Singer August Alsina knows all about trials and triumphs. The New Orleans native has overcome his own addictions and health issues, recently taking on the role of legal guardian to his nieces after the death of his sister, who he lost to cancer last December. Their father was killed years before.

Alsina spoke with Thembi from The Shade Room about his new role, saying he understands the importance of his family having a support system, something he often went without.

“They call me Damy—it’s dad and mommy mixed together. And just the weight of that title alone—because I don’t have kids of my own,” Alsina shared. “It makes me want to be what I know I need to be for them because I grew up with my father dead and having a strained relationship with my mother. To go through life without having a person you can run to, without having a certain type of foundation, so I’m saying all of that to say I am how I am. And I am how I am until I get to more of what I’m supposed to be.”

The "No Love" artist also spoke on the possibility of officially adopting them. “It’s really not about ownership for me, it’s about impact, the type of impact I have on their life. But I would adopt them in a second. No questions asked about it. Those are my kids, period. I’m what they have.”

Alsina added that he’s open to having his own children, but caring for his nieces is a priority.

"The joy that my nieces give me, I wouldn’t mind. But I think at this point in my life, my babies—they’re still kids. And that’s my focus. And maybe once they get older, I could possibly have a kid and know that [they’re] going to look out for my kid. I’m not in disagreement with having a child, it’s just about the circumstance being what it should be in order to bring more life into this world," he said.