· 1. Hello Nikki, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you came a country
I’m a country rock recording artist from a small town in NJ. I grew up around music as if it were another family member as my father was a touring Motown drummer and mom a classical piano player. My idols were Whitney Houston, Leann Rimes and Shania Twain at a young age and I started playing drums and guitar in middle school. I fell in love with Garth Brook’s song IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES and it inspired me to write my own songs and poetry in high school. I participated in all school talent shows, I traveled and modeled throughout school, took vocal and dance lessons, was a varsity MVP tennis player and at the same time started going to a performing arts gifted and talented high school, graduating with honors. I went to college, Seton Hall University and majored in Elem. Ed/ Special Ed and music. At that time I met my now husband who is in the army. I would tour and sing the national anthem for the military throughout NJ and wrote and recorded my first single A SOLDIER’S PRINCESS in Nashville during my husband’s deployment to Iraq in 2008. Soon after, that song made it on country radio and I decided to follow my passion in country music. I now have my 4th album releasing this November and have dedicated all of them to those who have fought for our freedom,
2. How did you decide you wanted to become a country singer?
I grew up on all genres of music, from Motown to jazz and r&b, but country music started for me when I heard Shania Twain and Leann Rimes in middle school. I never thought of it as “country” music, just music. I never labeled what I listened to, just enjoyed it and knew I wanted to do what they did. I have done musical theater, acting and cabarets which were so amazing and fun, I made some incredible friends that way, but I knew deep down inside my passion was with country music and the story telling lyrics. I wrote hundreds of poems as a teenager and started adding a melody to them and the style was always countryish, a cross between Jewel and Sheryl Crow. I was a 2nd grade teacher for 5 years after college and would love bringing my guitar to school to play for my students and they knew me as the “country star”, it felt right to persue my dream full time 3yrs ago and take it on the road. So, thanks to all the love and support from fans, friends, family and my community, I have been blessed to live out my dream.
3. Who are some of your musical icons?
Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, and Kenny Chesney. I admire how they all worked so hard for their craft and always stayed true to themselves despite all the fame.
4. What is one of your favorite songs that you ever recorded or played live?
I enjoy opening up every show or concert with my song COUNTRY THANG which was nominated for a few indie country awards and has been on country radio, it is a party theme song that gets the crowd pumped and rowdy! It is the best feeling having everyone sing along to your own song!
5. Where do you see your career in the next 5 to 10 years? I have been blessed doing this for the last 6years of my life, 3 of which full time on the road and touring and have been working hard for what has been accomplished, yet I know there is still so much to do. In 5 years I see myself continuing to tour nationally and getting to perform at the Opry, maybe even getting a CMA award! I also aspire to travel overseas and perform for our deployed veterans, that is another goal I wish to achieve.
6. If you could do a duet with a famous singer or band who would it be?
Kenny Chesney! He would be my country idol choice. I love his voice and his style. I would also LOVE to sing with Michael Buble. He has the most incredible voice and I love singing the standard classics that I grew up on, like Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles.
7. If you have to give advice to an up and coming artist what you tell them?
To work hard and never give up! Also, to stay true to yourself because that is what people love most, a genuine kind of person.
8. Is there anything new coming up in your career? 2016? 2017?
My 4th EP AFTER THE NEW WEARS OFF releases November 11 on itunes presale and I am very proud to have accomplished this with my team in Nashville. We also have a debut official music video releasing on the 11th on YOUTUBE VEVO and the release party concert is on Veteran’s Day as I specifically chose being an army wife, it is symbolic to me. I also have a few more upcoming concerts finishing off 2016 with Granger Smith, Chase Bryant, Chris Janson and others. It has been an amazing year with other 220 shows performed state to state and I look forward to what 2017 brings!
9. What is one of your favorite quotes?
Gretchen Wilson…. I work hard, I play harder…
10. What do you like to do in your free time?
We don’t get much down time being on the road a lot, so when we are off I love being a homebody and chilling with my family, friends and 6 furbabies. I also enjoy gardening, working out at the gym, rollerblading, going to comedy clubs, playing tennis and getting massages!