Nicki Minaj, fresh off of her 2015 American Music Awards win for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist, teamed up with Red Bull for a secret concert in downtown L.A. on Monday night. Tickets for last night’s final Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 30 Days in LA completely sold out in less than 60 seconds. The headliner for the event was not revealed at the time, until she – Nicki Minaj herself – stepped out onto the stage at the Teragram Ballroom. She wore a blue lace outfit with six-inch Christian Louboutin stilettos and delivered performances of some of her most popular songs, including “Starships,” “Feeling Myself,” “Beez In The Trap” and “Anaconda.” After the show, Minaj sat down with RedBull.com for an exclusive interview and had a laugh about keeping her headlining appearance a secret. “It’s a little more nerve-wracking, because you don’t know if they have any guess or clue that it’s you,” the rapper says. “Once they know it’s you, you don’t know if they’re gonna be happy that it’s you!”
My favorites. Omar & Laur 🙏🏽🙌🏽❤️ A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on
“When it’s a great energy like tonight, it’s just a blessing. I used to play small venues like this all the time. It’s intimate, it’s fun, I can get very personal with people and feel very one-on-one. It’s nice energy for a change. Actually, it felt more comfortable today. Of course when you go out in front of 16,000 people, it’s like, ‘Oh my God.’ And then you know you’re on a big jumbo screen behind you, and you know they can see every little thing. So when it’s like this, you kinda feel like it’s family, like you’re in your living room.”
RED BULL SECRET SHOW WAS SO MUCH FUN. THANK U FOR HAVING ME. DOPE CROWD 😘😘😘😘 A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on
Nicki Minaj goes onto say that being able to strike a connection with the audience is one of the key ingredients in being a great performer. Even though she’s got professional dancers backing her behind her on stage for a majority of her live performances, events such as this where she embarks onto the stage by herself and still manages to keep the crowd screaming are great, she says.
Nicki Performed Moment for Life last Nite in a Blue lace dress. 😩😍😔😔 shit is unfair @nickiminaj #teamminaj #30daysinla #omeeka #barbz #nickiminaj A video posted by Meek & Nick Update Blog | (@omeekaroyal) on
At one point during Nicki Minaj’s 90-minute set, she took a seat, allowing herself to take a break while her DJ played Rae Sremmurd and Fetty Wap for the audience. During the interview, the conversation turned to new artists and women taking charge of their own careers in the industry.
“I’m a big fan of women who venture out and do more than people possibly thought they could do. Women who’ve been told no, just sit back, sit in the back, you don’t have to do that much, you don’t have to be the top, you don’t have to be the boss. And those women make me excited. They inspire me. And that’s what I wanna do. I wanna inspire girls and other women that need some sort of inspiration that’s it never too late to become dynamic and exceptional in whatever you do.”
On new artists emerging in the music game, Nicki Minaj gave some sound advice. Telling young and new artists to not be lazy and not take their talents or opportunities for granted. The rapper presented herself as somewhat of a perfectionist, when it comes to both her lyrical wordplay and her live performances. “I can’t take any shortcuts. I have to be amazing.” Movie goers will soon be able to witness Minaj perfecting her acting skills on the big screen in the Ice Cube-starring Barbershop: The Next Cut. According to OK! Magazine, the superstar released her Nicki Minaj Couture Collection on November 27, and took to Instagram to model the new clothes. According the press release, “The Couture Collection features elegant fabrics, supple leathers and sexy laces sourced from Europe and beyond. These exquisite pieces are all limited-edition, so act fast to bring a stylish slice of the runway into your closet today.” [Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Power 105.1’s Powerhouse 2015]