Her attitude, skills and infectious anthem helped make 'DownSouth' a radio hit. Now this sassy hip-hop artist is gearing up for the next level.

One of the most intriguing and entertaining new entrants to the field of hip-hop this year is without a doubt NinaCasse', an award-winning rapper and singer-songwriter from Memphis, Tennessee. She's topped Reverbnation as the #1 Rap/Singer/Songwriter in the Memphis area. Her single ‘DownSouth’, with its heart-pounding beat, anthem-like chorus and tight production has rocked the airwaves and clubs this summer. It seems clear that NinaCasse' possesses the style, skills and talent to continue on her upward trajectory, and with her debut album ‘Introduction to NinaCasse, a.k.a. B.B.’ due to be released this year, her timing is impeccable. Reporter Brandon Scott caught up with NinaCasse' recently to learn more about this dynamic new artist.

BRANDON: When did you first discover your love of music?
NINACASSE': I've had a love for music since I was a child.  I rediscovered my love for music in 2005. 

BRANDON: Your song 'DownSouth' has been a big hit on radio for its third straight month.  What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
NINACASSE': I was like "Oh my goodness" I started jumping up and down and smiling so hard. It made me feel good!!

BRANDON: What was the inspiration behind 'DownSouth'?  Was there one particular night out that inspired you to write this song?
NINACASSE': The inspiration behind 'DownSouth' was the beat! It made me move! It got my attention immediately!  

BRANDON: Would you say that the mood of your other songs is in the same vein as 'DownSouth'?
NINACASSE': Because I am a multi-genre artist, all of my songs don't have the same mood. I rap and sing Soul/Jazz, R&B/Pop and Inspirational/Gospel.

BRANDON: How would you characterize yourself as an artist?  (ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving...)
NINACASSE': I am a down-to-earth artist who works hard and loves to laugh, and can easily vibe with other musicians.

BRANDON: Did you come from a musical background?  Are there other musicians in your family?  
NINACASSE': Yes, I do have a musical background.  I learned how to read and write music in junior high band.  I received a singing scholarship at the age of 17.  I'm the only musician in my family.

BRANDON: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist?  What do you find most challenging?
NINACASSE': The most rewarding thing about being an artist is I truly love having the ability to sing a song to someone, a stranger and make them either smile or feel better.  It's PRICELESS!!!  Being an indie artist has been challenging but through it all I have overcome and for that I am grateful!

BRANDON: Who are your role models in music?
NINACASSE': Pattie LaBelle, Yolanda Adams, Mary J Blige and Phil Collins were my role models in the music industry. 

BRANDON: What advice would you give to young, aspiring musicians out there who are unsure and need guidance?
NINACASSE': The advice that I would give to young, aspiring musicians is to first believe in yourself (Trust yourself)! 2) Buckle up it’s gone be a bumpy ride...(Shake dem haters off!) 3) Stay focused! Keep your drive! Keep your determination (You can do it)!

BRANDON: What's next for NinaCasse'?  Is there a follow-up single in the works?  If so, what can you tell us about it?
NINACASSE': I will be releasing my debut album ‘Introduction of NinaCasse' aka B.B.’ in the next couple months.  I'm so excited! I  I have worked very long and hard for this moment.  I'll be starting my promotional tour right after. I have a follow-up single and it’s called 3-10 Remix.  It's a make-you-move song.  I call it my army song.  I serve in the army. 

BRANDON: Well, it sounds like you've got a lot in the works, soldier! I wish you continued success and good luck!