Is Ni’Jah a Real Pop Star? Is She Based on Beyoncé?

Prime Video’s thriller series, ‘Swarm’ takes the audience into the mind of an obsessed fan ready to do anything for the pop star she loves. Dre is so dedicated to Ni’Jah that she can’t hear anyone saying a bad about her. She fights with people who claim that the singer is not that good, even when they reveal that their favorite artist is someone else. It is shocking to see Dre do horrible things in the name of a person that she doesn’t really know. This makes one wonder how much of hold celebrities can have on people. If you are wondering whether Ni’Jah in ‘Swarm’ is based on a real pop star, then here’s what you should know. SPOILERS AHEAD

Ni’Jah: Inspired by Beyoncé’s Persona and Events?

The creators of ‘Swarm’ haven’t officially acknowledged it, but almost everything about Ni’Jah says that she is a fictional counterpart of Beyoncé. The events in the show take place between 2016 and 2018, and all the significant events that directly relate to Ni’Jah are a recreation of the things that happened with Beyoncé during that time. At the beginning of the series, Ni’Jah surprise drops an album called ‘Festival,’ which looks a lot like Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade.’ Her fans are called the Swarm, which is a play on Beyhive, Beyoncé’s fandom.

Like the real-life 32-time Grammy-winning artist, Ni’Jah (whose Grammy count is revealed to be 26) is married to a rapper called Caché. In the first episode of the series, Ni’Jah’s fandom breaks down when they discover that Caché has cheated on Ni’Jah. This is in reference to Jay-Z cheating on Beyonce. One of the lines from Beyoncé’s song “Becky with the good hair” is seen in one of the tweets featured in the show. Similarly, Ni’Jah’s sister is a fictional parallel to Beyoncé’s sister Solange Knowles.

Co-creator Janine Nabers revealed that the writers researched to find events between 2016 and 2018 to put the main character in. This led them to feature incidents like the elevator moment where an argument, which turned a little physical, between Solange and Jay-Z was caught on CCTV footage. A similar video surfaces, revealing the complications in Ni’Jah and Caché’s marriage.

Similarly, the show uses two different incidents and puts Dre at the center to give a more believable, and still bizarre, encounter with Ni’Jah. In one episode, Dre sneaks into an after-party for Caché’s last album. Here, she finally comes close enough to Ni’Jah, and, lost in her own thoughts, ends up biting the singer. A similar thing happened with Beyoncé at a party for Jay-Z’s album. Tiffany Haddish revealed that a certain actress “bit Beyoncé in the face . . . so Beyoncé stormed away, went up to Jay Z. They went to the back of the room. I was like, ‘What just happened?’” In Beyoncé’s case, it was an acquaintance who was supposedly “on drugs” and “not like that all the time.”

In another episode, Ni’Jah is rattled by Dre running to the stage. The same happened with Beyoncé and Jay-Z on August 27, 2018, when they were performing at the ‘On the Run II’ concert. A man named Anthony Charles Thomas Maxwell charged to the stage at the celebrity couple when they were walking backstage. The security and the backup dancers sprung to action and stopped the man, who later received a citation for disorderly conduct and simple battery. Maxwell sustained minor injuries, but no one else was harmed.

While all these things indicate that Ni’Jah is based on Beyoncé, Nabers clarified that the show doesn’t specifically target her or her fandom. “It’s really just allowing people to see themselves in the madness of Dre because we took real events and put a person in the middle of it,” the co-creator said. She explained that it was more about “finding the feeling that someone gives to Black women in America.” “If you ask [Black women] who is the representation of them in the words of music and song and unapologetic Black girl realness, everyone’s gonna have different answers. It’s really about allowing us to see that Ni’Jah is that person for Dre,” she said. Considering this, it’s clear that while the creators might have chosen incidents from Beyoncé’s life, their intention extends to the fandoms of every celebrity who has inspired a legion of fans who have become heavily invested in their lives.

Read More: Is Swarm Based on a True Story?