Nicki Kris is an award-winning singer-songwriter based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has been on the official ballot for the Grammy Awards, for the past seven years, in numerous categories, including: Song Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Pop Vocal Album, Pop Solo Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Performance. Nicki's music has captured an international audience since her debut album, 'I Come Alive in 2013.' Her songs have been featured in award-winning movies, TV shows, and on radio stations worldwide. Nicki’s latest release, Heartbeat [N.K.M Records], is a 14-track album filled with empowering anthems and catchy sing-along tracks. The new album features 14 songs that showcase her powerful vocals and catchy pop-rock songwriting. The early singles from this collection have earned over one million streams on Soundcloud, as well as many international awards. The end result is a masterful collection of Alternative Pop/Rock songs that showcase her polished vocals, vibrant and vivid songwriting, and meaningful lyrics. Nicki has already been recognized in several international songwriting competitions and her songs have over a 1.5 million streams.
What is your earliest memory of music? And, how did you get started in music?
I started singing and performing at a very young age. I remember twirling around the house and singing as early as 2 or 3 years old. My first performance was in Kindergarten during a Christmas Pageant where I sang “O Tannenbaum”. After that, all I wanted to do was sing and perform.
What was the first song you ever wrote? What or who inspired you to start writing music?
I started writing songs in high school as a means to ‘escape’ a not so great family life. I really had no clue what I was doing, I just knew that when I was able to write down what I was going through it made me feel a little better about things that were going on around me. The first song I wrote way back then was called - “Hell Night”.
Do you play any instruments? If yes tell us about it. If not, do you work with a band or studio musicians? Do you produce your tracks or work with a producer?
Do you play any : I play the piano, but I’m not very good, hey I'm being brutally honest. I’m self-taught and never really had lessons, so I have a ton of bad habits. I’m actually trying to take some online lessons and improve my playing a bit. I also work with studio musicians when possible and I'm a huge fan of loops and write a lot of my songs this way. I produced my 1st two albums, but have been working with my current producer for the past few years. It’s great to just go to the studio and sing and not have to worry about anything else. That said, I ’d like to get back into producing both for myself and for other artists as I feel I have a lot to offer in this area.
What is your favorite part about being an artist (performing, recording, writing, playing)?
Writing, performing, and recording in that order. Writing has and always will be the number one aspect of who I am as an artist. Don’t get me wrong, I love performing as well, but I think writing is certainly more sustainable for me personally at this point in my career. Plus I have a vivid imagination and love to see my ideas come to life as a song.
Do you have any advice for young women pursuing music?
Parlaying on the above question, learn to write. I firmly believe that anyone can contribute to a song. Network and connect with people who are willing to work with you, mentor you, for free or for a reasonable fee. These people do exist. Join groups like Women In Music and other non-profits for guidance.
For readers who have never heard your music, can you suggest one or two songs to start with?
Tough one! I love my newer material, but some of my older tracks are also a great starting point. I’ll suggest one of each - “Together We Stand”, from my debut album, “I Come Alive” also featured on the TV show Dance Moms, and from my most recent album, Heartbeat, I’d suggest either “Everything I Do, I Do for You” or "Can’t Let You Go”. Sorry, I couldn't choose, so you're getting two from this one.
For more information, please visit Nciki Kris's website.