The capital city of Columbia, SC is beautiful. There are tree lined streets, historical buildings and the neighborhoods are bustling with state politicians and ambitious college students. The University of South Carolina is the primary campus in town and most natives of Columbia are Gamecock fans before ever having been to a game. Its a city that encourages upward mobility but as with anyplace in the world, theres a darker side to the locale. Singer Nikkiya knows it all too well. Growing up in a devout Christian family within the city limits, she and her family would sing together and gather for quiet evenings of prayer in their living room. Her father was a minister, and her stepfather, a deacon, so religion was always ingrained in her upbringing. Her gift for singing was nurtured during these prayer vigils and beyond. Nikkiya sang whenever she was given the opportunity. Shed sing along to hymns, shed instantly create songs and warble to anyone listening. She even sang jingles on her mothers answering machine. It wasnt until shed gotten a little older and a bit more rebellious, before she discovered her current path, which was destined from the beginning.
At the time when Nikkiya began to ponder what shed eventually end up doing, she was in a desolate place, personally. She dabbled in the street life, popping pills, smoking weed and partying for days. Nikkiyas boyfriend at the time was behind bars, and when she wasnt hanging out, she was writing him letters telling him how much she really wanted to sing for a living. He suggested that she contact a locally-based producer whod been rapidly gaining buzz named Will Power (aka SupaHot Beats). "Will was in New York at the time and we kinda kept stalking his spot where I knew that he worked. When he finally came home, I just popped up," says Nikkiya with a smile, "He had a session with another R&B chick, they were trying to write a song and I heard the music. I was so hungry, that I just took over and wrote the song, like: "Try this yall!" And he liked it. In that first unprecedented meeting, Nikkiya had accomplished more than most: shed established a level of trust and respect between herself and Will Power, and shed officially written her first song.
It was sort of a natural progression for Nikkiya to become a songwriter, but Will Power was the driving force behind her actually doing it. He motivated her to create lyrics that resonate within the listener, pushing her to "go outside the box", and tell her story. Her songs are both hard-core and vulnerable. Nikkiya uses her textured voice to tell the most vivid tales of love, loss and heartbreak, pulling from a familiar part of everyones soul no matter where they are in life. "Its not intentional," Nikkiya insists, "There are more people living the middle class life than anything else so if I want to relate to people, I need to know whats good. And I do, from family and just living my own life."
Nikkiyas style is a mash-up of soul, funk, R&B, pop and hip-hop- complete different genres that somehow end up working in unison with her velvety tone and honest verses on her debut EP, SpeakHer. "I feel like its an introduction to me. I havent put anything out, so its all over the place and hopefully it will say that Im versatile and I get down with everything. Pop, hip-hop" I just hope its a good representation of how I am and how genuine and comfortable I am in all those genres and all those feelings." From the start, as a young girl from Columbia, singing and songwriting was what Nikkiya was meant to do. Even as she was finding her own way in the world, there was the constant reminder to go back to what was familiar- what felt right. "As long as Im able to do what I really love to do, which is just sing and write songs and just vibe with people who love the same things- Im good," she says, "Everything else will fall into place. What motivates me is that, Ive been doing this, I enjoy it and I thank God for it. Its His gift to me and I just wanna share it."
Music by Nikkiya - 3 total
Dizzy Wright (Feat. Manny Scott & Nikkiya)
Genre: Hip Hop
| Plays: 2998 | Likes: 3
Dizzy Wright (Feat. Nikkiya)
Genre: Hip Hop
| Plays: 6456 | Likes: 17
Nikkiya (Feat. Rittz & Tech N9ne)
Genre: Hip Hop
| Plays: 2341 | Likes: 13