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Nik Qistina may seem like your everyday girl-next-door, except that she’s not!’

The 16-year-old is a talented singer-songwriter who started her singing career on YouTube, and was made famous from her Vine videos.

The young singer is a natural entertainer and her bubbly, friendly and down-to-earth personality has amassed her tens of thousands of followers on social media.

Not only does she have a lovable personality, she also has beautiful and solid vocals that managed to capture the attention of a major music label; Universal Music Malaysia.

After officially joining the Universal family in February, Nik Qistina had shared the stage with American golden boy Greyson Chance, performed at the renowned Istana Budaya in front of Malaysian pop queen Siti Nurhaliza, and opened for the “ONE: Championship Unbreakable Warriors” fight.

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The young and talented Malaysian singer had released her debut single “Young Hearts” which received a roaring reception within a week, reaching 100,000 plays on Spotify and was charting in iTunes Top 100 in four countries across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Recently, TheHive.Asia managed to catch the fresh talent and had a friendly chat with her regarding her newfound career, future prospects and current goals in this industry. Read up!

Hi, Qistina, first of all, tell us about yourself and how did your music career first begin?
I started singing when I was 3-years-old. I used to perform in front of my family a lot, like they would ask me to sing, and then they would pay me! [laughs] But then I found that singing was really fun, and I loved doing it a lot. At first it was just a fun hobby, and then I started recording myself singing on Vine which allows only 6 seconds, but it wasn’t enough. So I started going on to Instagram, and then it started to hit off from there – people started to like my posts and then began to reach and inspire me to sing more, so I started to post a lot more covers on Instagram. Then, Universal Malaysia found me, they emailed me and we met up and talked about where I wanted to go in this industry and where my career is going to next. So I signed with them in February!

Who are some of your music inspirations?
If you listen to “Young Hearts”, you can hear a bit of Selena Gomez vibes, because I love her! There’s also Demi Lovato, Rihanna, Adele, Lady Gaga, and recently I’ve been loving Ariana Grande a lot too! Locally, the person that I look up to are Datuk Siti Nurhaliza and Sid Murshid, who is also an artiste under Universal.

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In such a short time span after joining Universal, you’ve already performed at various places. How is the experience treating you so far?
It’s going amazing. I knew that when I stepped into Universal my life was going to change completely, and it did. I started having performances on weekends, and sometimes even weekdays after school! It’s amazing, it’s hectic, but it’s my passion, so I love it!

How do you balance music, school and everything else?
When I have exams, Universal doesn’t touch me, I’ll tell them that I have exams, so I need time to study, and they’re very understanding.

Tell us about your latest single, and inspiration behind the song.
The composer, lyricist and I sat down, and we actually talked about what I want the music to be like, and what direction I want it to go, and I told them that I wanted people and I to relate to it. The song has an amazing arrangement, and when I heard it, I fell in love completely. The song is actually inspired by Selena Gomez’s song “Sober” – that’s why I love it so much! Basically the song is about coming to a realisation that loving yourself first before anyone else is very important.

Will there be an album from you soon?
There’s going to be more singles first, and then there’s going to be an EP, and then an album.

What are you doing next?
For now, we’re going to focus on promoting “Young Hearts”, and I will also be performing a lot.

Apart from singing, what other things are you good at?
Sleeping. [laughs] I’m kidding! Well, I’m getting better in my studies, so I guess that’s good! I’m going to stay in school and finish my studies first, you have my word! [laughs]

Do you write or compose your own songs?
Yes, I do write, I started writing since last year. I already wrote about five songs now. All completed, but it’s not recorded officially in studios, or properly composed yet, because I want to learn it first -writing and composing. So yeah, I do write, but I’m still learning.

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You’re Malay, but are you going to focus on singing in English, or will you be singing in Malay too?
My Malay single is coming out soon, which is like a mixed version of “Young Hearts” as it will be mixed in the Malay and English language. I’m going to release certain titles in Chinese as well, since I can speak Mandarin.

There are so many up and coming singers like you from YouTube and other social media platforms, how do you think you’re going to survive in this industry, competing against other existing singers like Yuna, Elizabeth Tan, etc, and what sets you apart from other artistes?
I’m still new, and so far, everyone is being very nice to me. I don’t see them as competition, but more as an inspiration. I’m inspired to be like them, but better. So in my head, it’s not really a challenge for me, it’s an opportunity to be a better me, than I am now! Yes, there would be a new artist coming up every now and then, but I will try my best to always be in the line-up.