Interview January 2019
We have come to know you as a very dynamic, talented, opinionated person and Influencer in our society since 2018, when we saw you at Hóben Òn musical in June 2018 at Kura di Arte. You were highly recommended by motivational speaker Eldrion Regina. Your name is Æmy Felicia, but you are better know as ÆmyNiaFeliz. Why do you brand yourself with that name? We are just curious about the name and how it came about.
“When I was a child they use to call me “Nena” derived from Nena for “little girl” is Spanish and “Nia”. At school, they would call me by my family name Felicia, but also Feliz (happy) and after some time it became Nia Feliz. I kind of like the NiaFeliz meaning a happy girl and that also became an affirmation of sorts for me. Meaning, I am a happy person and I am trying to make lots of people happy. So, this sticked with me and became my artistic name.”
You have a wonderful voice and your lyrics have an underlying educational message. What also caught my attention was your explicit opinion on sex only in a marriage and your belief in God.
“Basically, as a teenager I made this conscious choice and that was since I was at school. Then, when I was almost 17 years old the foundation “ATM” (Apstené Te Matrimonio, advocating not having sex until marriage) approached me to become their spokesperson and aiming to reach our youth with this message. I shared their opinion and I had a tough time. I had to deal with bullying and other challenges, but I had and still have this courage to hold my ground, because I firmly believe that sex should come with the right timing so that It doesn’t become a curse instead of a blessing. I know that it is a natural thing and that abstinence doesn’t guarantee a happy marriage, but I have met so many people that have experienced the disadvantages of having sex before their marriage or prematurely that I still am of this opinion.
One of the other reasons I decided that I should wait until marriage is, because I consider having sex with a partner as a gift not to be taken lightly and therefore it is a precious thing to be shared with my future husband and I also wanted to take good care of my body. There are lots of people that don’t believe in a marriage as an institution because it doesn’t guarantee a happy marriage. But I have reliable reasons to believe in marriage and still am a big advocate of this. And you know when I meet young people that are willing to listen to the arguments pro and con’s, the number of people that side with me grows. But it was tough and still is and I sincerely believe that it has its value to wait with sex till you are married.
“Regarding my belief in God, God is very very important to me. Everybody has faith in something and for me I have come to know God personally and I have a very close relationship with God. We, as human beings, have a tendency to judge other people even though we don’t know them. I am of the opinion, that we shouldn’t judge nobody and we shouldn’t let anyone tell us whom God is, everybody should figure it out for themselves by seeking Him through His given word which is the Bible. Every single day I try to live my life trying not to be as judgmental as I used to be. I am not completely free of judgments, because it is a protection we all have, in order to bring light to our blind sides and peoples true intentions. But I am doing a lot better then when I was much younger and you know I now feel so much better because of this.”
You were born in Curaçao, you have 1 older brother. Your parents are very supportive in your career, right?
“My parents have always been very supportive. But as parents, it could be strenuous for them at times. When you stand for positive things like I am and take the road less travelled in the way the world goes around, you will be challenged. So I have people that have other opinions on the things I stand for and that is also a challenge for my parents at times. I am still their daughter and they care for me, so it is a challenge for them also when I go through my struggles. But I am very proud of them. They never gave up on me. They know how the world goes around and how nature works. They know that I am up to something special, that will benefit the majority of people and that by taking the road less travelled, at times I will be challenged, but in the end those whom take the road less travelled will be set free, as the Bible says.”
As an artist, you are trying to inspire youth and send a message to them in a way that resonates with them. In that sense, you are influencing a lot of our youth. When did you start getting interested in becoming an artist?
“Well, at the age of 4 years. I was in the car with my mother one day, when she asked me what I would want to be when I grow up and I gave the most innocent and honest answer that a child can give, that was ‘an artist’. You see I recall loving everything that has to do with art from a young age already. As I grew up, it changed, of course. But this calling came back and I now feel that this is what I want and need to do. I used to be a teacher and 3 years ago I decided to become a full time artist and motivational speaker. Not an artist because of the fame and glamour, but more in the sense of being ‘artistical’ because of what art can do and offer.”
What is your big why or driving motivation to be whom you are right now?
“I saw a lot of broken people that were suffering in so many ways, basically because of their ignorance. And when you are ignorant your spirit dies in a way. Your living, but you are not alive, because of mental poverty. By being “artistical’ I want to address this, so that more people can live a more fulfilled life. I know God put me on this earth to fulfill a purpose. We all are like weapons and God gave us all talents we can use it to either destroy or build up. As I became aware of my talent, I came to understand that with music, a vision, words and actions I can influence lots of people. So, I decided to dedicate the rest of my life to become an artist.”
You are a full-time artist and how do you deal with this responsibility?
“Well, one day, one step at the time and at times one hour at the time and at times to tell you the truth, it is overwhelming. At times, I am puzzled on how to handle challenges, but then at the end of the day looking back, and it’s done, you feel happy because of the progress made.”
Where does your artistic drive come from?
“It comes from my core in which God instilled a combination of reason, a responsibility for the wellbeing of the human race and the need to create, some of my God-given abilities were also inherited from my parents and my uncle on my father’s side. I am very aware of how much power we have as human beings, especially when we are effective with our talents. When we are effective, we are a weapon and a source that can help and uplift others. And in this world where we have billions of people, all of us have something that everybody needs.”
How big a role does Faith in God plays in who you are right now?
“God’s role in my life is everything. God is the reason that I am whom I am right now. If I didn’t have faith in God and believed solely in Him, I wouldn’t be able to do the things that I do right now or be the person that I am today.”
Apart from singing, are there other ways and means that you try to share your message to greater public/ audiences?
“Yes, I am a motivational speaker and I am pretty good at creating things. I do everything that has to do with visual art, I am a painter and of late I am role modelling a healthy lifestyle through my social media outlets. This latter part was originally not my intention, but as I was sharing with my followers me going to gym #aemygymlife and exercising, people started to like this and felt inspired and also started going to the gym. Some said that they would start this year 2019.”
What is the secret of this success up to now?
“My faith in God and God within me. It makes me do things that are for the good of all, makes me love my fellow human beings and makes me persevere, which is not always easy.”
You are trying also to keep up with your skills?
“Yes, I am trying to work on different areas, like my singing, piano, playing the bass, the gym, knowledge, wisdom, my spirituality, read from the Bible yes basically different areas and also keep working and practicing on the things that I like to do and come easy to me at first. I like reading books, I love to watch educational YouTube’s and basically everything that adds to my knowledge. One of the things that I have worked on that didn’t come easy to me was, that I am basically a very shy and introvert person. I came to realize, that this was a big disadvantage to me, because people perceived me as being arrogant or antisocial which in reality when you get to know me it is totally the opposite, and this made it difficult for me to connect with other people to promote my talents, just because I was an extremely shy person. So to invest in networks with different people didn’t always come easy to me. That might sound strange because the moment I am on stage, I am totally in the moment and all my shyness falls away because of my stage presence. But I have worked on this, slowly but steadily, just by confronting and overcoming this shyness step by step and this made me changed 180 degrees overtime from where I use to be, to where I am know.”
What are your other strengths?
“My main strengths are perseverance, stamina and my ability to go the extra mile; I am good at visualizations; I have the power to convince and I like helping others to become their better versions of themselves, for example when I was at school I used to help fellow students who were about to fail to perform better so that they could pass their exams.”
We believe that you have another strength also, you have “a lot of charisma.”
“Well if you say I have… ” (Æmy blushes)
Do you have other hobbies or interests that you are passionate about apart from singing?
“I like painting, I like to design clothing, do graphics, I like playing the piano and the bass guitar, I love writing songs and making music. I love to watch and analyze movies. I love reading, I love dancing choreography and in December was the first time, I am 30 years old, that I have danced with someone (couple-dancing) at a house party in front of people I don’t know, it was the first time for me in that setting, so it is never too late to learn new things or do something new.”
If you as Æmy would meet a stranger in the bus (let say in Holland or the US) and they would ask you to introduce yourself what would you answer?
“Hi I am Æmy, I am an artist in music and arts, I am an entrepreneur and I love people.”
How would you describe Æmy in one word or one sentence?
“Well, people say that I am inspirational and talented so I’ll add that to the sentence. I am inspirational, passionate, talented with a committed heart.”
Whom are the persons that have inspired you the most in your career?
“In music, it’s Juan Luis Guerra since I was very young, I love His music and ways. I also have an African Musician that I have followed since I was a kid but he no longer lives. My parents, they have inspired me with their unique talents in all areas particularly to deal with different kinds of people in and with love.
Martin Luther King & Nelson Mandela and Tula. I admire them because in spite of their suffering they stayed pure. It might sound like a cliché, but it is hard to fight for a cause and be resisted strongly and still, in spite of all the resistance, persevere. But also my great-great-mother (our 5th generation) whom survived her first husband whom died and then was married again and again lost her 2nd husband and still manage to someway somehow raised her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and never gave up. When she passed away at age 96, it wasn’t because of any illnesses; she had been through so much but still lived a healthy life and died peacefully. It was just that she was ready to go home, by then leaving the family comfortable behind. She was a really wise and strong woman. Btw, there were not always positive role models, but even with negative role models, you can look to find their positives and learn from that.”
What are some of the challenges, lessons learned, that you have encountered in your life when you ultimately discovered your talents and strengths?
“Not everyone comes to you because they love or care about you or want to help you get further or grow, some come for the wrong reasons. And you should be aware of that.”
What was a defining moment in your life, a setback that later turned out to be a great blessing?
“First of all, three years ago, I decided to become a full-time artist. By doing just that, I lost my financial security, so no guaranteed income per month, no pension for my old age. I chose for the unknown, where nothing is certain. Some thought that I was out of my mind, but I took this leap of faith and just did it. And once you do it, the fear factor lessened.
A second defining moment was related to something I expressed in the song: ‘Dolor no ta dura pa semper’. It reflected a period in my life that the pain was so intense that It affected me physically. What it was exactly, I am not there yet to share this, but this turned out to be a blessing for me. Because the song came out of that pain I’ve experienced. And this song resonates with lots of people. You can’t stop from going through suffering, but you can decide how long you will suffer, because that is a choice and it isn’t easy btw, but it is still an option you can choose for.”
Where do you want to be 5 to 10 years from now with your business(es)?
“I would be established, with a solid foundation, it would be rolling and productive and all my initiatives are doing great and would have won international recognition and be an established brand. I would have grown in different areas of my life. I firmly believe in that thoughts create our reality and that there is only one thing that can stop us and that is God himself, not a single human being at the other hand can stop us.”
What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends and othersto say about you let’s say 30 years from now?
“I love Æmy for what she has meant for us. The feelings and emotions would be so overwhelming when they try to express themselves, they would not be able to do that because words would not be able to express them. I would also say, just bless God for have known me, because it He who deserves the credit for me being who I am.”
What makes you stay optimistic about the future of Curaçao
“Because of people like you and me, we keep fighting for the positives in Curaçao. We have people that really care about people, there might be only a few now, but I have faith that it will grow. By doing everything they can to be selfless to make Curaçao great for the next generations to come. This is what makes me optimistic about the future of Curaçao.”
“Everything is love.”
Do you want to share anything else that might be relevant for those reading this blog?
“We should remember and take this to heart and apply it the best way you can:
It is all about love and what you did with true love. Everything is love. How you treated and loved others, how you loved yourself in order to share love with others. There will be no darkness or evil when there is love, so disseminate love in others.
To finalize this blog the transition of SEHOS to Curaçao Medical Center asked you this year to make an inspirational song for the transition. That I consider a 3rd party endorsement and recognition of your talent and your positive messages, right?
“Yes, people saw my talent and they believed in the positive person and messages that I sing. I believe in unity, I believe in collaboration based on each person’s unique strengths. We need to respect every person’s strong points. We can then help each other. To get a message to reach far we need other persons and it is not about “me” shining, but “the message” shining and if we are all humble with our strengths, that will serve all of us well.”
Information Æmy Niafeliz: www.facebook.com/Niafeliz/
Representative, Booking & Production Agent
Mobile: +5999 685 6300
Phone:: +5999 686 8662
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One of the 250 Influencers
As the core group of Share2Uplift we love and deeply respect Æmy Felicia or ÆmyNiaFeliz, whom as an artist is influencing a growing number of youth and people of all ages. We definitely consider her one of the 250 ethical leaders of our Island, that continuously works at influencing people’s mindsets in our society. We will definitely hear more from her soon.