani and her family left when she was eleven, but the city and her desire to see it on top haven’t left her. In fact, representing Baltimore has remained one of her strongest desires. “Atlanta had more opportunities in the music world that would allow me to represent my city on a wider scale. I knew in order to do that, I had to step out of my comfort zone and explore other opportunities. But I still love and represent my city 100%,”.
Coming of age during the mid-2000s, Nani was exposed to a slew of R&B that came out of the depths of the neo-soul era which included artists like Chrisette Michele, Keyshia Cole, and Jennifer Hudson and earlier era artists like Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, Brandy and Monica. Out of all of them, though, Whitney Houston and her music made the biggest impression on her. Inspired by her talent, Nani began taking her passion to the next level as a teenager, writing music and performing in plays as she sought to find her voice.
Atlanta’s burgeoning music scene gave her hope.”It’s always something you can do, especially if you’re an artist. I mean, there’s an entire museum dedicated to trap here! But before I got here, it always seemed like a dream. But once I got here, I realized it could be a reality.”
The talent was always there, but for Nani, who was still a teenager, she hadn’t quite found the sound or comfort she needed to elevate. Step by step, she built herself up, releasing her first single, “Deja Vu” in 2019. “The first semester of senior year was when I dropped my first single, Deja Vu,” says Nani. Her vocal tone is pronounced and powerful and conveys the authority and conviction her role models Brandy and Monica displayed at her age.
Family has always been important to Nani and her immediate family took to her music kindly, opting to help support her. From there, Nani dropped her next single, “No More Clouds” which officially ushered in her decision to embrace being a young adult. “No More Clouds was the coming of age single. It’s when I stepped into the new brand of It’s Nani Goins when before it was just It’s Nani. That’s when I stepped more into myself. It’s still Nani, but I’m older now,” says Nani.
In the three years since Nani’s come on the scene, she’s been consistent in balancing both music and business, working to put out music and also networking with radio hosts and producers in the city. Her most recent single, “Happy Ending” is bubbling and generating attention for her and her brand as an indie artist but is far from the last we will hear from her.
In fact, when asked what her overall goal is, Nani smiles and confidently states, “I want to perform on the big stage. I want to do everything. Touch people from different cultures. I just want to be happy with myself and my success. ”