Inas X describes herself as an “independent, empowered women who’s ready to take over the fucking world!”
With that comes love, confidence, and self-worth in all facets of life. Hailing from the East Coast and taking the Hollywood scene by storm, the “Love Is” recording artist has established her own slane and genre titled exotic trap-pop.
Refusing to be put in a box, she flexes her versatility and talents, while staying true to herself at any given moment. With 1.5M followers on Instagram alone, real name Inas Male is here to empower the masses with not only her music, but her charm, free spirit, and much-needed personality.
Being from Brooklyn, how does that play into your life and career?
There’s an authenticity about it. Being in LA has made me want to bring that out more than ever because when you’re from New York, it’s a different struggle and come up. It’s so raw and organic. Along the way, I’ve been tapping more into that. No matter where I go in the world, I forever feel like Brooklyn is my home. Brooklyn is the heart.
How long have you been in LA now?
2 years. West Coast, okay! [snaps] I love the West Coast. The weather’s been pissing me off though.
Talk about being in the heart of Hollywood.
It’s definitely different. East Coast to West Coast, you have to adapt — which I have. I’m always gonna have love for the East Coast, it’s just the weather and snow, I could do without that. I can’t front, it’s been cold here too, but not like that. The weather plays a big factor in life. I went through a lot of stuff and was like “I need to move to LA.” Ever since then, my career has just blossomed so much more. LA is poppin’ right now, don’t you feel like that?
I’ve been here for 9 years and I’m ready. I want to move to Atlanta.
Everyone’s going to Atlanta! It’s poppin’. I love Atlanta. LA is hot right now, but Atlanta’s the next spot everyone is going to flock to.
At what point did you realize this music thing was for real?
Right when I started doing it, it was a struggle. Being Middle Eastern, no one really encouraged me or was like “yeah you should do this!” Everyone’s like “what?” My family’s like “what’re you doing?” Because I had to fight for it so much, like “this is what I’m passionate about, this is what I’m doing” — it became real when I was on my first tour with Fetty and Post. When I was on Billboard, when I was on the radio, I was like “oh shit, this is really happening.”
‘Cause I’d just imagine “omg I can’t wait to be on the radio, I can’t wait to be on tour.“ When it happened, that’s when everyone turned from “oh what?” to “oh you’re doing it!” In the beginning, there was a lot of doubt. “Am I meant to do this? God show me a sign.” Now, you’re so deep in that there’s no more of that. We in now! You aren’t going nowhere, there’s no other play. You committed. You gotta get married to this shit. Whatever you decide to do, you gotta go. Divorce is not an option. [laughs]
Talk about your journey in music. When did you start recording?
I was in Connecticut with my family going to school, then I moved back to NY when I was 19. I was going to crazy parts like the hood to record. I had this little home studio and recorded in the bathroom. The grind. One of my best friends Cindo who’s still in New York, he’d record in the bathroom with me.
We just banged out all these records like “Lick on Me.” Bringing that New York-ness around me in LA helped me a lot. I was like “it’s time to bring out the Brooklyn! Bring out the Arab in me.” He was like “why don’t you say what you wanna say?” I was like “what you mean?” He was like “do it, go for it!” And we did it. It was the first time I was like “I’m going left, I’m just gonna say what I want.”
Talk about your inspiration with “Lick on Me.”
It was sort of a freeing experience. “No more holding back, say what you wanna say, do what you wanna do, what are you really about?” Let someone know this is who you really are. One thing about me: I love pop. I’ve have had a lot of success there, but I’m ratchet. There’s nothing wrong with it, everyone has a ratchet side. I like to show that now.
Most of the music I listen to is trap, so I like that balance. If you confident in how you come on the record, people will feel it no matter what genre. A lot of people were like “oh you doing urban now? You rapping now?” I’m just creating how I feel, this is what I’m on. I’m going to stick with it.
You say “body like K with a flow like Ye,” can you expand on that line?
Okayyy! [laughs] That’s off my next single “Me 2.” We were on the same vibe. Everyone always says I look like Kim of course, and I love Kim. I love all of them, they’re dope. But I act like Ye! I’m reckless. You got me f’d up, and I love that. It’s hot. There’s nothing wrong with being compared to somebody, but bringing your own element to it. I’m gonna say what I want, I’m outspoken. I’ve always been that way, which is what everyone loves Kanye for.
I look like Kim, but I’ma be reckless. I’ma talk crazy, you just gotta be ready. They were like “we should bring in more.” That’s when I was like “menage a trois with Nicki and Lil Kim.” That’s how I feel. When people ask “who you like, Kim or Nicki? Or Nicki or Cardi?” I like them all. I wanna have a menage a trois with all them. [laughs] Most people do!
What are your tips on staying fit? You work out?
I do! It’s always a love-hate relationship with working out. I’m sore as hell right now.
I feel you. I’m trying to go to yoga today.
Yoga always does that. You’re like “I don’t wanna go,” but then you’re like “I’m so glad I went. I do it all, literally. I do yoga. I love hot yoga. I work out in the gym. I do hikes. Ever since I moved to LA, hikes have helped me a lot. A lot of healing in hikes. It’s a mental thing too. You’re like “I’m gonna die…”
You really have no choice when you’re on a hike.
Yeah! You kind of learn your own pace. Dancing is my favorite cardio. I love to dance. Before the festival and this tour — I take artist development seriously — I’d be in choreography every week. 2 to 4 to 6 hours a week. They’d be like “what are you rehearsing for?” I’m like “you don’t understand, I’m getting ready!” But I really enjoy it, it’s therapeutic for me. Being active helps me a lot, especially with my health. Ever since I got diagnosed with MS…
Yeah, I got diagnosed almost 3 years ago. I’m living better than ever though because I stay so active, so it doesn’t affect me at all. When I first got diagnosed, it affected me a lot, especially with all the new drugs, the healing, etc. Now I feel so 100 and so amazing. Also, diet is important. I try to eat as healthy as possible. I cheat a lot though, I have a sweet tooth. I’m bad.
What do you like to cheat with?
I have a sweet tooth in every instance. I love ice cream, chocolate, candy, everything. I try to do vegan desserts ‘cause you know, out here. But it’s hard! It’s hit or miss. I found these frozen yogurt ice cream sandwiches that have cookie on the outside and sprinkles all around them.
What’s a normal day in the life, walk us through.
Every day is different. For example today, it was train in the morning, glammed up, interview, studio, then we have tour prep. These next couple weeks are going to be crazy with rehearsals, preparation, getting the looks together. With the festival, I had 10 days to prep. Every day was jam-packed, all day long going nonstop.
You’re planning for this whole day, then everything changes. It’s either less in that day than you expected and you’re like “ugh I could have rested,” or there’s more and you’re like “sheesh.” I try to balance. I really do. On my own free time, I like to go to the spa, get massages. The Korean spas out here, I go off. Anything healthy I can do, I try to ‘cause it’s so much all the time. I try to have me time ‘cause if not, I go crazy.
3 things you need in the studio?
Water, candy, good vibes. I really like when there’s incense or something burning, like sage. I like to set the ambiance right. I love candles. That’s when the vibe is perfect. I’m not a big drinker so I don’t need alcohol. I used to drink, but now I don’t really care. I need some Mary though.
Mary Jane? Me too.
Yeah, I need some ganja.
I need someone to roll that shit.
For real! [laughs] Well I can, but I don’t like to.
How important is social media for your career?
It’s more important than I would like it to be because it takes up a lot of your life. As an artist, you wanna focus on the art and it’s hard to disconnect from the social world. Social media gives you the opportunity to have a platform and do so much. You have to keep up with it which is super stressful but it’s definitely worth it. Social media gives you a lot of exposure and allows people to see you in a lot of lights but at the same time, you want to put out right things.
Are people understanding me? Are they feeling me right? Are they getting me? That’s why I’m so excited to be on tour because that’s when people really get to feel you. On social media when you’re live or in your videos, no matter what, they can’t feel you. There’s still this blockage. I wanna feel them and them feel me, because that’s when you really connect. That’s why it’s so important to be performing. [gasps] I’m gonna cry. I’m so excited.
You have 1.5M followers on IG. Was that before the music?
No. When I was on my first tour with Fetty and Post, I had 50K followers. I didn’t have that much. I had this song on Billboard, all this and that — I’m an independent artist but I was signed to this deal. They were trying to get a major behind me and all the majors were like “oh her following isn’t that good, blah blah blah.”
Wow. Isn’t that wild?
It’s crazy. I was like “F everyone, I’m gonna do it on my own. I’m going off.” I just built my following OG. It definitely brings a lot of new opportunities, monetarily too. It’s important to always balance it with as much of the artistry as possible.
Are you super strategic with your posts or are you more relaxed?
Ay I’m crazy. I’ll sit there for 20 minutes trying to figure out the caption, edit that shit, etc. I hate it, but I have to make sure it’s perfect ‘cause if not, I wont keep it up. I take it off, archiving. I love looking at my page and seeing a vibe. I love when I look at other people and see a vibe. I love good strategy. At the end of the day, social media is a good marketing tool for whatever you want to do.
It’s always a thing of what do I show, what do I not show? Finding that balance. Do I wanna know all sides of me? I’m kind of a private person, but not really. I’m pretty open. I’m protective of my family so I don’t like to show them, but then sometimes I’m like fuck it. I don’t care, I like this picture.
Do they follow you?
They definitely stalk my life.
Where are they, in Brooklyn?
They’re in Connecticut, I want them with me so bad. My mom and siblings are my heart. Until they’re by my side… I don’t trust people. I want to protect them because I asked for this, they didn’t. It’s a scary world out there. I’ve seen a lot of different things. I’m protective over my loved ones.
What’s the biggest misconception audiences may have about you?
Sometimes because of social media, people like to put you in a box. “Oh you’re an IG person, an influencer,” whatever these words are. It sucks, no one likes to be put in a box. It’s important to not listen to those things, but also take into account if people are seeing you as just an IG person, you gotta make sure you’re showing them the art.
Because there is an influencer side of me that has made a brand off of that, which brings in money, opportunities, all these things. You wanna make sure the main thing you’re selling is the music and the art inside of you. It’s finding the balance. It’s an influencer-based world but you actually do music. That’s my thing, I do that. I’m not an influencer turned artist, i’m an artist who just utilized the platform to make shit happen.
What’s your favorite influencer to follow on Instagram?
I love following inspirational pages, horoscope pages. I’m into horoscopes ‘cause I’m a weirdo. I love following Will and Jada. The Smiths are awesome. I love following positive people. Honestly, I stalk Halsey. I love her. I also stalk Bella Hadid. Bella Hadid is my guilty pleasure, she’s so hot to me. I’ll stalk her everyday. I love her. Them two have so much swag, but they’re still so sexy.
I love owning sexuality, always how I’ve been. There’s a certain sexinesss in owning your fucking swag. Even with you, you’re swaggy. I love that. Especially in a woman, seeing that balance like “oh she’s sexy, but she’s swaggy.” Both.
Anything you want to let us know?
Tour coming. New single “Me 2” coming soon. Takeover baby!
Catch Inas X on tour with Tokyo Jetz here!