Nicki Minaj: Oprah & Madonna Get Me Through The Tough Times

Nicki Minaj’s days are long – filled with studio time, fragrance creation, as well as filming TV and movie spots, and the 30-year-old rapper admits building her “queendom” can be overwhelming at times.

How does the Trinidad native get through it? By seeking inspiration from the greats, of course.

“I don’t even know how [I make my schedule work] — it really is just mind over matter. Like, you’ve really gotta will yourself to do it, because sometimes I feel so overwhelmed, like I’m not gonna get this done,” Nicki told Access Hollywood. “I just have a desire to be that kind of woman that I look up to when I was young. That kind of woman like the Oprahs and the Madonnas.

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“Those are the women that I look at and I’m like, ‘If you can do what you do, I can do this,’ because what I’m doing is such a small fraction of what their days must be like,” she added.

Part of Nicki’s drive comes from the desire to stay relevant in the ever-evolving music world.

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“I definitely do feel the pressure to reinvent. I think any artist would be lying if they told you they weren’t,” she said. “That’s just a normal human feeling. You’re in a business that’s constantly changing and because we’re in this internet era, people see things one second and forget it the next. And it’s like, you know, you’ve gotta be really special to stick around.”

Nicki was very involved in her latest endeavor, her second fragrance, Minajesty (a collaboration with Elizabeth Arden). The artist said all of her fragrances have to pass certain tests in order for her to sign off on them – including the “overnight test.”

“I like to sleep with them on overnight to see if they pass the overnight test, ‘cause I think when you get up in the morning you should still have a sexy smell to you, and that’s like if, it’s reminiscent of the night before… girls like that,” she explained.

With Minajesty, the rapper knew it was love at first smell.

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“I just knew it was the one because I never smelled anything like it, but it seemed to take me back to something and I really couldn’t put my mind on it. I was just like what?” she said. “You know it had like this mystery, it had like this sexy thing to it, but it was woodsy so it kind of reminded me of a guy too. It was just, it was just really weird. And so I called them up and I was like we got one.”

-- Erin O’Sullivan

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