What’s your real name:
China Regis Ruthanne Sykes
What genres of music do you make:
I am a recording artist and writer. My music spans genres, (including but not limited to,) hip-hop, rap, pop, gospel, and alternative.
How long have you been creating music:
I am an Aquarius, and my sign is known for creativity, so I have been a creative since I can remember. I started off singing three part harmony (alto) when I was about four with my sisters who are one year older and one year younger. We were in many groups and choirs together, but our ability to grow together and be successful musically was cut short by our inability to get along. From there, I started writing poetry around age twelve. When I turned fifteen I began turning my poems into songs, and by age sixteen I was writing original pieces to instrumentals. I taught myself how to draw and play the drum at an early age as well.
Favorite music genre:
This is a hard one because each genre offers something different, but if I have to choose, I have to go back to my roots, where it all started, and say gospel. Gospel music has had the biggest impact on my life. It has also greatly influenced my music. Nothing moves me like gospel. And nothing frees you more than giving praise to The Creator and God of EVERYTHING!
Who would you say are some of your influences:
I have two musical and one creative influence that immediately comes to mind when asked this. Number one would be a gospel girl group named Adoration n Prayze. As a child my sisters and I sang their songs until they became our own. Their harmony was unlike anything I had ever heard, and they were highly underrated. My second musical influence is Lauren Hill. She has a style, voice, and lyrics like no other. She came out when the industry was saturated with men, and desperately needed more female artists or “rappers.” Last but not least, I have to say my mom, Reverend Dr. Lisa Hill Chilton. She taught me that there was more than one way to skin a cat, allowing my creativity to flourish! She showed me how to make a dollar out of fifteen cents, and how to go through a window or back door if the front door was closed. She has been the biggest influence on me, both musically and in terms of creativity.
In 4 years where do you see yourself:
In four years I will be a published author, an actress, a professional model, and I will have at least one Grammy. I will also be finished with my Bachelors Degree in Communications with a specialization in Public and Nonprofit Management. I will be using my degree to write grants, helping my church and community. I will have my record label up and running, and also my publishing company. I have even been looking into starting my own clothing line, and also selling my Supernova brand products through Supernova Enterprises. I have also been called into ministry, so I hope to be walking in my calling, whatever that entails. Since there is only one way to go from here, there is no telling where I will be in that length of time, but it will be farther away from the bottom than I am now! 😉
What are some names you have used now and in the past:
When I first started rapping I called myself Catastrophy. To me, it meant the point in a drama immediately following the climax, but introducing the conclusion. After I moved to Atlanta in 2001, I did some rebranding, and began going by Virginia Slim being that I was a slim female from V.A. Somewhere around 2005 a fellow recording artist named Mac Diesel called me “Supernova,” and it stuck, so I began going by Virginia Supernova Slim. The rest is history!
What is the music scene like in your city:
My birthplace is Portsmouth, Virginia (home of Timbaland and Missy Elliott,) but I actually grew up in a small town in central Virginia called Lynchburg. The population is less than 100,000, and there is a racial divide. I left at 18, so my fanbase was primarily in Atlanta where I lived. I have been going back and forth between Georgia and Virginia, but it is hard to get support where you’re from. Even amongst African American artists in my city there is a divide. There are different cliques, and if you’re not in, you’re out. I get most of my support from strangers, or other indie artists I have worked and built a rapport with.
Besides music do you have any other affiliations:
I am the C.E.O of The House of Supernovas, which equates to a home for the millions of stars that I will give birth to as a supernova. Supernova means a star that suddenly increases greatly in brightness because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of its mass. That is the legacy that I wish to leave behind when it is all said and done. #TeamSupport is a networking forum I created for people to share their businesses/talents, and support each other. I am a proud supporter of my mothers ministry called The Hood Church d.b.a New Revolution Urban Ministries. It is a church, but also a non profit that I am faithfully undergirding. I am also an independent sales consultant for Paparazzi Accessories, and all 45% of my profit goes directly to my church.
Describe yourself in a few words:
Generous, considerate, family-orientated, spiritual, lyrical, open-minded, determined, leader, different, and creative.
How would you describe your style of music:
My style is what I call “genreless” because it spans different genres. Sometimes I sing, sometimes I rap, sometimes I do both. I may have a song that sounds like an R&B song, then the next one might sound like pop. I try not to limit myself to one style in particular because I also write for other artists and hope to sell my songs as a ghostwriter soon.
When people hear your music who do they compare you to:
Although I am not worthy to be compared, I am often compared to Lauren Hill. My vocal quality is not comparable, but I believe her ability to sing and rap is what makes people think of her when they hear my music. Other than that, I am unlike anything else people have heard or seen.
What are some other roles you hold:
I am the special events coordinator for New Revolution Urban Ministries a.k.a The Hood Church, which is a youth and young adult hip-hop ministry in Lynchburg, Virginia. I provide most of the planning for the functions we have.
Where can people find your work:
I am in the process of completing my Electronic Press Kits (EPK’s,) but my entire body of work to date can be found by simply googling “Virginia Supernova Slim.”
What makes you different from other artist:
First of all I am not a generated image. I am authentic and very original. I don’t listen to mainstream music a lot because I don’t want it to influence mine. I also try to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. For that reason, I don’t use autotune a lot. On songs that sound like R&B tracks I might rap, and songs with hard baselines and 808’s I might sing. I try to destroy “the box,” and make timeless music that will survive through trends and generations.
What is your social media info: