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Young Singer/Songwriter Nija Charles Pens Your Favorite Songs

Young Singer/Sonwriter Nija Charles Pens Your Favorite Songs

the young songwriter was fresh off a whirlwind year that saw her work appear on some of the biggest albums from the most in-demand artists in the music industry.

Now, Charles, 21, can add “Grammy-winning songwriter” to her already impressive resume.

Charles grew up in Union Township making music in her family’s basement before big-name producers got wind of her talent.



At the Grammy Awards on Sunday, she celebrated Grammy wins for albums from Cardi B, Beyonce and Jay-Z. Not long after she reached the legal drinking age last year, Charles learned her work on both albums was nominated for several Grammys.

Charles’ first Grammy win came before the main show even started.

“Everything is Love,” the June 16 album from The Carters — Beyonce and Jay-Z — won best urban contemporary album on Sunday during the non-televised portion of the awards show. Charles is credited as a co-writer on two of the album’s songs — “LoveHappy” and “Heard About Us.”

Charles, who now lives in Glendale, California, co-wrote “Heard About Us” with Beyonce and Jay-Z, and “LoveHappy" with Beyonce, Jay Z and Nova Wav, the songwriting duo of Denisia “Blu June” Andrews and Brittany “Chi” Coney.

he songwriter, who signed a deal with Universal Music Publishing Group in 2017, also worked on three tracks from the Meek Mill album “Championships," which also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in December. Before 2018 was over, her credit could also be found on another instant No. 1, “I Am > I Was," the sophomore album from 21 Savage, the Atlanta rapper who was born in the United Kingdom and was recently arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for overstaying a visa. (He was originally supposed to perform alongside Post Malone at the awards show.)


Later, during the televised part of the Grammys, Charles celebrated a win for best rap album for Cardi B, who performed during the show and made history by becoming the first female solo artist to win the award.

Charles co-wrote the hooks on two songs for “Invasion of Privacy,” the rapper’s debut album: “I Do,” featuring Maplewood’s own SZA, and “Ring,” featuring Kehlani. The album also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in April, and “Ring” went platinum.

Artists who have met and worked with Charles congratulated her on the Grammy victories.

“I’m....a Grammy Award Winning Songwriter?” Charles tweeted after learning of her first win.

“ABSOLUTELY ARE,” replied Kehlani, 23, who was nominated for Grammys in 2016 and 2018.

Singer Elle Varner, who was nominated for two Grammys in 2013 and shared in the best rap album Grammy for Chance the Rapper’s album “Coloring Book” in 2017, remembered meeting Charles when she was a student at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University, where Varner served as a mentor. (Charles attended a Future Music Moguls program there for high schoolers and later returned for college at NYU.) The singer tweeted a group photo she took with the future Grammy winner from that time.

Charles, who first got the attention of producers on Instagram when she tried to get attention for her own production by singing over her beats, ended up leaving college to move to the West Coast and work as a songwriter full-time. Producers like Diplo were already flying her out for recording sessions while she was still in college.

In a December interview with NJ Advance Media, when she was home for the holidays, Charles reflected on her success.




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