CreNaetive is an independent Singer/Rapper and Songwriter out of South Jersey. With an EP, 3 singles, and now an album released, the uniqueness of her name says all you need to know. Her passions go beyond just music; she’s got an eye for all things creative.
She started her singing career in church and school choirs and bloomed from there, finding her own lyrical expression in middle school through poetry and creative writing. She took to music quickly and found that she could easily find inspiration in other mediums.
Venturing to art museums and bookstores to find new ideas and feelings; she stopped thinking of herself as just a music artist, but as a creative. She started experimenting in those mediums she gained insight from and put them to use. Now she owns her own production company that not only works with independent musicians but also painters, writers, poets, and photographers; most are mediums of which she has experience.
All of this is shown through her name. Born LaNeaya Mitchell, she simply placed her name in the word she felt best described herself. Creative + Nae = CreNaetive thus an icon in the making was formed. Now with her first full album released, CreNaetive hopes to continue to reach the hearts of the people with a second EP later on this year, showcasing more of her versatility in music. The ‘Sufferance’ album is a true testament of vulnerability and just a small portion of a much more versatile artist.
Lisa: Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
CreNaetive: Music was extremely important in my life from a young age. It was what helped me sleep as an infant, it brought my family together, it’s always had a place in my life. I was about 10 years old when I first had the desire to be a music artist. But of course at that age most people think it’s just cute or some form of imagination. I think I always knew that it was my calling, so when I got old enough and really started writing songs, it was probably the easiest decision I’ve ever made.
Lisa:How would you describe the music that you typically create?
CreNaetive: I would describe my music as ‘feel good’ music. While it may be classified as hip-hop and R&B, every song has a message that you can relate to on a personal level, and that makes people feel good. Being able to connect with an artist on a personal level is exciting and as authentic as it gets; and I try to create that in every song I release.
Lisa:What is the story behind your “Sufferance” album? Is there a theme that connects the songs, or is it something else?
CreNaetive: “Sufferance” is a story told through songs. It’s a coming of age story; an overcomer’s story; a trials and tribulations story. But it all ends with the acknowledgment that you can and will do anything you set your mind to. The idea that regardless of what challenges you face, you will always come out stronger on the other side. So the songs are placed in a specific order so that they can portray that feeling of working your way through the strife and coming out on top.
Lisa:Do you get creative blocks? If so, what do you do to move past them?
CreNaetive: I definitely get creative blocks when trying to write new songs. It’s interesting because I find that even in a songwriter’s block, I never lack a fully creative block. I consider myself a multi-medium creative. I make music, I’m a photographer, I’ve started a podcast, written a short film script, and even started writing a book. So I’ve come to understand that my creativity needs to be cycled through all of its forms of expression in order to avoid putting too much pressure on one outlet and expecting it to cover everything that I need to say. In my mind creativity is the ultimate universal language, not just music. So when I can’t write a song, I move to a different medium and give my music tank a chance to recharge and refocus.
Lisa:You’re single “Can’t stand the rain” is awesome. What inspired you to write it?
CreNaetive: “Can’t Stand the Rain” is kind of the beginning of the turning point. The song tells a story about how I got to my lowest point, and how I plan to get out. It’s almost the entire album concept in one song, but it’s intended to show the realization moment that we all get to when we understand that we can change our situation. It’s definitely a life inspired track for sure.
Lisa:What is the most useless talent you have?
CreNaetive: Most useless talent? I don’t know. I’m not sure if I even have one. If anything, I guess I’d say I have a tendency to remember random facts. The more outlandish the better. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always found the most random things to be interesting as a kid, so when I found out something strange or cool about it, it always seems to stick with me. Like the fact that male penguins babysit their eggs while the mothers hunt for food, or the fact that most Disney movies are slight adaptations of Shakespearean plays. Random but interesting haha.
Lisa:How do you nourish your creative side when you’re not working? And how do you avoid burnout?
CreNaetive: My biggest thing when I’m not creating, is to enjoy my friends and family. They are my biggest support system and the main reason I push myself so hard. My biggest fear is to let them down so being able to spend my off time with them is a real reminder of why I’m so passionate about this music thing.
Lisa:You also have your own production company that not only works with independent musicians but also painters, writers, poets, and photographers. Tell me more about that.
CreNaetive: Yeah! So, I’ve always thought that the idea of being a “starving artist” was an exaggeration. There’s this idea that because you choose a creative career path that you have to be down on your luck or strapped for cash; and part of that is I’m not knowing where to start or how to do this the right way. So while I’m also a creative and creator of content, I want to be able to teach and mentor young creatives on how to build themselves into successful artists. The company is my way of giving back. It’s a support system for creatives that may not have one. It’s more inspiration for myself personally, but also for those that haven’t yet found their place in this world. I plan to release a wide range of content through the company alongside my music. But the biggest reward will be when I am able to impact the younger generation in such a powerful way.
Lisa:What does your curiosity look like? How do you explore things?
CreNaetive: I am a creative, but I’m also a very logical thinker. I often generate an idea and then research it before saying “ok, this is definitely worth doing”. I think a lot of that is my upbringing. My mom is a very prepared person so while I may have wanted to do sixteen things at once, she would make sure I at least prioritized to get them done. So now I write lists, explore all the little details and then decide how to move forward. It’s how I keep small things from becoming way too big of an idea.
Lisa:If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
CreNaetive: I would change the imbalance of men to women and how women in this industry are perceived. I don’t think it’s fair that certain ideas are accepted when they come from a man vs when they come from a woman. I personally find that women tend to be a bit more versatile because we have more to prove. That’s how I’m building my team. Working with like minded women that see the industry and all its flaws and want to make it better.
Lisa:At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
CreNaetive: I hope people feel a sense of belonging when they hear my music. That they no longer feel alone or outcast. That they are not the only one going through whatever is weighing them down. I want them to feel empowered and uplifted, because that’s what music is supposed to do. Help us feel whole even if it’s only to get us in the mental state to deal with life.