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Interview: Nikki V
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I'm one of those people who was born with a love and passion for music. As a child, I was constantly singing, listening to music, writing songs and poetry, whistling, or playing around on the family piano. one day I remember my dad giving me a GnR tape when I was in grade school and it blew my mind. It was the coolest thing I ever heard and it changed me forever. it was then I knew I was meant to rock. From early on I knew there was nothing better than the high you get from singing your heart out. I love building things, well more so supervising the build and telling people what to do and talking smack while doing it, So I might be running a construction company. Or something that satisfies my love of nature
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love to garden, cook, sew, spend time in the mountains, and take photos of the moon. I find that most of my hobbies or interests involve some level of creativity. It helps to prevent me from feeling burnt out or bored of playing. I also find that if I'm having a writer's block or an inspiration block, that if I shift my focus to something else for a while, the missing pieces or lyrics that I was searching for, find me instead.
How long has music been your career?
Years.. pre-pandemic was a lot cooler though ... gigging was what it was all about, miss those days can't wait to get back on stage!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I grew up in Alberta, which is a pretty rural part of Canada, lots of rodeos and cowboys and country music. It definitely rubbed off on me. I love country music and country lifestyle. But being the rebel I think I am I always leaned more towards the heavier side. Something about loud guitar and pounding drums that can’t be beat.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
One of my all-time favorite shows would have to be this top-secret gig, that was literally in the mountains ... off the highway, down a service road, then We had to hike our gear up the side of this rocky mountain about 30 min, through a creek to get to the "stage".it was crazy. It was in a beautiful natural stone amphitheater, in the middle of nowhere, no cell service, nothing it was absolutely perfect..an epic night of nature and rock-n-roll. I don't even remember how many people were there but it was a surprisingly large turnout. My favorite part of that night was playing can't always get what you want by the rolling stones and having a crowd full of beautiful face-painted hippies singing along with me under a cold September sky blanketed with stars. it was one of the craziest shows we played.
The worst gig would have to be the one where my drummer at the time had left before even playing the gig... he was a funny character. I still love the guy and always will. And I wasn't even mad. It was pretty funny to me when all was said and done. It was a last-minute gig that we were standing in on for a friend's band who had backed out a few days prior. When we got there, the turnout was terrible and the headliner was a total douche, he was rude, had a terrible attitude, and didn't seem like he wanted me there. I don't like being in places I'm not welcome so it worked out. We had no drummer so we couldn't do the gig.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favorite place to play is at this small local dive bar in Calgary, the broken city. Once a week my friend BJ Downey would host this epic jam night full of fun, games, and prizes. My favorite part is how it's always an eclectic mix of every type of person and musical style from death metal to punk rock to country, acoustic, and jazz. skids and suits everyone can hang. It's one of those places where all the scenes melt into one it's great. I want to play all the places! I'm really looking forward to touring internationally in the next year, and finding new favorites!
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
I would love to play with the rolling stones! They have been my favorite rock n roll band forever! I can't get enough of them! I would also add Joan Jett to the bill, as she has always been a hero of mine, she's such a badass rocker and KISS! I love how all their songs are so simple and yet so sexy.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Don't ever let your love for music die by doing things of surrounding yourself with people that don't sit well with and feed your soul. And I'm sure I'll sound like a broken record with this, but just be yourself. Be the best version of you, that you can be. Don't worry about everyone liking you. Just focus on the ones that love you.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Don't be so hard on yourself, you're doing the best you can. I really needed to hear that when I was young, and never did. Looking back I know now I always tried my best to be my best even when I wasn't at my best. and those are times when you need to hear stuff like that the most.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
A song I wrote called The Wire. It's one of the saddest songs I've written. And I love to write sad songs. It helps to let all the darkness out. I'm not sure why it means so much to me, I wrote it after I broke up with a guy I wasn't even that into in the first place. I don't even think he was the inspiration, I think it was the bf before him that I was still hung up on. anyways it's just a simple song, with a simple chorus, but I think it's the melody that really drives it home. And the fact that it is so relatable. it's about just wanting someone to love. who doesn't want that? It's also one of the only full acoustic tracks that I've written as well. That makes it special too.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I have this song called killing time, that everyone seems to love. it's one of my favorites, it's one that people tell me gets stuck in their head which makes my heart swell. My favorite one to play is Babydoll. it feels like an army of rock marching into battle. that one really gets me lifted.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
Most of my inspiration comes from strong emotions. love, anger, happiness, sadness, joy. I've always felt a sense of relief and a release from my emotions from writing songs about it. instead of holding it in or lashing out. I put it in a song. I've gotten a little more organized with how I write now that I know myself and what works for me best. I like to start with a melody and a chorus and get my chord structure down, throw together an instrumental, and then I record and write the verses as I go in my home studio.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I think most of my music has the underlying message that everyone is fucked up, and that’s okay. Nothings perfect and it never will be. when life breaks you down You just gotta pick up the pieces and move on, you’ll be okay.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
Sometimes i do, but I'm a pretty easy-going individual, and I am more concerned with what the song needs than with what my ego wants. If trouble arises, I remind people that we are here for the song, and the song will tell us what it needs, n need to fight it just let it be. I try not to work with people who don't see it like that. music is about good vibes, and the good vibes tend to disappear when the egos comes out.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
releasing my next single killing time a song I am in love with!
Looking forward to touring when the world is more open and safe! I've got a bunch of new gear up on my website www.nikkivmusic.com that features some of my mountain and moonlight photography that I am very proud of too!