Nikki has been blessed with discovering her gifts as a singer/songwriter at a very early age. Her family has always played a major role in her evolution as an artist. In her early childhood, back in Camden, Arkansas, Nikki recalls belting out songs from the likes of Anita Baker & Shirley Murdock, alongside her Mom and creating her own tunes playing around on her grandma’s piano.
At 9 years old, now living in Las Vegas, Nikki’s musical talents would continue to blossom. She, along with her older brother, Ne-Yo, participated in Kids For A Better Society (KFABS), a non-for-profit organization founded by their uncle, Jerry Smith. Here, Nikki received vocal lessons and began performing on stages in front of live audiences.
Nikki went on to continue her musical quest by studying classical music, at the Las Vegas Academy for the Performing Arts. While attending the Academy, she along with two other classmates, formed KNIA, a 3 girl R&B/POP group. Nikki immediately took the spotlight in KNIA, as the lead singer and songwriter. Under the management of Terry Lynn Cason, of C&L Music, KNIA had the opportunity to work alongside other music industry pioneers including songwriting with Quincy Jones Jr. of QD3 Productions and vocal training with Mary Wilson of The Supremes. Nikki along with KNIA have also performed at many live venues including MTV’s “The Cut.”
In 2003, Nikki decided to branch out and take on some independent projects that allowed her songwriting skills and talents to shine with numerous artists in the music industry including: Dr. Dre, Rodney Jerkins, Alonzo Jackson, Tiffany Villarreal (Aftermath), Ne-Yo (Def Jam Recordings), Kurt Farquhar (Farquhar Productions, Inc), and Nina Sky (Universal).
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