I’d like to write about a favourite composer & recording artist of mine, Nikki Nicola. Nikki has a very polished commercial sound to her recordings, often involving strings, bass & drums to really support a very melodic approach to composition. After listening to her tunes, I wouldn’t be surprised if you go away whistling the main theme & melody.
Let’s go back to the very beginning though, to give us an idea of how this talented artist has arrived at this point.
Nikki’s first experience with a keyboard came around the age of 3. Nikki shares “We had a piano at home and I’m told that I came home from nursery one day and played baa baa blacksheep by ear! My mum played, so it’s definitely in the family.” Nikki had a really inspiring teacher at age 4 & this really started her off on her musical career. Because of Mrs Dobson’s (her piano teacher) encouragement & insight into Nikki’s potential, it made for a blossoming start to her musical journey.
Nikki again shares “I started to compose really early on too. I used to play tunes and my mum used to transcribe them & I remember writing songs from the age of 6.”
After shifting to a another town, Nikki’s new teacher wasn’t quite so inspirational, but she took all the classical grades regardless, but her heart was always in composing though & when she got her first basic electronic keyboard at 11, Nikki was totally amazed & used to play it along side her piano. She then bought one where you could layer different tracks & never looked back!………
Niki has always recorded her pieces, from a very young age & was encouraged to do so by her mum (back then on a cassette recorder of course!) She now uses a Mac & Logic pro. Nikki’s only recorded on a computer for the last few years as before that she used workstations. Like many of us with a musical gift, Nikki has dipped her toe in the live music scene using her Korg Triton Extreme or Roland XP60.
Nikki tells what has most recently happened in her musical journey “After many years of composing & not much recognition, I am finally having my music used on the BBC. I’ve always loved the music from Masterchef, so one day I decided to tweet the show & one of the editors saw my tweet, followed the link to Soundcloud and loved my music! I get a huge buzz hearing my music on TV. It is truly amazing! It really gave me a confidence boost, as it was frustrating feeling like my music wasn’t being heard. Now it has, by millions! I would love to get more TV work in the future so fingers crossed!
Words are never enough when it comes to music like Nikki’s, so lets listen to 2 tunes she’s nominated as her favourites. The first one is called “Waiting”. Nikki shared “This tune was written at a very sad time in our lives, waiting for test results to see if our unborn baby was ok, sadly it wasn’t. I started as I usually do ,with improvising on the piano & getting the chords / piano riff. Then building it up from there!
The next tune is called “Bathed in sunlight”. Nikki said ” I like the simplicity in this track, and the good feeling that you get when the drums kick in!”
I’m sure all of you will join with me in wishing Nikki all the best with her endeavours in music & hopefully her dream job of writing for TV or film. Visit her SoundCloud page to hear more tunes like these.