July 20, 2021

Read the full interview on Flaunt.com!

Enisa is a powerhouse vocalist, and fans cannot get enough! Representing and injecting her Albanian culture any chance she can, the rising star demands attention when she walks in the room, bringing that same energy into her music. Born and raised in Brooklyn and influenced directly by the hustle and bustle of the city, Enisa is a go-getter, someone who takes her craft very seriously and is here to inspire masses all around the world.

The singer, songwriter, and musician artist describes herself as “a hustler, hard worker, and always has to fight for whatever she wants. She’s persistent, and she’s very New York, very Brooklyn.”

Upon graduating high school, Enisa attended Brooklyn College where she filmed herself performing a cover of David Guetta and Sia’s “Titanium,” which instantly broke the internet with millions of views. Quickly following it up with her cover of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” and a standout feature on Statik Selektah’s “Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed,” soon the world would catch on to Enisa’s undeniable talents.

Fast forward to today, Enisa recently celebrated her signing with Highbridge The Label (A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, etc) a joint venture with Atlantic Records. With nearly each single and visual accumulating insane numbers—“Love Cycle (Remix)” feat Davido (over 2.3 million views), “Count My Blessings” (over 20.8 million views), “Dumb Boy” (over 10.3 million views)—Enisa continues on with the momentum with her newest release, “Tears Hit The Ground.” Written 4 years ago, the new song holds fans over until the release of her forthcoming debut EP arriving this year

Flaunt caught up with Enisa via Zoom to discuss her roots in New York, biggest influences, going viral doing covers, directing her own visuals, the reality of the grind, the story behind “Tears Hit The Ground,” how she landed at Highbridge, and more!

How does New York play into your life and career?

Being born and raised in New York, all the different cultures around me, getting used to that and having that influence throughout music—not only listening to one type of music, listening to all types of cultural music. Growing up with kids who did different dances, people with different styles, it was cool for a girl to dress like a guy and for a guy to dress like a girl. It really helped broaden and open my mind to all these new ideas that maybe some other places might not be accepted. I was really blessed growing up to have that influence, to be open-minded and to also dream big. New York City is such a place of dreams, everybody comes here with a dream. It’s a great place to feel if I wanted to be a singer, I can be a singer. If I wanted to do this, I can do this and that.

Biggest influences coming up?

Coming up, definitely I was at the age when I was young and wanted to be a pop star. I definitely had my Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake moments, then I grew into the more soulful: Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Sia. I love powerhouse voices, soulful voices. Coldplay definitely helped me shape my writing. I was born in Brooklyn, so Jay Z & Biggie for sure, all of that. Hot 97 was always playing on the radio. I’m a melting pot of different artists and singers, I love and appreciate all of it growing up.

How did you feel when your cover of “Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia went viral?

Honestly, I’d just graduated from performing arts high school in 2015. I went to Edward R. Murrow, I got in for vocal music.

I dibble-dabbled in acting and modeling because I had no connections, thinking that something would lead me to music. Then I realized, I have to do things myself. I have to showcase myself to the world, myself. I put a lot of my money and time into training my voice, started making these covers. I put up this “Titanium” cover, I still remember till this day, I got 10K on Instagram and thousands of subscribers on Youtube. I thought, “Oh my gosh, this is crazy! This is amazing. My first cover, so I gotta keep this going.”

The next two months, I dropped “Take Me To Church” by Hozier and that really went viral. All these Instagram pages started reposting me—music pages, makeup pages, etc,  they all really loved my voice. That’s what helped me hit my first 100K. I’ll never forget these little achievements. Seeing all of it come to life and now having one of my own songs hit 20 million on Youtube, where I started Youtube was this crazy thing to think about.

“Love Cycle” is at 11.5 million views on Youtube and counting. Did you think it’d blow up like this?

Oh man, sometimes I lose track and forget that these are great achievements for me. Sometimes, you get so caught up in the moment like “wait, hold up. My last 3 songs, THAT many people saw the video?” Those 3 songs weren’t supposed to come out: “Dumb Boy,” “Love Cycle,” “Count My Blessings.”

Really? That’s wild! 

I had my EP almost ready & “Tears Hit The Ground” ready. My label wanted that to be my first hello into the world. I said “man, I got these songs. They’re pretty fucking dope. I can’t go one year without dropping music, I want to drop stuff.” My label was really gracious and nice, said “drop them.” I put some snippets on social media, those snippets blew up. They said “yeah sure, drop it.” I dropped it, it was during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For all 3 of those music videos, I directed, I color corrected, I edited. I styled hair and makeup, the whole thing, and they took off. “Love Cycle” was the first one, started going viral on TikTok and Instagram. It ended up reaching huge places in Africa surprisingly. I’m sitting in Brooklyn and my song’s #1 in places in Africa, it’s a crazy thing to realize and think about. Finally seeing my song chart places, all these things are foreign to me. It’s never happened to me before and the fact that it was all organic, all natural. No big major pushing, all organic. Okay I like what’s going on with “Love Cycle” right now, let me not stop.

Let me go and drop “Dumb Boy.” Same situation, my label said “yeah sure drop it, why not?” I dropped it, that song really helped me broaden up a little bit. Reaching the Middle East, a bit of Europe. We’re planning for “Tears Hit The Ground” to come out, but it was taking time. I said “guys, I want to drop ‘Count My Blessings’. It was around January, they said “if you want to drop it, right now’s the time.” Okay cool, I’ll do a video, I’ll do all that shit. You guys don’t have to worry, I’ma take care of everything. I dropped it, that thing went global for me: Europe, Africa, Middle East, everywhere. Every time I open the Apple app for artists, it’s always on Shazam charts in so many countries and it came out in February. That’s the song that keeps having a life of its own. These are things I never expected to happen, but now looking back, sitting back and seeing 10 million, 11 million, wow that’s a lot of eyes and people listening to me.

On “Count My Blessings,” you say “so far from where I was before.” What’s the reality of the grind?

For sure, I wrote that song at the beginning of last March. I was sitting there, I didn’t really have that much music out. This is when I’d just gotten signed in December, it was my first trip to LA. Some things weren’t going the way I wanted them to go, it wasn’t filling my expectations of what I’ve had. I was sitting in the studio and said “man, I’m so grateful. I’m literally in LA right now, getting to make music for a living, doing what I love. This is a blessing. I want to make a song about that because nobody makes songs about being grateful, everyone’s either about heartbreak or dancing at a club. No, I want to write a song about being grateful for where I’m at right now.” I didn’t have millions or millions of views, but I was feeling thankful. Gratitude took over me. We wrote that song and I knew from when we wrote that in the studio, that song was special. I had a feeling people were going to love it.

“Tears Hit The Ground” out now, how are you feeling?

Man, I’ve had “Tears Hit The Ground” for 5 years. I wrote that a long long time ago. I knew that song was special from the moment I wrote it. It was a process writing that. I started it in the summer in Europe when I was visiting my grandparents. I finished it later on into the year, went back to it. Sometimes as artists, you think “this isn’t good enough.” You come back to it and work on it some more, one of those situations. I knew that song was special so I held onto it until I had a real proper team to help me release it and put it out.

Fast forward 5 years later, the song finally comes out. It comes out with the music video I always wanted, it was on a billboard in Times Square which is my dream. It’s one of those songs that it’s such a different vibe, that old school Amy Winehouse vibe. It’s very different from what’s mainstream and what’s out right now, but I know it’s quality music. Sometimes, it’ll take a little longer for that to reach big big heights.

How was it co-directing the visual? 

I came up with the treatment. For that song, the label said “alright, we need to find directors and concepts.” They sent me 20 directors, I said “nah, I don’t think so. Nah nah nah.” [laughs] I just came off of doing 3 music videos literally all by myself. I want this to be special, not something I can do easily myself. I was being very particular with this song especially because I’ve held onto it for so long. It was my opening to the world with Atlantic, my debut song with them so I wanted it to be special.

I was sitting down thinking of treatments. I didn’t like any of these treatments these directors were giving me, none of them felt as emotional as the song. As connected to me as the song. My mom said “why don’t you make the treatment about your life in the past 5 years? Trying to make it and everything.” I was like “Oh my god, mom you’re a genius. I ended up writing the treatment out in detail, a lot of directors said “I don’t think you can make this happen for this budget. This is really expensive.” I said “nah, we gotta find somebody who can do it for the budget we had.” Ended up finally finding somebody and we brought the whole thing to life. I couldn’t be happier with it.

I know that dress was your dream look. How was that?

When I put on the really beautiful dress and had my hair curled out to the side, it made me feel like I was on a stage. It made me feel like I was at the Grammys performing when I closed my eyes. [laughs] A special moment for sure.

How did you find your way to A Boogie and Highbridge?

One of the guys heard about me at this restaurant Philippe Chow. The waiter was playing one of my older songs called “Freedom.” The guy asked “who is this girl?” The waiter said “oh, this is Enisa.” That guy showed my stuff to one of the guys at Highbridge. From there, I went to meet them in 2017. I was in the studio, I met A Boogie and some of them. I wasn’t thinking anything of it. It was cool they like my music but they’re so hip-hop I didn’t expect them to like my stuff.

They said “no, we love this type of music. We listen to Adele all the time. [laughs] 2 years later in 2019, I was talking to RCA. Boogie popped up out of nowhere like “Enisa, what’re you doing? Are you with anyone? We gotta get involved.” I took some meetings with them and my parents. The same day, I went straight to Atlantic and met some of the higher ups. They really loved me, loved my music. They made me feel confident in my music. They believed in me and felt I could be this great star, so I ended up going with them. It’s amazing how it all worked out.

3 things you need in the studio?

I’m not too much of a picky person like I need this, I need that. I need my phone, I’m either writing songs on my phone or my laptop so one of those. Charger so my phone don’t die, and water, that’s all I need. Phone, charger, water, and I’m good to write a song.

What are you most excited for next?

Super excited to drop this EP, drop this music. I’m not gonna stop. Every other month, I want to try and drop a song. Drop this project, drop more music after that. Hopefully during the fall, start going on tour. I’m about that tour life, I’m getting ready now and working really hard in rehearsals 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. I want to put together a really fire show, then start taking it on the road. I have my first festival coming up on October 3rd in Sacramento. It’s an Afrobeat festival so I’m super excited. It’s going to be my first show. Burna Boy’s headlining, so I’m so excited.

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