[Queen Naija](https://www.instagram.com/queennaija/?hl=en)’s time is now. The social media maven boasts 8.2 million followers on Instagram alone, making a name for herself online through posting raw and uncut vlogs to her Youtube page (currently amassing over 4.76 million subscribers and counting). Constantly remaining an open book to her fans when it comes to her personal life and relationships, Queen brings that same exact energy into her music.
With music being a true, unwavering passion of hers since she can remember, the singer-songwriter describes herself as “a regular humble girl who loves to sing.” Equipped with a smooth and sultry voice and infectious energy, each one of her R&B ballads are real, honest, and relatable, telling not only her story but the lives of many all around the world. In 2018, real name Queen Naija Bulls experienced her breakout moment as “Medicine” became an instant smash, eventually inking a major label deal with Capitol Records.
Calling her loyal fanbase the Royalty Squad, this time Queen returns better than ever: unleashing her highly-anticipated debut studio album titled _missunderstood_ (which debuted at number one on the R&B charts). With the title alone speaking volumes to her current state of mind, the 18-track project is spearheaded by singles “Pretend,” “Pack Lite,” and “Lie To Me” featuring Lil Durk.
Flaunt caught up with Queen Naija via Zoom, who was located in her home in Atlanta. Read below as we discuss her rise on the internet, shooting “Lie To Me” with Lil Durk, the inspo behind _missunderstood,_ working with Teyana Taylor, motherhood, and more!
**Did you have a secret for building your YouTube following? Everyone has a niche that works for them.**
I didn't really have a secret. I did whatever worked, which is showing my personality. I was transparent with my life. People love being in your business, so I gave them the business. It really went up from there when people saw the storyline of everything, the story is what broke me off.
**Can you summarize that storyline?**
A girl who had a couple’s channel with her husband, got cheated on publicly, made it a song and turned her pain into success.
**I didn't know you got cheated on.**
Oh wow, I thought everyone did. I was cheated on and it was so embarrassing. Imagine you have a husband, ya’ll all happy on the internet. People are like "aww, couple goals!" This and that. You look up one day and this girl’s on there recording him on FaceTime talking, recording his face. You look up, you see him in the club slapping other girls' butts. You see stuff happening, but you stick with him. You get called stupid. It happens again and you’re like “you know what, I'ma leave. I'ma start my own YouTube channel. I'ma make a song.” Then the song blows up.
**Did you think "Medicine" was going to do as well as it did?**
No, definitely not. I wasn’t ready, \[laughs\] but I got used to it quick. Seeing myself all over the billboards was really inspiring to me.
**What does music do for you?**
I'm not a good talker, at all. Music’s a way for me to express myself in a way that can make sense to people. Sometimes I don't make sense when I talk, or I can't get it out. It's definitely been an outlet for me, a way for me to let off stream. Also show people my gift, heal people through my own music and my own experiences. And shoot, make money.
**“Lie To Me" video out now, how are you feeling?**
I love that song. I love all the songs on my album. “Lie To Me” was definitely one of my favorites because I sampled "A Dream" by DeBarge. I love samples. I love old school music. Any time I can take and flip one, make it sound good as modern, it's a good thing.
**Talk about working with London Jae on the record.**
London Jae is so fun to be around. Every time I'm around him, it's nothing but laughs. Everything’s so funny. He's really talented. I love how he brings out a different side of you. I love how he brings out the swaggy side. I can be good ole fashion old school, but I like how he brings out the modern trap. He always gives me some edge.
**How did Durk get on the record?**
London Jae. Actually A Boogie was supposed to be on that record, but A Boogie wasn't able to redo his verse. We were revamping that song, that was a totally different song with different lyrics. Same sample, but we revamped the beat. Since we revamped it, the beat sped up a little bit. We couldn't use A Boogie's old verse because he needed to speed up or it’d sound different. He couldn't at the time, I’m like “damn, I really want a feature man.” I was with London Jae in the studio, he’s like "I can call somebody right now!" And it was Lil Durk.
**What was your reaction to his verse? It's low key fire!**
Nah, it's high key fire! I didn't know what to expect honestly. When I heard it, okay bet! He added a different dynamic to the song. I was glad. You got my sweet cute little voice, then you got his trap, melodic vibe.
**How did you get Teyana Taylor on board?**
She had already shot "Pack Lite" for me, the video I released with the 60's vibe. Working with Teyana was dope. One day last year in 2019, I was on my Story in the car blasting her music and I was singing my heart out. She posted it on her IG story. From that point, we started talking. She asked me if I wanted to be in her music video for the song with her and Kehlani. I was supposed to be in the video, but I wasn't able to because I was moving. We kept in touch. One day she called me, she thought she was talking to a different person. I said "wait, I think you called the wrong person.” She said “oh i’m so sorry.” I said “but I'm so glad you called because I want you to direct my video." So she called right on time.
**That's funny! Who did she think she called?**
It was Nija the songwriter. She probably saved my contact next to hers, our names are similar.
**Teyana’s film crew is all women right?**
Yeah, it's The Aunties Production. I love it. It's not all women, but it's womenbased. It’s super dope working with other women. It's empowering, girl power.
**The video is at 6.6 million views. How does it feel to have that kind of response each time you drop?**
It feels great. I can't wait to keep elevating. I never want to stay content. I'm very grateful but I want to go higher and higher.
**Best memory from that video shoot?**
It was fun being with the team, good vibes. The funniest part of the video shoot is when me and Durk were standing face to face, we had to rap and sing our parts. When his part came on, he was saying anything. He forgot his words, I was cracking up. It was hilarious.
**I love the shots of the older couple. What will you and Clarence will be doing at that age?**
Probably watching our grandkids. \[laughs\]
**What can we expect from _missunderstood_?**
You can really expect the unexpected. This is a very different project from my EP. We really really really took my time with this body of work. It'll solidify who I am in this industry, definitely the respect will be different after this. People will look at me as a real artist, not just a YouTuber girl. It's a classic.
**Why do you feel _missunderstood_?**
So many different things make me feel misunderstood. A lot of times, people don't understand my logic of things, my view, my humor. A lot of people twist and misconstrue my words on the internet, make me out to be someone I'm not. I feel misunderstood as far as the whole YouTube thing because yeah I did start on YouTube, but being an artist is really who I am. It's my purpose. People like to still put me in that box.
When I first started in my career, I was always saying how I wrote my songs based on my own experience only. Now the new songs that I'm releasing, they apply all my songs to my life. If I write a song about a breakup, they think it's something going on with me and my relationship. For instance "Lie To Me,” people were like "it seems like she's getting cheated on by Clarence. She's condoing it, she doesn't care." That's not even the case. I'm really experimenting with different topics. From 2018 to 2020 now, a lot has changed and evolved. I'm trying to be more of an artist. Of course I still will get personal and transparent with my music, and some of that is still in the album still, but I want them to separate the artist from the regular person.
**What features do you have?**
We got Jacquees, Russ, Lucky Daye, Kiana Lede, Mulatto, Durk, Toosi.
**How is motherhood during quarantine?**
Motherhood during quarantine has been great. I had a lot of help over this pandemic. I’ve gotten the chance to watch my babies grow and not be running all over the place. I'm very happy even though life has been crazy with school. My oldest son, he's about to turn 6 and is full-blown reading now. It went from him not even being able to pronounce the sound of the letters. My baby boy who's about to be 2, he's already saying his letters, his numbers, his colors. I'm super excited to watch him learn and grow. It's given me the time to create more music and grow more, period.
**Are they going to be following mommy's path in music?**
Whatever they want to do, they can do. I’d love if they’re musically-inclined though, whether it’s instruments or singing. My youngest son will probably have a voice on him because the way he cries and screams, he got some pipes. He loves music. He stops dead in his tracks every time he hears music. My oldest son, he's a dancer. He loves to dance. Either way, music’s always going to be involved.
**What’s your secret to staying snatched?**
I don't have one. I got lipo and a BBL, I got a tummy tuck. I pretty much eat what I want, I go on and off with fake health journeys. I sometimes eat what I want. Sometimes oh no, I need to be tight and lose weight for this video. I'm not really too consistent. I just had some chicken noodle soup, so that's not too bad. Over the weekend, I definitely ate things that I wasn't supposed to. But don't worry, because this body’s coming.
**I know you celebrated your birthday recently. How was it?**
My birthday was actually really fun. I had a really good time. Super vibes in there, it was really a way to go out with your 25th birthday.
**Did you think you’d be where you are today at 25?**
I somehow knew I was going to be something, I just didn't know what or when. How far I’d be.
**Goals for yourself at this point in your career?**
I’d love to win a Grammy. My goal would be to have a long-lasting, first debut album. My goal’s to stay in people's faces, not to die back down again unless I need to for my own sanity.