Nina Beretta Interview

Posted on January 24th, 2016

Life is difficult; we are all looking for a hero, a mentor, someone like us who has “made it”. San Diego-based rapper Nina Beretta aka Vision Complex is looking to become that for those walking a path similar to hers. A single mother, hard-working woman, indie label founder and rapper, Nina is looking to carve a path that other women can follow to success. Nina Beretta took time out of her busy schedule as a mother, artist and young entrepreneur to share a bit of her journey with us here at GoodVibeSD.com. Enjoy.

GoodVibeSD: Who is Nina Beretta?

Nina Beretta: Nina Beretta hmm.. well I’d say that name started as an alias. In my opinion it’s important for an artist to refresh, to reinvent so to speak. I was looking for an outlet, a way to express myself anew, and Beretta fit :) , but who I am, in total,  who I am is Vision [Complex].

GoodVibeSD: For those who may just be getting to know you, can you clarify the distinction between Nina and Vision Complex?

Nina Beretta: Well, I’d say Nina would be an alter ego of sorts. Nina is who this music game has helped me become, this game they call the music business can be ruthless with very high highs and low lows. Beretta may have come out of one of those times, a “kiss my ass” almost , a “I’m gonna get mine regardless” type of persona. And Vision, well I officially got the name when I was in a Christian rap group. My manager at the time asked what my vision for my future was. So I carried that over into my world now, the same purpose same vision, if you take a listen to the music you’ll hear [my] vision.

GoodVibeSD: So, you grew up between Los Angeles and San Diego? Most artists, especially in hip hop, would say LA is the place to be; why have you chosen to live in San Diego?

Nina Beretta:  Gosh. My family asks me that all the time. My immediate family (mom, sisters, and brother) lives in San Diego now, that’s what brought me back. And as far as not having gone back to Los Angeles, the truth? My son. I’ve never figured out how to uproot him and head out on our own. Im close to figuring it out if we do have to do it on our own, but I also have a few business opportunities that can help. We will see.

 GoodVibeSD: How has SD helped to shape your sound, your brand?

Nina Beretta: San Diego has taught me how to be strong. San Diego gave me many opportunities to grow, fall, and rise back up. I’ve always been given a stage here and I will always be grateful. Through what San Diego has taught me, it shaped my sound, my voice, even how to reflect true meaning, true feeling.

GoodVibeSD: Speaking of SD and your sound, you were on a San Diego edition of The Cypher Effect. What was that experience like? Do you work with any of the others you shared the stage with that day (or any other SD hip hop artists)?

Nina Beretta: Oh that was so dope. A highlight for sure. I was nervous at first. I see myself as a picture painter with my songs sometimes, and what I have to say takes a couple of verses and a hook. With most cyphers they are looking for strong metaphors, maybe almost battle raps. I was so nervous I didn’t write until that day. (Procrastination is my worst trait) In the end, I had never gotten so much love and support. I absolutely am a fan of everyone who was involved in the cypher from Dj Beto to Chris Reyes to Benny, everyone. They are all very talented and highly professional.

GoodVibeSD: Your website makes it clear that your vision is much greater than dope beats and rhymes. Can you break down your philosophy behind the “why” you make music, for the readers of GoodVibeSD?

Nina Beretta: Why? I really don’t know anything else. When I was a kid my mom would call me Tina Turner (my real name is Cristina). Ever since she started calling me that I wanted to be that. Then I tried out for the New Star Search. Didn’t get much home support on that front so my dreams just lay dormant. Until years later I started writing poems to explain my current existence. That eventually turned into rap music. The first poem I wrote was about going through things, I must have been 12, from that point on my “why” became to help others who’ve felt like me.

 

GoodVibeSD: What are you working right now that has you excited about hip hop, about life?

Nina Beretta: I do have a few business opportunities that have come up back to back. Not sure which way I will go, if I’ll go with any of them, or keep going forward to see what else comes in. I do know no matter what I’ll keep trying. On my own outside of those opportunities, I am finally back to work on my album. And prior to that I’ll release an EP through my indie label GrimmStyle Musik.

GoodVibeSD: The overall tone of your movement is positive, but your music definitely has an angry edge to it, a “chip on your shoulder” type of vibe. Where does that come from? and how/when did you decide to use that energy in a positive way?

Nina Beretta: Yikes. I’ve been told a lot of things about my music, “angry” hasn’t come up, more like Gangster maybe lol. Well if i’m giving you that impression that isn’t my goal. I know not all of my songs come off that way, but I suppose the overall feeling is a possible “chip on my shoulder” and again the truth. My chip is honest; it’s not easy out here for anyone, it’s especially not easy for women and then you throw a child in there and a lifetime of stops and starts, things can get chippy. My heart is good; I’ve always lead with my heart. I obviously carry a deep love for people, I don’t feel that love is given as freely back and at times opportunity dictates friendships. I don’t necessarily operate that way and in fighting against that I got this chip. I don’t want this chip. I’ll work on getting it outta here. I appreciate you asking me this.

GoodVibeSD: On your website, under the “words” tab, you say:

If you are living a similar path, If questions of how to balance it all is still unanswered for you, know this: Your child sees you out there pursuing your dreams. Your child sees you get up each morning, take care of them, work, and pursue your dreams, by seeing that, you are teaching them a very important lesson: that no matter what card life has dealt you, no matter where in life you are at the moment, you can still get up and fight for what’s yours. And that, to me, is one of the most important lessons we can ever teach our children.

GoodVibeSD: What is Vision Complex’, Nina Beretta’s, dream?

Nina Beretta: I want to create a valid change, to contribute a valid contribution to the world. My whole life being in love with music; I have never been able to find a woman I could look at in this business and say “she reminds me of me; because of her I know I can win too.” That’s why I’m in love with Pac, with Zro, because they were the closest to relatable to me. Well, I want to be that woman for other women and young girls. I want those going through hell out here to see me and say hey, anything’s possible. In pursuing this and accomplishing it, I hope to be one of the most visible female rappers on the west coast and turn Grimm Style, my humble indie label, into one of the most powerful labels in California. And it’ll be an all female roster. I got ideas; I just need to keep God here and watch my anger lol. Right?

GoodVibeSD: Thanks for sharing such raw, honest, vulnerable pieces of your journey. Do you have any last words of advice for those chasing similar dreams? As well as last thoughts for the readers of GoodVibeSD and hip hop culture?

Nina Beretta: The only advice I can give you that really truly matters, is to not stand in your own way. Nothing can take away your chance faster than your choices. Think very hard about everything you do and once you decide, ride with that ‘til the wheels fall off. If you’re serious about your dreams, then always keep in mind this is a serious business, each choice, each decision carries lasting effects.

But if you ever do happen to get in your own way, live with that choice for a moment then stand up and get busy to creating your next chance, because no matter what anyone tells you, there is always another if your heart is in the right place and you want it bad enough.

And to the GoodVibeSD readers,

I just want to thank you all very much for your time. Im aware we are all going for our own dreams, whether it’s music, having a family or a career totally different than mine, I know we are all busy, and I sincerely thank you for sharing your time with me.

God bless -

v

[Vision Complex aka Nina Beretta]

ninaberetta.com