Nicki Richards

Nicki Richards

 New York City, New York, USA
BandR&BSoul

Funky R&B delivered to the masses by a new master. A Diva for a new decade. With all-star special guests (Tower Of Power, Lenny White, Marcus Miller, Will Lee, Joe Sample), "Nicki" fuses powerful songwriting with fresh vision and timeless R&B grooves.

Biography

Nicki Richards is the real deal - a world class singer, songwriter, producer, arranger and performer who brings the sizzle and the thrill back to that rarified realm known as "music beyond category." Born into a household rich in jazz and the gospel of the Primitive Baptist Church, yet raised on the radio of the `70s and `80s - when airwaves overflowed with amazing R&B, rock, pop and dance music - diva Richards delivers a dizzyingly eclectic musical palette to your eardrums. Every composition is hers and she arranged them all in her living room laboratory of beat banks, keyboards, computers and microphones.

Nicki Richards' long-awaited new album is simply titled, Nicki - 17 songs for the 17 years she's been away since her 1991 debut Naked (To the World). It's 76 mind-blowing minutes of the hippest trip in the galaxies aboard Starship Nicki, with guest stars bassists Marcus Miller, Will Lee and Victor Bailey, pianist Joe Sample, the legendary Tower of Power Horns, gargantuan drummer Dennis Chambers, harmonica maverick Gregoire Maret, guitarists Ciro, Sherrod Barnes and Monte Pittman, a sprawling A-list of singers that includes Lisa Fischer, Cindy Mizelle and Nicki's mom Donna Blackmon, and Nicki's rock steady co-producer, mentor and drummer, Mr. Lenny White (of Return to Forever and Twennynine fame). "SHOCK-A-LOCK-A!"

Her sophomore CD reflects not only the sounds of her most lasting influences, but how their timeless masterpieces assisted Nicki in sculpting signature statements all her own. To listen to "I Have Loved You Always" is to imagine Stevie Wonder reconstructing Joni Mitchell's "Two Grey Rooms" while ensconced somewhere deep in the Spanish countryside. Listening to "That Ain't Right" puts you in the mind of Prince teasing, "Dig if you will the picture of Sly Stone having his way with Percy Mayfield's 'Please Send Me Someone to Love.'" The ego strokin� �Say What� finds Nicki recalling nightclub glory days over the beat of Taana Gardner�s bedrock �Heartbeat� groove with a mid-song break straight out of Miles Davis� �So What.� And if you fantasized about what Nicki's CD opener "Let's Dance" might taste like, it would be Tom Browne's "Funkin' for Jamaica" and George Duke's "Reach For It" blended over Krush Groove'd ice with an extract of the GAP Band's supremely chocolaty "Shake." Sip at your own New York funk-fortified risk!

The answer to the obvious first question of why has it been so long since we've heard from �Darling Nicki� is an involved one. Though her debut album was miles ahead of almost every "R&B" CD out at the time, record company turmoil took an unfortunate toll on Nicki the artist, yet freed her up to make an outstanding living as an in-demand A-list session and touring singer for the likes of Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, Lenny Kravitz, Frankie Knuckles, LL Cool J, Anastacia and the Reverend Al Green, to name just a few heavyweights. She married and divorced, saw the world, and lived and loved enough for two lifetimes - memories that fuel her heavily autobiographical Nicki CD...because the artist within her never slept.

"I was living life and figuring out how to make and enjoy music again without someone having the authority to tell me, 'No, you can't do that,'" Nicki shares. "I wanted to express and create music - my own or anyone else's - in a way that was powerful, positive and productive. I was still writing and selling songs to publishers, but as far as me putting it out there, things had just changed."

It was while on the road with Madonna - singing backup with Donna Delory - that Nicki realized she missed the frontline more than she dared admit. "Donna had recorded a CD and was supporting it with gigs while we were on the road. I thought, 'I used to do that...' I'd gotten so caught up in studio work and supporting other artists. It was time for me to turn that focus back on myself. It took me another year before I could pull it together - really carve out the time. Honestly, I also had a little fear. The industry has changed so much... But what I realize now is that it has actually opened up for the better. Artists have less to lose now. So I decided to just go for it!"

That meant holing up in her home studio, sacrificing bright sunny days for a sometimes painful but ultimately cathartic stretch of soul searching and soul-baring. Out poured songs about longing for that one supreme love for the ages, cleansing paeans for clarity and understanding, and anthem-like prayers for humanity following both 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Most important were the songs that found her turning a personal corner to manifest change within herself. "I was ready to take the bull by the horns on all fronts," Nicki says, "and pull my life in a different direction. At first I was going to title the album Things Are Different Now, but it was too much of a mouthful."

Highlights abound on the lady�s new Nicki collect

Lyrics

Bring The Love

Written By: Nicki Richards

BRING THE LOVE --N. RICHARDS

There is a light that shines
It’s here in me and there in you
Though I seem different to your eyes
Better recognize
And there is a tie that binds
To ignore it or run from it
Hurts in ways you’ll never know
That’s never helped us before

Please bring the love
And let it ease the situation
There’s no room for hating on me
When you don’t even know me, come get to know me
And bring the love
We need much more than tolerating
This is our wake up love’s what you make it
I want you to show me, I know you can show me
And bring the love

Where do we go from here
Seems we’ve nothing here in common
So I’ll just try to understand
I’ll stretch out my hand
There is no in-between
There is living with your brothers and there is giving up
Think from your heart

And bring the love
And let it ease the situation
There’s no room for hating on me
When you don’t even know me, come get to know me
And bring the love
We need much more than tolerating
This is our wake up love’s what you make it
I want you to show me, I know you can show me
And bring the love

Bring it, bring it
Bring the love, bring the love
Oh, you know there’s no time to waste

Alpha Centauri

Written By: Nicki Richards

ALPHA CENTAURI --N. RICHARDS

Out on a mission and a starship’s prayer
Virtual lover are you still there
I swear I heard you whispering I swear I felt you near
But the lightness is unbearable and I’ve lost all power to steer
Oh Alpha Centauri, Alpha Centauri
I don’t know how you feel

Arc to Arcturus from Altair
Speed on to Spica you’ll find me there
It seems your love has eluded me for eons, for years
But now I taste you kissing me in the salt of my tears
Oh Alpha Centauri, am I on Alpha Centauri
I don’t know if it’s real

And it’s a long way from here to Procyon
You want it your way, you want me hanging on
You are here, then right before my eyes you disappear…

Alpha Centauri, Alpha Centauri
On Alpha Centauri, on Alpha Cenauri
I don’t know what is real

Out on a mission and a starship’s prayer
Arc to Arcturus please come find me there

Parallel Universe

Written By: Nicki Richards

PARALLEL UNIVERSE --N. RICHARDS

In a parallel universe I’d wake up to see
That it’s you smiling back from the pillow, your arms holding me
Maybe breakfast in bed this morning, eggs pancakes and tea
Then we’d make love again forever and you’d never leave

‘Cause in a parallel universe you love me
And you’re kissing me and holding me, you touch me
Making good love every morning and more love every night
In a parallel universe, in a parallel universe, in a parallel universe, in a parallel universe

In a parallel universe I’d have all I need
And we’d trust and believe in each other
We’d live honestly
Maybe you’d pick me up from the studio
So the whole world could see
Just how much you really want me
You’d want only me

In a parallel universe you love me
And you’re kissing me and holding me, you touch me
Making good love every morning and more love every night
In a parallel universe, in a parallel universe, in a parallel universe, in a parallel universe

We’d live forever, we’d live in peace
No past or future

In a parallel universe you love me
And you’re kissing me and holding me, you touch me
Making good love every morning and more love every night
In a parallel universe, in a parallel universe, in a parallel universe, in a parallel universe

I Have Loved You Always

Written By: Nicki Richards

I HAVE LOVED YOU ALWAYS -N. RICHARDS

I have loved you always
I have waited in vain
I have stood in a tower watching you go by
From my windowpane

I have studied your face
Every glance, every gaze
Every smile etched into my memory
Though you haven’t noticed me

Must I appeal to you
To make me real to you
What can I do to make you come to me
‘Cause I’ve been here for you
I’ve long been here for you
And I have loved you always

Here comes another summer
I dreamt you sent me flowers

Have I lost my last chance
Have you slipped through my hands
If I cast off my fear and foolish pride
Would that make you see who I am

And if I sing to you
Winter and spring to you
Could I get through to you
Would you run to me
‘Cause I believe in you
I still believe in you
And I have loved you always

La la la, oh oh whoa , la la la….

‘Cause I believe in you
I still believe in you
And I have loved you always
I have loved you always

Here comes another summer
Come show me all the flowers

Lawdy

Written By: Nicki Richards

LAWDY --N. RICHARDS

I am crying anguished tears
Storms have left me with nothing here
Broken planet, poisoned air
Called for angels but there’s no one there, Oh Lord

What am I s’posed to do - please send down a message
What am I s’posed to learn - feels like too hard a lesson
How am I s’posed to live - please show me the way
I can’t stay where I am, I’m too close to the edge

See I’m lonely and I’m hurting
I’m crying Lawdy
Got me down here on my knees
Can’t you see I’m lonely, feel deserted
I’m crying Lawdy
Please don’t abandon me, I’m cryin’

I’ve been trying to no avail
They say you’re love never fails
If you’re listening to my prayer
We need a miracle in the midst of this despair, Oh Lord

What am I s’posed to do - please send down a message
What am I s’posed to learn - this is too hard a lesson
How am I s’posed to live - please show me the way
I can’t stay where I am, I’m too close to the edge

See I’m lonely and I’m hurting
I’m crying Lawdy
Got me down here on my knees
Can’t you see I’m lonely, feel deserted
I’m crying Lawdy
Please don’t abandon me, I’m cryin’

There’s nothing else for me to do Oh Lord
Hear my frustration, I’m cryin’ out for you

Seems to be some confusion ‘cross the land
‘Bout who’s in control of your master plan
When natural disasters are made by man
Called for angels help me understand

See I’m lonely and I’m hurting
I’m crying Lawdy
Got me down here on my knees
Can’t you see I’m lonely, feel deserted
I’m crying Lawdy
Please don’t abandon me
Can’t you see I’m lonely lonely and I’m hurting
I’m crying Lawdy
Got me down here on my knees
Can’t you see I’m lonely, feel deserted
I’m crying Lawdy
Please don’t abandon me, I’m cryin’

Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawdy
Down here on my knees I’m cryin’
Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawdy
Don’t abandon me, I’m cryin’

Things Are Different Now

Written By: Nicki Richards

THINGS ARE DIFFERENT NOW -Nicki Richards

Woke up one morning, deep introspection
Looked in the mirror, made hard decisions
There comes a time in every life
A time to make some changes
I put my foot down and got to steppin'
It feels so good now to learn the lesson
And nothing's like it was before
I've done some rearranging

Things are different now
I've made my turn around
A brand new song, I'm so much stronger
Rockin' harder now
I'm struttin' lately, I'm motivated
So when you see me I just thought you oughtta know

Got my eyes wide open and I, I'm seeing clearer
Makin' better choices, shakin' off my fear
And I will never be the same
I'm just not the same girl
You must've noticed all the, the ways I'm better
How I've invested in what really matters
And now there is no turning back
I have made some changes

Things are different now
I've made my turn around
A brand new song, I'm so much stronger
Rockin' harder now
I'm struttin' lately, I'm motivated
So when you see me I just thought you oughtta know

Didn't you catch the waves I ride
Wearin' me a deeper vibe
'Cause I know I'm inside the most powerful time of my life
Of my life

Things are different now
I've made my turn around
A brand new song, I'm so much stronger
Rockin' harder now
I'm struttin' lately, I'm motivated
So when you see me I just thought you oughtta know

Say What

Written By: Nicki Richards

SAY WHAT -Nicki Richards

Folks talkin' in my face
They study my ways
They wanna know what clothes I wear
Lipstick on my face
I jump up on a cloud, say it out loud
When you love the skin you're in
Ain't nothin' but a thang

They can say, say what they want about me (say what)
They're askin' all the questions
I tell 'em my answer
I'm just doin' my thing
They can say what they want
I'm-a do what I do
Just doin' my, just doin' my, just doin' my thing

I'd like to give them all the 411
There's a love that's personal
And you can't please everyone
You got to ride on the strength
Let them say what they wanna say
I'm gonna do what I've got to do
Ain't gon' let nothin' stand in my way
I'm on the move and this is my day

They can say, say what they want about me (say what)
They're askin' all the questions
I tell 'em my answer I'm just doin' my thing
They can say what they want
I'm-a do what I do
Just doin' my, just doin' my, just doin' my thing

When we step in the club
You know you're hangin' with the masters
Come and show me some love
I wanna see you dancin'
Then I jump on the stage
I rock the mic until it's smokin'
Blow a kiss when I'm done
'Cause I'm the number one, I'm the number one
I'm the Number One Stunna

And everybody knows I'm a winner
Don't take no mess I do what I wanna do
I finally got it made
I finally found a way
It's in the way I'm walkin'
It's in the way I'm talkin', baby
I got brass in pocket
Ain't nothin' gonna stop me

Let them say, say what they want about me (say what)
Don't make no difference
Let me tell you my answer
Just doin' my thing
I say what I want, say what I need
Say what's on my mind
So now whatcha gon' do
Stand up for what you want
Say what you need
Don't let nothin' stop ya
Let 'em say what, say what

That Ain't Right

Written By: Nicki Richards

That Ain't Right -N. Richards

In my hotel room this morning
Everything seemed out of place
Didn’t have your love around me, no
And I’m not feeling well this way
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, mmm
Is the order of the day
Save me from this isolation
A little kiss is all it takes, so

Please bring me some love I can feel
I don’t want to spend these nights on my own
I’m all alone and you know that ain’t right
Please bring me some love right away
I don’t want to suffer here on my own
I’m all alone and you know that ain’t right
Something’s wrong and you know that ain’t right

Don’t want to talk to just anybody
But I want this loneliness to end
I’ve got all this love inside me, yeah
And it don’t make no kind of sense, ooh
I just need a little huggin’
Won’t you come give me a taste
All these words they don’t mean nothin’
When I’m all by myself this way, so

Please bring me some love I can feel
I don’t want to spend these nights on my own
I’m all alone and you know that ain’t right
Please bring me some love right away
I don’t want to suffer here on my own
I’m all alone and you know that ain’t right
Something’s wrong and you know that ain’t right

Happening To Me Again

Written By: Nicki Richards

HAPPENING TO ME AGAIN -N. Richards

No tears left inside me
Just open page for writing
I’ll start again, say to myself
Start again

I’ll keep my heart from danger
I’ll hide from Mother Nature
And I’ll be safe, I tell myself
From the storm

But oh no, you blindside me, here you come again
How’d I end up here in your arms again
Your kisses fall, they’re falling down like rain
Can’t stop you from happening to me again
Happening to me again
You’re happening to me

My body has betrayed me
The enemy’s engaged me
I try to stop the avalanche
And the flood

But oh no, you blindside me, here you come again
How’d I end up here in these arms again
Your kisses fall, they’re falling down like rain
Can’t stop you from happening to me again
It’s no use, here you come again
How’d I end up here in your arms again
Your kisses fall, they’re falling down like rain
Can’t stop you from happening to me again
You’re happening to me again
Keep happening to me

Who let down my guard?
And who silenced the alarms?
If I could think more clearly
I would tear myself away
But it’s much too late
I am opening
Yes it feels so good
This is wrong for me

But your love sidelined me, here you come again
How’d I end up here in these arms again
Your kisses fall, they’re falling down like rain
Can’t stop you from happening to me again
It’s no use, here you come again
How’d I end up here in your arms again
Your kisses fall, they’re falling down like rain
Can’t stop you from happening to me again
You’re happening to me again
Keep happening to me

Who let down my guard? (happening to me again)
And who silenced the alarms? (happening to me)
If I could think more clearly (here you come again)
I would tear myself away (happening)
But it’s much too late
I am opening
But it’s much too late
I am opening

Discography

Naked (To The World)
Nicki