A Diamond in the Rough Meet Nephrateri

Since 2015, loyal fans of the Hit Series Empire have been vibing to the music that plays during each and every episode. Not only that, but fans go as far as downloading the music to their phones, going through the hassle to find it on YouTube and other music outlets, and they even go a little further by going out to local stores to buy the soundtracks.

The music is phenomenal and quite catchy, but let’s meet the talented woman behind the music. First starting out in Detroit, Nephrateri (pronounced nef-ra-tear-ee) began singing locally. It wasn't until a friend said to her, "you can sing but I think you should write" that she became encouraged to write music. When she saw that she was highly skilled with it, she added it to the list of other wonderful skills to have, on top of being an artist. Outside of being a skilled artist, having a unique name in the industry is important. A catchy name is what describes you and makes you stand out from all the others. Lucky for her, Nephrateri just so happened to be her real name, given to her by her parents, and the Egyptian meaning behind it (Most beautiful or the beautiful companion has arrived) is something she tries to live up to daily.

 While working on the set of Empire, Nephrateri can create music for the characters and have her own vocals on the show as needle drops as scenes transition from one to another. Nephrateri’s first two placements were on the show displaying her vocals were on the first two episodes of Season 1.

 “It's different because in this type of environment when we're writing you don't necessarily have the creative ability that you'd have when writing for yourself because there are strict guidelines for the topics on how production goes; but it's a good learning experience and I feel more like a student.”

 Outside of Empire, Nephrateri also writes some music for the Hit Show Star, which also airs on Fox and written by Executive Producer Lee Daniels.

 “Empire gets more feedback than Star from my hometown because coming from such a small place and to see Empire blow up to be major on its first season has gotten the most success from people back at home”

 Millennials know Lee Daniels as being the executive producer and director of the television series Empire and Star but he has quite a long resume in this game. Lee Daniels has been active since 1986 and in these 30 years, he has produced Monster’s Ball and directed The Woodsman, Precious, The Butler, The Paperboy and so much more. He even received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 Q: Tell me what it’s like working with Executive Producer Lee Daniels?

 A: It's different because in this type of environment when we're writing, you don't necessary have the creative ability that you'd have when writing for yourself because there are strict guidelines for the topics on how production goes. But it’s a good learning experience and I feel more like a student.

 Q: What is it like working on the set of Empire?

 A: Right from the start when you're working for someone, their focus isn't rushing but they know what they want when they hear it. That's a different ball game. Numerous times I have to do it over and over. There’s never a time to get it right on the spot or the first time around. Other than that, you're going back to the drawing board again and again.

 Q: Any new music for this upcoming season?

 A: Not yet. I haven't worked on that yet. We will continue to write for sure but I might focus on this coming year on some new field projects and personal projects; I have to put more attention towards that. But I know as of spring, I will be writing for Empire, as well as Stars.

 Q: Do you ever find yourself hearing music and wondering if you could’ve done better. It’s so easy to be your own worst self-critic.

 A: Sometimes. I don't think I've gotten my big break yet. Everything I've done so far I count it all as counting goals. I think I haven't reached the peak yet. I've done a lot of great things, but I definitely don't discredit myself. I think I just add everything all up.

 Q: Any new projects for 2018?

 A: I'm looking forward to doing collaborations with new film producers. Working on perfecting my craft on solo and R&B artists. I feel like I'm always a student. I feel like I haven't had a big break because I like to learn with the people that I've built relationships with in the industry. I’m working on a project for myself and some collaborations with other artist like Sammie. He has been a great influence these past 2 years of my journey. I've been a student watching and learning from him and how he came up as a grown man now coming of age album and everything. Look out for collaborations from the both of us. I think people should look forward to that. He’s made a come up and I've been under his wing.

 Q: What advice could you leave to fans?

 A: First I would say keep going. If desire and hope ever leaves you keep going. Network up, across, and down any way you can. Build relationships. Be real be true to who you are. Be easy to work with.

As far as constructive criticism, never take it personal. It's not about you, your skill or talent but about what's going to make this project work. Use it all as a learning curve. For me I took it as I'm just building my skill and rapport and become better at what I do. Be hurt for a minute, but get the job.

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