Multifaceted, San Diego native, Nilaja Darling, has been making waves with her current endeavors in a major way. A celebrity stylist, painter, music artist, are amongst the hats she wears, and she wears them quite well. Learning her voice and the basics of singing can be owed to her grandmother Gloria Gean Gardner, and stern but patient, choir teacher Mrs. Rich. Nilaja used to sing with members in her community when she was a member of the Youth Advisory Board for management and leadership, and that truly contributed to her confidence as a vocal artist. During that time, she met her first musical mentor/manager Derrick, and that’s when she began recording in Los Angeles at the tender age of 14.
By the time she was 17, she met and worked with artist, engineer, and producer Ray Champion. While honing in on her recording and songwriting skills, she had built a small family of creatives for production, songwriting, and artist development. Nilaja had the pleasure of performing all around her city until she felt she had reached her cap, and that is when she moved to Los Angeles. There she was able to record herself and build her independence as an artist with the help of supportive family. She also was afforded the unforgettable opportunity to sing the National Anthem for her hometown baseball team, the San Diego Padres for a crowd of over 60,000 fans. That moment was surreal for her as an artist, and she truly saw herself bigger than life in that instance.
Singing isn’t the only talent Nilaja possessed either. She is an artist within her own right and doesn’t work on one thing at a time. A few years ago, Nilaja was working at Superstar Hair and Wigs, a Black-owned studio where different actors would frequent. She would style her own hair so well that customers would inquire as to if she offered services of her own. This led to Nilaja solidifying her own clientele and expanding her business. She, along with her assistant Alexis, travels to provide services as traveling stylists for her business Braided Glory. Within her business, she also created and sells her own products; a loc extension line. Moxxi Loxx was launched about two years ago which creates human and synthetic locs. These locs are reusable and or can be installed and left permanently. Nilaja believes in cross promotion as she often sports hair for her products for a more versatile look and also for marketing purposes. Singing and designing locs aren’t the only projects on her radar.
Inspired by her father, who was also an artist that sculpts and carves wood, Nilaja has been nurturing that skill as well. She started doing big pieces in North Hollywood which included oils, spray paints, and acrylics. After two years of creating, she has decided that she wants to start to sell her pieces. She has many people inquiring to purchase, and she wants to display them in upcoming showcases in museums. A marketing strategy to execute these moves is currently in the works.
Through all of this Nilaja never stops singing. Currently, she has been writing music while collaborating with peers for some songs on her upcoming project. With journaling being used as her essential tool for her well-being and personal healing journey, songs have been pouring out of her much more fluidly. She is constantly uncovering and learning more about herself through what she calls the reflection process. This has inspired her up and coming project which also sets an intimate vibe for painting, creating, and other works of art.
Nilaja Darling will be releasing her Freshman EP of seven songs October 29th of this year. There will also be video visuals dropped for her previously released single titled Tonic. She’s excited for her fans and supporters to see what she has up her sleeve from singing, to cosmetics and beauty, to creating art. Nilaja plans to do it all. Her ultimate goal with her music however, is to have and keep a positive uplifting sound so that she can remain realistic and relatable to her supporters. In the future, she would love to work with Saint Jhn, Sza Alice Smith, Lucky Daye, Kaytranada, and FKA Twigs, just to name a few.