Saliyah Itoka


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself? What's your background?

My name is Saliyah Itoka and I’m 26 years old. I’m originally from Queens, NY but I currently live in Albany, NY. I’m a singer, songwriter, and a model.

2. What kind of art do you do?

The art that I do is music. I write my own songs, I help produce the tracks that I make, and I also sing.

3. What/Who inspires you?

Music in general inspires me. I listen to all genres from R&B to classical to rap to pop. The changes and trends that are going with music have also inspired me to my voice as well as my writing ability.

4. Who are your biggest influences?

The people that inspire me are Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, Kehlani, Chris Brown, Tina Turner, Rihanna, and Brüno Mars.

5. How did you get started & for how long?

I got started with music at a very early age. I started singing when I was three years old. I played the clarinet and I did choir all throughout my school years. I started writing when I was eleven years old. It started out as poetry and then it turned into songwriting. I decided to start pursuing music professionally in January 2015 and I’ve been pursuing music for 3 years now.

6. Do you have any favorite pieces or piece?

When it comes to my music, I don’t have a favorite piece that I’ve written. All of them I love because I wrote them at different points in my life and they symbolize something different for me. When it comes to over artists, as far as albums go, I’d have to go with Chris Brown’s “Heartbreak On A Full Moon”, Toni Braxton’s “Secrets”, Usher’s “8701”, and Beyoncé’s “4”, as my favorites.

7. What kind of  struggles have you faced as an artist & how did you overcome them?

The struggles that I have faced as an artist are being able to put my music out and being accepted. The fact of stepping out of my comfort zone and putting myself out into the world was very difficult and I really wasn’t sure how I would do it as an artist. The fear of having people not like my music or even receive as I wanted it to be was also a struggle. Of course as an artist, you want everyone to like it but people have their preference. I overcame those obstacles by really challenging myself and checking myself. I honestly had to show everyone as well as myself that that I am confident and that I know that I am good at what I do as an artist.

8. What kind of advice would you give to other artist?

The advice that I would give to other artists would be is to always work on your craft. Stay true to who you are and always believe in yourself. Take your time and be patient with your artistry. And lastly, trust your journey and surround yourself with people or other creatives that have the same passion and drive as you.

9. What messages do you try to convey through your art?

I try to convey everything through my music whether it be love, life, passion, hurt, anger, or just my personal feelings and experiences. I try to convey messages of myself through my music to my fans and supporters. I feel like that makes my art and material more relateable.

10. What are your goals? Where do you see your art in the future?

My goals are to continue writing music and making music, no matter what. I don’t see myself stopping at all. In the future, I see my music being very successful in the music industry as well as being recognized by other successful artists. I also see myself writing for other artists one day.

- Saliyah Itoka