Meet Newark’s very own PineappleCITI. She’s the budding wrap Queen out of New Jersey, known for her hit singles ”Rose Colored” and ”I need a Coupe”.
PineappleCITI has recently been on Billboards in Time Square & LA, and has been cosigned by Complex, Billboard, PaperMag just to name a few!
Check out our interview below:
Mikala: Hey, how are you today?! I see you’re already busy (laughs)!
Pineapple Citi:(Laughs) I’m pretty good! I’m out here on the East Coast, observing this snow outside the window right now. It’s looking pretty crazy!
Mikala: Now, you’re from Jersey correct?
Pineapple Citi: Yup!
Mikala: Could you give me a little insight of how it was growing up in Jersey?
PineappleCITI: Aw man, yeah… I’m from Newark, New Jersey, actually. It’s funny everybody outside of Newark calls it New-ark (laughs)! The ones that are from there call it Newark or “Brick City”. I mean it was pretty cool! My dad, my grandfather and my step-father all were DJs. I grew up around a lot of music, specifically a lot of Jersey House Music. Being from Jersey we’re very versatile in the music we listen to. I pretty much listened to music from all over since I was little. It’s kind of apart of Jersey culture.
PineappleCITI: You know Shaq is from Jersey! I remember his grandmother lived down the block from me. It was cool, as a kid, trying to run up to limo to get an autograph…stuff like that (laughs). I feel like Jersey in general just has a lot of culture and a lot of legends! Lauren Hill, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah. It was a culture to be brought up in and to want to go big, you know.
Mikala: When did you discover your love for Music? I know you said it was in your family but when were you personally like “ Oh my God, I love It”?
PineappleCITI: Well… uh I think part of it too, like what you said it was embedded in me with genetics. Since 6 years old I use to carry around a little rap book and I would wait for my dad to come pick me up when he would have his Dj events and I would want to be the MC on the mic just reciting my raps while he played in the background, so I say pretty early around 6 years old. I knew it was something that I was super passionate about.
PineappleCITI: Another cool fact, around that same age randomly, I remember crying to my grandmother telling her I wanted to change the World in some way. I had no idea what I was talking about at the time but I felt like I was kind of like prophesying!
Mikala: Who were your musical influences growing up?
PineappleCITI: Aw wow man… I mean already I said the legends. Whitney Houston, Lauren Hill, Queen Latifah, also Jay-Z. I use to really be into Neo Soul so like Erykah Badu, D’angelo. Erykah Badu is like my favorite artists of all time but as I grew up of course Drake, J.cole and Kendrick really inspired me a lot.
Mikala: Oh wow and you were a songwriter before you started making your own music?
PineappleCITI: Kind of both, of course I started off being my own artist, like in the underground scene, just by myself, independently. My first song went viral in 2017 ”Rose Colored.”At the time that happened I had got into a terrible car accident shortly after, I couldn’t walk for a very long time…almost 2 years and in that time period, even though my song was going viral a lot of labels were turning me down, a lot of investors were turning me down because I was pulling up on a Knee scooter.
PineappleCITI: I remember at a point in my life song writing seemed like almost like a sign of disrespect almost. In my mind it was like “ A SONGWRITER”?! Like what are you talking about?! I’m an Artist, but actually song writing has been like my saving grace that got my foot in the door in the industry and just gave me a whole new perspective on working with other artists and being an artist myself! I guess you can say I started off being an artist myself and fell into songwriting, it’s like a love I never knew I had.
Mikala: With you being in a fatal car accident did you feel as though it somewhat pushed you or added fuel to where you were before?
PineappleCITI: Absolutely! I think not only did it add fuel, but it also just inspired me to be fearless. Of course everyone deals with fear all the time when it comes to big things but I feel, you know, it gave me the drive and ambition. When I got into the accident of course my foot was messed up. Like I said I couldn’t walk for like 2 years. My mouth wasn’t broke and neither was mind so I felt like I had to do any and everything that I could do to propel my career forward no matter if I could walk or not!
PineappleCITI: Another thing it did for me was gave me patience on a spiritual level. Letting me know that even in the moment that I got into the car accident God was telling me “everything was going to be alright and that I was going to come out of this car accident bigger and better than ever”! My life has been a living proof after that! It also instilled in me unwavering faith!
Mikala: Oh my God…you are preaching to me right now (Laughs)
Pineapple City: (Laughs)
Mikala: Now you’re signed to Red Bull Records! Congratulations on that!
Pineapple Citi: Thank you! I appreciate that!
PineappleCITI: Man it was pretty dope! It was a super surreal feeling. Red Bull Records is in LA! I have been apart of the Red Bull family already for… I say about a year and a half ago or so as a songwriter, so you know it only seemed like the correct fit, it feels like a family to me! They flew me out there. It felt like a welcome home party!
PineappleCITI: I’m really excited about where we’re going, where we’re headed! It’s great to have an opportunity to start off with a company that appreciates me, knows the value that I bring and we equally want to see each other go to the top.
Mikala: That’s Awesome! I’m happy for you and I don’t even know you personally!
Pineapple Citi: (Laughs) I appreciate it! That’s really the point of my whole thing, to inspire people to follow their dreams. I hope this is inspiring you in some way shape or form (Laughs)!
Mikala: Yes! So What are some things that has helped you grow as an artist?
PineappleCITI: Wow! I would have to say my car accident, that unwavering faith and just getting the confidence of overcoming that situation and getting to where I’m at now and also songwriting. Songwriting is my secret weapon for how I’ve become so versatile as an artist.
Mikala: Do you feel as though you have more pressure, being a female in the industry?
PineappleCITI: Yeah! You know one of the oldest and truest sayings is “Sex Sells.” I’m not out here trying to sell myself in that way. Sometimes it can be hard. No disrespect to anybody who does that man because I love all types of different music, I’m just saying , speaking from my point of view and who I am as a person. It’s definitely been a challenge. I stand for so many minorities at one time not just being a woman, you know those things can sometimes be a hurdle but hurdles you get over and get through and I think it makes the success story worth while.
Mikala: That’s Awesome! You recently dropped a single called “Recognize”? What was the inspiration behind that single?
PineappleCITI: You know as I said before I get a lot of my music from experience. I feel like anybody can relate to the feeling of not being recognized by what your talents are or the hard work that you’ve been putting in etc. For a long time I faced a lot of those struggles we talked about and you know to be presented with an opportunity, like signing to Red Bull Records and being apart of that family It felt like, you know, somebody was finally recognizing me. I was getting that recognition I felt like I deserved in a way.
PineappleCITI: One thing that I want to point out as well, I say this all the time on my Instagram captions, is like “In order to be recognized you have to believe that you’re worth that recognition.” This song was pretty much a statement to myself like “Yo YOU BELONG HERE” and also a statement to everybody else that anything is possible.
Mikala: Now taking it back to the Billboard how did you find out you were on the Billboard in Time Square?
PineappleCITI: Somebody actually sent me a picture of it. They actually beat Red Bull to the punch (Laughs). It was so funny because I’m like “Yo guys I didn’t know I was on the Billboard in Time Square! “They were like “yeah we were actually about to let you know and surprise you right now!” That was an unbelievable feeling.
PineappleCITI: Not only that only that Billboard in Time Square but the Billboards in LA I mean just being from Newark, New Jersey seeing myself all the way on the other side of the World. I remember a couple of days ago going and sitting in front of the Billboard for like 3 hours just looking at it! It’s such an unbelievable feeling! All together it’s a feeling I can’t describe. It’s like I’m almost so excited that I can’t be excited (Laughs).
PineappleCITI: There’s something inside all of us that knows what are purpose is. I feel like a lot of life is predestined!