We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikkie I and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nikkie, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
It’s honestly a combination of motivation, passion, and results. Sometimes you invest all your time, energy, and even capital into something, and you’re not getting the results you want. You want to work harder, dig your nails deeper into it. When the stress outweighs the original passion for the project, or when the outcome is not linear to the investment, that’s when you may want to temporarily (or not) throw in the towel. Your time and energy is the most valuable thing you have. Protect it. Money flows in and out. You can’t get time back. Take a break, explore other options, and come back when your mind is clear, and the passion and original motives feel authentic again.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been writing songs since I was 9 years old. Writing has always been a form of therapy for me and a way to process and express big feelings that are often times very complex. I started playing guitar when I was 11 and piano when I was 12. I released my first full body of work, “Puppeteer” in 2018, the Friday after my high school class graduated (I graduated a semester early, and did not walk with my class. I used “Puppeteer” as a way to celebrate that milestone in my life). In 2020, during the height of COVID quarantines and post quarantine isolation, I worked remotely with Portuguese singer/songwriter/producer Ines Fernandes on my second LP, “Idle Teen”. While “Puppeteer” was from the hopeful perspective of a 14-17 year old, “Idle Teen” is a little more jaded. Still youthful. Still hopeful. Just more mature, with more life experience. The path to what success I’ve had in music has definitely been full of trial and error. You can do all the research you want on marketing techniques, watch the greats and emulate them, and you’re still not guaranteed anything. Ultimately, the thing that has kept me going is my love of the craft. I genuinely enjoy what I do and hope what I create impacts others the same way my favorite musicians have impacted me. As an independent artist (no label, no manager, no publicist. Just me wearing all the different hats.), I’ve found joy in analytics and statistics. I’ve learned to enjoy seeing how different target ads work. I love figuring out who my audience is, what their favorite songs of mine are, which aspects of my music they enjoy, what other artists they’re listening to, etc etc. Sometimes it’s about the little things.
I am currently on a brief hiatus from music to purse other creative endeavors, however expect more projects from me (music or otherwise) in the next year or so. In the meantime, you can find “Puppeteer” and “Idle Teen” on all your favorite streaming platforms.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
While shoutout is based in Phoenix, I am actually based out of Tucson (two hours south.) My itinerary with my out of state friends does actually include a little bit more traveling as well.
Tucson has some of the best Mexican food in the United States. While most people fight over if California or Tex-Mex is the best, I firmly believe that Tucson Mexican food is the most superior. Some of my favorite Mexican food places in Tucson include Nico’s, Guadalajara Grill, and Boca Tacos (which was featured on Food Network’s Chopped a few years back). Along with that, stopping by local chain fast-food place Eeegees is high on my list. (I grew up on their fries, ranch, and house dressing.)
For day time activities, I absolutely love a good arcade. Tucson has Funtastics (more geared towards children, but still enjoyable for those just aging out of their teen years.), Round One (definitely geared towards adults), and Dave & Busters. Other day time city activities include the Sonoran Desert Museum, Old Tucson, and hiking A Mountain, or Catalina State Park.
Outside of the city there’s Mount Lemmon and day tripping to Bisbee and Tombstone.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people who have supported me in my creative journey. First and foremost would be my mom. From encouraging me to try whatever I was interested in, to investing to make sure I had the highest end equipment, to showing up for performances, I wouldn’t be anywhere near the person and artist I am today without her and her support. I would also like to thank the artists that came before me, and those who are just now making a name for themselves who have found unique ways to inspire me. From Taylor Swift (who I am very lucky to say I have thanked face to face for inspiring me), to Fall Out Boy, to Halsey, and even Lil Nas X, and Megan Thee Stallion, these musicians have been doing their thing and their art continues to inspire. Finally, I am thankful for anyone who has taken the time to listen to my music. Even if they didn’t end up liking it, they still took the time to listen, and give me a chance. That’s all I can ask for.
Other: Idle Teen (Official YouTube playlist): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?app=desktop&list=OLAK5uy_lAVJ9Bwp_RMqnFl-5UQ3szsfov0nJfa3Y Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0mUqsyfGhPlbRQftxSrH5k Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/nikkie-i/1350959762
Images 1-2 (Outside, green shirt): Elijah Bia//Kaged Media Image 3 (Action shot, pink dress): Maya R. Image 4-5 (Balloons & Elf photos): Etica (@ladyhush_)