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Conversations with Navi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Navi.

Hi Navi, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I wear so many hats gracefully. I’ve been an entrepreneurial spirit since I was about ten years old. My first enterprise was sewing pillows from felt fabric and old clothing, and selling them in my Great-Aunt’s Hair Salon. I did that all while writing music. The drive to have my ‘own’ never diminished. I transitioned from writing songs to writing books. As pre-teen, I took a nose dive into fiction and self-published “Life Is What I Make It” and “In The Making” by 16 years old. I wrote a third installment, but after spending countless hours studying at Virginia State University, I did not release the final installment of the trilogy. But it’s coming, trust me. The books landed me speaking engagements at a young age, more than I was ready for at the time, and through college and graduate school, I was able to lose and find myself all over again. My love for music and entrepreneurship haunted me in the days where I felt idle like I didn’t have a sense of direction. I’m a firm believer of the phrase “you will always return to who you are”, and I returned in full abundance. In 2017, in a battle with depression, I picked up my pen and began to write music again, catering to my first love and returning to myself. I recorded my first EP in 2019, and just like that, V The Writer was back and better. Also in 2019, I began a small Social Media Management company catering to the digital marketing needs of various small businesses. In 2020, I started RVA’s Black Farmers Market in Richmond, VA, designed to celebrate Black Farmers and Black Entrepreneurship. I did all of this while promoting two additional EPs, filming music videos, and even becoming a first-time mother. I got to where I am today by having the ambition of the little girl that I once was and the drive of who I am today…and remembering my why, even if the ‘why’ changes through time and experience.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
As you know, the road to success is never an easy one. One of the biggest challenges I faced throughout everything was confidence. It sometimes still is. I was raised to never doubt myself, but when you’re the face of an organization or even trying to break into the music industry, it’s so easy to believe that there is something missing or that you should be doing something else instead. I had a hard time building my confidence in my music, often seeking validation from people that I later found out didn’t believe in me anyway. I even struggle with handling change at times. But in entrepreneurship, how you pivot and adjust to difficult times can make or break you.

My biggest challenge is trusting myself and believing that I am on the right track. I get through these challenges when I affirm that I am following my purpose. When I get a comment from a stranger telling me they enjoy my music, or when I get a thank you note from a vendor who found success at the market, or I see the engagement and post likes increase each week from a client’s socials, that helps me to get through it. When I see the results and know that I am making a difference in people’s lives, all of the challenges subside.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I want the readers to know that it’s okay to do ‘everything’ and to find what sets you apart from the rest and go hard at it. I am a wordsmith. My background has been writing, from music to spoken word to fiction since I first picked up a pencil. I do so many things, but I’m currently focused on my music, and building a team around all of my ventures. I am a singer, rapper, and songwriter and I’m most proud of my versatility as an artist. I don’t settle into one part of my talents, I utilize them all. My voice sets me apart from others. Close friends of mine tell me that I have a soft or ‘baby’ voice but my lyrics are gritty. I am never afraid to say what needs to be said and I say it without having to be loud or over-the-top. My laid-back but ‘matter of fact’ resonance in my music pulls you in, and the words close the trap.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
There is no luck here, just seeing a vision and doing the work to make it happen. But I also believe that if you put good out, then good will return to you. I try to make sure I exude good energy, not to get it back in return, but because it’s the right thing to do. And with time and effort, things often fall into alignment as they should.

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Image Credits:

Quinell Henderson (the personal photo)

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