Niki Becker
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Niki Becker

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States | SELF

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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"Niki Becker, overcoming stage fright and living for music"

Niki Becker talks about rocker chick inspiration and working out her stage fright. Taking over the stage now with her poetry stemmed lyrics she has found her passion. Read on to learn about Niki, her music and where you can hear/see her next.

Inspired by Rockers at a young age, she is now rocking out on her own.

How long have you been writing music and performing?

I started out writing poetry in my early teens. I remember writing – or attempting to write – my first song when I was about 17, from there I never really stopped. Performing took me many years to work up to. I had massive stage fright, or at least I thought I did, until just over a year ago when I finally took the stage and completely fell in love with it.

When you write a song, is it about the music, the words, does it all come at once or change each time?

Originally it was about the words. I always found lyrics easy to write – and you can write them at any time. Sitting on the bus, at lunch, whenever. I know nothing about music beyond what the chords are on the guitar or piano, so the music has always been more difficult for me. But as I’ve grown, I’ve realized that I don’t really need to stick to some musical formula and I’ve really started to have fun with it and have found the music coming out before the words. It’s become a really interesting new process for me. The song “Saturday Night” on the album was written on a ukulele and I had never picked one up before writing that song. But I was just messing around and came up with the music you hear. It’s very simple, but it’s one of my favorites I think because it’s so simple and because it was the first song I ever wrote on a uke.

Who are your musical influences?

I came of age during the height of “girl rock”. Hole, Liz Phair, PJ Harvey. Those were the ladies I idolized. But playing an electric guitar never felt natural to me. It wasn’t until I picked up an acoustic guitar and heard the likes of Ani Difranco and all of the folks out there like her that I realized what I could do.

Lately, I can’t get enough of The National, Feist, Cloud Cult, Jenny Lewis, Sufjan Stevens, She & Him, I could go on. I really think my next record is going to be way more poppy than this one.

What is your goal in music? What would be enough and what would be your dream?

Originally my goal was to play one of my songs on stage once in my life. And I’ve done that. I’ve exceeded that goal. With each new musical goal I achieve, I feel like I want to do more. Deep down I always knew this is what I would love to do, but I don’t think I realized how much I’d love it.

Ideally, I want to be able to do this as my full-time job. I don’t need to be a millionaire or on the cover of magazines, but if I can replace working at a desk full-time with doing this instead, that would be the dream. Right now, I’m happy that I’m just doing it at all.

What was your most memorable gig and why?

My first “real” show was at a place called Acadia in Minneapolis. It was the first time I was playing at a music venue with a PA and all the works. I was so nervous that I would look like an idiot not knowing where to plug things in and how to do a soundcheck. But it all went smoothly and I think I did pretty well considering.

I recently did a show at 331 Club in Minneapolis. The place is always packed it and was probably the biggest crowd I have played in front of. I was playing with my drummer, which is always fun, and the sound was great and the crowd was great and I just had a blast.

What do you have in the works for 2011?

2011 is all about getting myself out there. I released my album, titled Good, last fall. It’s out at college radio. I want to play as many shows as I can. I’m trying to get some press just so that people know that it is out there. I’m also doing a lot of writing with the hopes that I will get back in the studio to record the next album in early 2012.

My album is available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and Bandcamp. If you’d like a physical copy, you can send an email to nikibeckerinfo.com and we can work out a way to get it to you.

I also have a website (www.nikibecker.com), Twitter (twitter.com/nikibeckermusic), and a Facebook page (facebook.com/nbeckermusic).

I have a few shows coming up. Acadia Café in Minneapolis, MN on Feb. 24th, Turf Club in St. Paul, MN on March 31st, and Keweenawesomefest in Houghton, MI on April 8th. All show dates are posted on my website and I send out event invites via Facebook.
- New York Planet


Discography

LP - "Good" - October 2010 (available on iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon)
"Good" is 11 songs about life, love, loneliness, and leaves. Lyrically driven with plucky acoustic guitars and the occasional ukulele. It's an eclectic mixture of folk, pop, and rock.

EP- "Open to Suggestions" - April 2010 (available by request)

Photos

Bio

Born and raised in Minnesota, I find my inspiration in the cold cold of our winters and high humidity of our summers. I relate to folk music because I want to tell stories. My stories, your stories, sometimes pure fiction. Happy stories, sad stories. All stories.

25 Things

1. I have lived in Minnesota all my life, yet lived in over 20 homes.
2. I was supposed to be born all deformed because my mom was on chemo when she was pregnant with me.
3. My favorite word is: meander.
4. I have a secret guilty pleasure crush on Jason Mraz.
5. I hated sports growing up, but now I love baseball.
6. I think highly of my song writing skills and don't care that you don't.
7. I broke my elbow being chased by a bully in first grade while trying to ride my bike for the first time.
8. I had a dog (a black lab mix) named Jaycer when I was 10 years old.
9. I met my husband at a Halloween party neither of us were supposed to attend.
10. I once had my upper ear pierced, but freaked out and took it out a couple of hours later.
11. I have three tattoos, and I want more.
12. I've had two cats in my life and they both ran away.
13. I went to an "alternative" high school and "graduated" when I was 16.
14. I hate to cook.
15. I like to bake.
16. I am ridiculously impatient.
17. I broke my ankle trying to crawl out of the Apple River on trendy platform sandals.
18. My first job was at Dairy Queen in Jordan. I got fired after 2 days.
19. I have 9 siblings.
20. There is nothing I hate more than having dry skin.
21. I once tried to be a Vet Tech, but almost passed out giving a dog a shot.
22. I fainted in a Snyder's Drug store when I was 11.
23. My first car was a 1986 Pontiac 6000.
24. I won a ribbon in the running high jump in junior high.
25. I do not sing in the shower.