Brooklyn pop singer Inas X (pronounced Eye-Nez) shed her last name for the symbolic letter “X” in a stoic display of independence, empowerment, and determination… all of which she would use to write her debut single, “Love Is,” which went on to hit no. 10 on the Billboard Dance Charts, last year.
Now, she is back with an electrifying new single, “Stupid” featuring Philadelphia rapper, PnB Rock, on this relatable track about falling in love with the wrong person, ending up in a toxic relationship, and having trouble walking away. The track is not only relatable to listeners but aims to inspire them to remember that they are not alone in their struggles and that everyone makes mistakes.
Inas is a triumphant pop powerhouse with killer confidence and a determination to spread the importance of love, independence, and self-worth. Salute Magazine recently caught up with the pop singer, who had just finished working on the music video and official “latin remix” of her new single, to talk about her exotic pop sound, her musical inspiration, and her goals.
Salute: What does the “X” stand for?
INAS: When I was 16 my last name was changed without my wanting. So, when I was 18, and I started my music career and it was kind of something against what everyone wanted and it was against the odds. It was what I wanted to do. As a mark of my independence, I made my name Inas X.
And the “X” at the time stood for marking my independence but it has become so much more than that. It’s become [about] being undefined. Being an unstoppable force and its empowering. It’s such an alarming letter when you see it. I love that. It’s eclectic and its dominating. It’s become so much more and I think people who follow me and who are fans of me know we’re a team and we’re in this together. Team X. The “X Generation” they call us, but there’s a lot of positive that comes with it too.
S: How did you get your start in music?
When I was 18 doing a lot of soul-searching and I started to go to school to be a doctor and I just wasn’t happy. I was doing it to make other people happy. I just was not happy, so I just really started soul searching, and it just kind of hit me. I was [out] with a group of friends singing and people were like “oh, Inas you can sing?” I thought they were making fun of me, so I was like “shut up.” But they were like, “No. You can really sing.” So I drove home that day and I started singing and I was like, “Wow. I kind of can sing.”
It literally was just that… and I started getting vocal coaching just then. I’m from Brooklyn but I was living in a small town in Connecticut with my family at the time. It was real hard to get out and find opportunity but I like just did it. I started surrounding myself with artists and musicians and getting training and coming to New York a lot, and eventually, I moved back to New York and I started going all for it.
I got an internship at Island/Def Jam when I was 19, in the publicity department. It was such an experience. I started as an intern. I thought that was it. I was like, “This is it. This is it.” But it wasn’t it. It’s kind of been a journey ever since. I’m just super persistent. When I want something, I want something. I know what I want. When you see a vision for yourself you have to go for it and you can’t let anybody stop you.
S: Who are some of the artists you look up to?
I love Michael Jackson the most. He’s definitely my biggest inspiration in every way, musically and performance wise and philanthropy wise. Everything he did and still does for us.
I love Madonna and Janet [Jackson] as well. I love Aretha [Franklin] and Etta [James] as well. I love jazz and blues. I listen to a lot of current artists and I think music is a really dope place right now. You can really be inspired by as many things as you want and incorporate as many different sounds as you want and really create your own sound and your own genre even.
I think it’s in a really good place right now. A lot of people are confused with where it’s at, and I think it’s confusing but there’s a lot of different things I’m inspired by. I think it’s all about being real and authentic and true to yourself.
S: Tell me more about your latest single, “Stupid” feat. PnB Rock.
I created a song when I was on tour and we were in L.A. and I linked with one of the main producers I work with. At the time I was going through a horrible relationship. It was really heartbreaking, honestly. He was supposed to come to L.A. with me and he didn’t. I went by myself and I was super upset.
And I just felt so stupid because I kept taking this person back. I loved him so much but it was so unhealthy. Thankfully, I was smart enough to walk away completely but at the time I wasn’t. This song was the best thing that came out of it. I’m super happy about it. And I thank the person that it’s about. Even though I was feeling really sad, and it’s a real topic… I still wanted to make it fun and upbeat. It has those Caribbean vibes which I love and those little exotic vibes and those pop-y elements.
It was one of the last shows on the tour, in Pennsylvania, and I met PnB [Rock] and I was like “Yo! Hop on a record.” He was like “alright, dope.” I played it for him and we literally went to the studio that night, which was dope. He’s super talented. He wrote his verse in an hour and recorded it and we shot the video like a month later and the rest is history. Super excited about that song and how well it’s doing.
S: What brought about the DCS latin remix?
This Spanish artist from Spain, he’s big out there in Ibiza and I’m going to be joining him next month hopefully if all goes well. DCS (Darlyn Cuevas) has a huge fan base in the Latin world. He hopped on the record and I heard it and I loved it. I want to shoot a video for this and put it out as an official remix. I don’t want to say I love it more than the original, but I love it just as much. Because I love them both for their own reasons.
I’m very cultural. I’m from New York so I grew up around all cultures. I’m Middle Eastern but… I was always around Spanish music and food and culture. I love watching my novellas, even though I don’t understand half of it.
When I heard [the remix], I fell in love with it. I shot the video. And it got like a million in a week. I’m super excited about the reaction it’s been getting.
S: You’ve traveled to 30 major cities across the country with Fetty Wap’s “Welcome to the Zoo” tour. What was that experience like?
Pretty amazing. I love traveling and seeing different lifestyles. I think it’s super interesting to see how many different lifestyles are happening in America, the country I live in and am from. I loved that experience. I loved [seeing] these different cities that I always dreamt of going to, like New Orleans. These cities I’ve seen pictures of and actually being there and performing there was another level.
Performing and being on stage is my favorite thing in the world and what I love to do more than anything. It’s all I work for. It’s like being an athlete and being in season. When you’re on tour, you’re in season. This everything you prepped for, this is everything you worked for. I can’t wait to go back out on tour. It’s a learning experience, of course, there’s some good and bad with everything but one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I never miss a show and I can’t wait to go back on tour soon.
S: How did it feel to have a song land on the Billboard Dance Charts?
Definitely one of the best feelings in the world for sure. When I first found out it was on the charts, I started out at No. 49. I was like “oh my god!” I was like dying. And every week it was going up and up. It hit No. 10, I just couldn’t believe it.
I was on tour at the time. Honestly, those are just dreams and visions I’ve seen in my mind and for those to happen and manifest shows me that anything is possible and I can do anything I set my mind to. The powers of the mind are super real.
I always dreamt of being on tour, being on stage, being on Billboard and it happened. Now, I’m working super hard. I want a No. 1 hit on the Top 40. And then I want another one and another one. There’s a lot of work to do. I’m super happy about accomplishments I’ve made, but I am super excited about what’s about to come too.
S: What’s next for INAS X?
A lot of new music. We’re dropping new music, new visuals. Doing some performances in Spain, hopefully, god willing, in Ibiza and at festivals next month.
I’m going to keep on giving fans more and more content, and more music, and more visuals. It’s time. I’ve been working hard on some secret projects and I’m super excited to release them. Soon to come. Within the next couple weeks, couple months, they will just be dropping a bunch. So I’m super excited for it.
WATCH: INAS X – “STUPID” (REMIX) FEAT. DCS