Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 15th 2010 8:21AM by Jazmine Valencia
Her music is one of a kind, with great lyrics and powerful vocals. Her sound makes you stop, listen and appreciate the emotions coming from her soul. Nikki took time out of her packed schedule to speak with Spinner about her crazy tour with Mayer Hawthorne, her crush on Prince, her love for '80s pop rock and SXSW.
Describe your sound in your own words.
I consider my music to be singer-songwriter pop music.
How did your band form?
About five years ago I was asked to join a band called Nouveau Riche by Dice Raw and Khari Mateen. When it was time to put a band together for my solo endeavor my only thought was to keep it in the family. Khari is the musical director and he found Michael, our drummer. Through Michael we met Reggie and CJ, our percussionist and keyboardist, respectively. It all evolved really organically. I think that's why we have so much fun together on stage and off. It's not just a job -- it's getting the opportunity to do something we love, with people we love.
How did you come up with your name?
When I was in high school there were so many Nicoles. Every time someone said "Nicole" about four or five people turned their heads. To solve the problem, each Nicole at the school got a nickname. Mine was Nikki Jean.
What are your musical influences?
Irving Berlin, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Jerome Kern, Stephen Sondheim, Carole King, Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Prince, Sting. Really strong writers inspire me to no end. Leonard Cohen, Alan and Marilyn Bergman.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
I have no shame! I love '80s pop rock! I love to sing along at the top of my lungs.
Beatles or Stones?
Beatles! I love the Stones, but when I was little my mom used to turn the Beatles on and we would have pillow fights. When you pair the memories with some of the best pop songwriting, you really can't top it.
What are some songs that are most played on your iPod?
'Empty' by Metric, 'Help Me' by Joni Mitchell, and anything by J Davey.
What was the last physical CD you bought?
Mayer Hawthorne, of course!
What's your biggest vice?
My puppy? Nachos?
Who was your first celeb crush?
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
On this tour, the monsoon in Virginia Beach. I may be exaggerating, but it was a crazy storm, and so many people still came out and knew the words and sang along. It was extraordinarily humbling.
Do you Google yourself often?
No, but my mom does, and I have to continually remind her not to tell me what it says. It gets a little overwhelming after a while.
If you could tour with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?