Nikia was born in East Meadow, NY. She began singing at the age of three, singing professionally at age 13. Many outstanding singers begin their journey in vocal groups—Beyoncé Knowles with Destiny’s Child, Patti LaBelle with the Bluebells—and Nikia is no exception. At 14, the group Something Serious was the beginning, where she honed her performing skills, how to put a song over to an audience, and writing most of the group’s repertoire as well. As a teenager Nikia released the album Out of My Mind on the independent Swooper label.
The 2nd Single “The Drug Song” is but an appetizer for the feast to come, the release of her album She is Me. Love is the drug and Nikia scores with a confidently, sweetly seductively I-need-you vocal and an undulating, slightly techno-tinged electronic cradle of rhythm. Nikia's singing has two distinctive tones herein: The coolly passionate in the body of the song and the crisp, commanding refrain/hook “Just awesome”—both distinctive, both Nikia.
The forthcoming album (in early 2016) will feature material penned by her, including “Missing You,” a slightly different side of Nikia. With a sparkling, funk-flavored guitar intro, “Missing You” has a lilt that slightly suggests reggae rhythms. Nikia’s voice is romantic longing personified, her clear, honey-toned voice (evoking the classy old-school soul of Denise Williams and the Philly soul of Gamble & Huff) riding the melody with easy, bittersweet poise. The production of Shawn Keys of Shawn Keys Ink is sparse, putting the spotlight on the song and the singer (instead of drawing attention to the production itself). “Missing You” has a bittersweet pull to it that’s hard to resist, sweet as a brand-new romance, and slightly stinging like a heartache that’s beginning to heal.
“I see myself as a part of tradition because i know my music will be around forever.” A strong statement, yes, but Nikia has the voice and the commitment to back it up. You got to watch.
Apr 15 FridaySouthampton, NY, US Southampton Cultural Center