“One of the city’s finest new talents…..one to watch….. a no-nonsense, defiant voice of the sisterhood” – Manchester Evening News
"Nikki walks the tightrope between the catchiness of pop and the freshness of R'n'B brilliantly” – BBC Radio.
While others took the safe route of sixth-form and university, Nikki was already working hard building the foundation of her music career as a singer, songwriter, performer and musician. Already an accomplished keyboard player, Nikki began to combine her love of writing music with words at age 13. Performing at charity events and school competitions around her home town of Manchester, UK, Nikki got a taste of the thrill of performing live. Studying at City College, she learned about the music industry, and was encouraged to start writing and recording her own songs, which she did, in her home studio, a.k.a. her bedroom! This proved fruitful, producing songs like “Jealousy” and “Here For A Good Time”. These and more self-penned songs like the dreamy “Flowers Candy” and the no-nonsense “Quite Frankly”, created a buzz on MySpace.
“Soulless X” – rhythmic advice to the lovelorn – Nikki’s first single and video, is now available at iTunes, etc. The massive I?radio network is featuring Soulless X on their NEW channel, and none other than Maroon 5 recently added the track to their I?radio channel. The Manchester Evening News calls “Soulless X” "A strutting, strident slice of pop-R&B brilliance”. Nikki’s debut EP will be released in 2012, produced by Andy Ross, a Mercury Prize nominee.
Fellow Mancunians Kid British asked her to work with them on “We’ve Been Far”, an edgy track mixing her soulful voice with catchy raps. This helped start a following on the Manchester scene. Gigs in London and Manchester have seen Nikki develop her storytelling and expressive vocal skills, creating a unique sound. She appeared on “In The City” in 2010, and gigs regularly in London. On a visit to Los Angeles to meet with her new management team, she performed an amazing showcase acoustic set at the House of Blues Hollywood. Her style has been referred to as ‘Amy Winehouse meets Lily Allen’, a description she’s very proud of, citing Rihanna, Beyoncé and Dusty Springfield as additional influences. Nikki is young, beautiful, and soft-spoken, but don’t let that fool you. Nikki is sharp and insightful and it shows in her lyrics and vocal style.
Nikki has been featured on BBC Radio Manchester, BBC 1XTRA Home Grown, Rinse FM, Gaydio FM, breaklondon.co.uk, and BBC Manchester Introducing. URB magazine included Nikki in the ‘Next 1000’ and she was named “Artist of the Fortnight” in the Unsigned Guide in 2011. She headlined the Bandstand Stage at the Wireless Festival, and knocked it out of the park at a coveted spot at Manchester Pride festival’s Big Weekend. October saw Nikki perform her hero’s songs at a sold-out Amy Winehouse Tribute show at Matt & Phred’s Jazz Club, and on December 3rd, Nikki performed at the London O2 “December Sessions”, an exciting three week event featuring the best new talent. Nikki was highlighted as one of the key participants in Music Week’s “Pick of the Week”. People are taking notice! Nikki is on a mission to “bring pop back to Manchester”, then conquer the world!
Nikki, on vocal singing my own songs. I play keyboards, but like to avoid it on stage! Maybe a guitarist and drummer or full band. Depends.
"Soulless X" single available at iTunes, amazon, etc.
"Jealousy", "Here For A Good Time", "SoullessX", "Rocky", on iheartradio.com, BBC Radio, gaydio FM, dejavu.fm UK indie104.com
1 2 Watch - Nikki Garnett
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Who is the real Nikki Garnett? After seeing her performance at Stand 4 Something: More than Lipgloss...Who is the real Nikki Garnett? After seeing her performance at Stand 4 Something: More than Lipgloss, I thought it was a must for our In-spireLS readers to find out more about our latest 1 2 watch feature, and to find out what is in the pipeline for this talented singer and song writer. Nikki Garnett has been singing from the age of 13 and has graced many audiences with her unique, soulful vocals.
From reading your interesting bio, I see you have been singing from an early age. How did you realise that singing was a part of your life?
I have always been singing, even as a little girl. At school, I started learning keyboards and it was just a natural progression to start singing along.
You are not only a singer, but additionally a successful songwriter. How important is it for you to be able to sing songs that you have written and where do you get your inspiration to write your songs, such as, “Jealousy” and “Here for a Good Time”?
I love the creative side of song writing. Taking a beat, adding the melody, then the words, before recording the whole thing. Therefore, writing and performing my own songs is very important to me. In fact, it’s fine if someone else wants to perform my songs; I just love to see them fly.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, but pretty much my life and experiences. It’s funny to see people and realise that they don’t know that they are involved in the lyrics in some way – sometimes a major way! ‘Jealousy’ was about a friends’ (male) girlfriend who got the wrong idea about our relationship. ‘Here For A Good Time’ was when all my friends were going off to University and their Mums’ were talking about what their kids were doing and asking my Mum what I was up to. It just wasn’t for me that whole University bit, because I wanted to do the music thing; so naturally I wrote a song about it.
Throughout your singing career, your distinctive sound has been compared to the likes of Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen. Who, if any, would you say has influenced you musically?
Certainly Amy Winehouse, but also Beyonce, Rihanna and Jessie J. I never stop being inspired by musical talent. A whole raft of people and genres really, old and new. I just love music.
In your hometown of Manchester, England, you have built up a name throughout the music industry. Recently, BBC Manchester has hailed you as “The Manchester Soultress”. With so much competition out there, how did you manage to get your name and music out within the mainstream market?
Hard work contacting people, sending out CDs and press packs; emails; researching who is who through the internet and books like ‘The Unsigned Guide’. In addition, my manager Lil Gary in Los Angeles has been hugely supportive. At the end of the day, you just have to get off your butt and work what you can.
What advice would you give to any upcoming acts, trying to make a name for themselves?
See above – work hard and keep away from a bad attitude; no one has to help you in the early days! Get good management and be careful who you trust. Try to write your own stuff if you can (to set you apart); and enjoy it!
I’m sure throughout carving out your career; you have experienced many ups and downs. What has been the highlight of your career to date and how has it led you towards more opportunities and helped you to breakdown certain barriers?
I could choose from quite a few things, but I think realising I can write my own material and being approached by Lil to manage me are two of the biggest. Performing at ‘The House Of Blues’ on Sunset in LA was pretty special. Also, interest from the BBC and being played on air is a real up-lifter. Oh and of course this interview, without support like this, I wouldn’t be able to reach out to new people.
What can we expect from Nikki Garnett throughout 2011?
Lots of new songs are coming through, so studio time; I have a collaboration with a big name producer in the US happening at the moment. Also, I have a new three-piece band backing me now, so we are in to rehearsals and then doing gigs. Supporting a tour and maybe a few Festivals are top of my list this year, so fingers crossed.
Where can our In-spireLS readers follow you and listen to your latest music?
W| Interview by LaToya Kadesha I| Courtesy of Nikki Garnett -All Rights Reserved
What BBC think:
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"Nikki walks the tightrope between the catchiness of pop and the freshness of R'n'B brilliantly. Her..."Nikki walks the tightrope between the catchiness of pop and the freshness of R'n'B brilliantly. Her tracks may be rough around the edges in terms of recording but the slick songwriting that lies within them shines out, especially in the addictive Jealousy. A few more as funky as that and she could well find she has a few big offers of help to get her music 'out there'."
Wireless Festival 2011 reviews, lineup
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The United Kingdom’s newest import is Pop & B diva Nikki. At just 20, the young Brit has made a name...The United Kingdom’s newest import is Pop & B diva Nikki. At just 20, the young Brit has made a name for herself by combining the best of Duffy and Lily Allen into a cannon of sonic serenity—chock full of love ballads and high falsettos. Nikki’s sound is distinct—it’s a post-modern mash-up of soul, R&B, contemporary jazz, and pop. The South Manchester native’s tracks “Jealousy” and “Here For A Good Time” have received considerable radio time across the pond, and prove she’s ready for her close up. Translation: Nikki’s sound pops with pleasure—and the industry is better for it.
Singer/Songwriter Nikki Garnett arrives at the Tunnel of Love Party
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Singer/Songwriter Nikki Garnett arrives at the British Heart Foundation 'Tunnel of Love' party, at V...Singer/Songwriter Nikki Garnett arrives at the British Heart Foundation 'Tunnel of Love' party, at Victoria House, in Holborn, central London. 17/05/2011
BBC Radio Manchester
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“She’s been impressing us here in Manchester for quiet a while, but it seems the Nikki Garnett bug i...“She’s been impressing us here in Manchester for quiet a while, but it seems the Nikki Garnett bug is spreading like wild fire” – Natalie-Eve Williams/BBC Radio Manchester
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" ... singer songwriter who delivers a fresh soulful edge on R&B. This young woman is nothing short..." ... singer songwriter who delivers a fresh soulful edge on R&B. This young woman is nothing short of passionate about music and determined to be successful. OUR FAVOURITE SONG: BUTTERFLIES."
BBC Radio Introducing
Playing 1st play by Nikki Garnett 'Soulless' - sounds amazing! 25 April 2010
House Of Blues, Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles
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I photographed a really fine performance the other night at the House of Blues on Sunset. Nikki Garn...I photographed a really fine performance the other night at the House of Blues on Sunset. Nikki Garnett, a singer-songwriter from South Manchester, has been likened to Lily Allen, but she really has a voice all her own. You can listen to her music on her myspace page.
Strummerville - Free Track Download
Check out the above link to Strummerville for a review and free MP3 download. ENJOY!!!!
BBC Radio May 2010
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“BBC Manchester are Huge fans of Nikki Garnett” BBC Radio “She has got one hell of a voice may I ...“BBC Manchester are Huge fans of Nikki Garnett” BBC Radio
“She has got one hell of a voice may I add, she is Miss Nikki Garnett” BBC Radio
“Gorgeous looking girl only 22 years old, she’s all quaff, beautiful blonde hair ... very sweet, and she’s just got this really amazing voice.” BBC Radio
"I think big things are going to be happening for her over the next 12 months” BBC Radio
“The talent first and formost when I heard Nikki’s stuff, her voice is just sort of breathtaking” BBC Radio
Lab Records comments on BBC Radio Manchester May 2010
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"She’s a very talented young lady” Lab Records “Great to see a singer/songwriter from Manchester ..."She’s a very talented young lady” Lab Records
“Great to see a singer/songwriter from Manchester can be getting that recognition a long way from home” Lab Records
Dublin Castle, Camden, london
NIKKI GARNETT- Poppy r n b a la Beyonce meets Lilly Allen and something of Amy Winehouse.
Up to a 60-minute set which is a continuous and well-constructed presentation of my compositions, plus select covers. Current set includes "Jealousy", "Quite Frankly", "Flowers Candy", "Soulless X" . "Kissed My Boy", and "Hit the Road, Jack" as the cover.
Backing band varies but is usually a DJ (Joe Grime), rapper, drums, bass, keyboards and guitar. Depends on the booking.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.