Nicki Kris

Discuss your composition and melody.

“Heartbeat” is a moody, synth pop, adult alternative rock song with a Madonna-like melody and a vocal performance that echoes Stevie Nicks while sounding totally authentic.  The electronics give the track an 80’s flare and the harmonies elevate the cut above a typical pop track.

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State the name of your producer and elaborate on the song.

My producer and also co-writer of the song is Kevin McNoldy.  “Heartbeat” is the follow-on to last summer’s smash hit “Captain America”, and the 2nd single off my upcoming album with the same title scheduled for release, summer 2018. “Heartbeat” takes a very different approach yet continues the story line introduced with Captain America around the continuous 24-hour-a-day turmoil surrounding the current US Commander In Chief, the various sexual misconduct scandals, and how there is never an opportunity to come up for air before another international “embarrassment” occurs.

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Discuss the lyrics of the song.

“Heartbeat” ’s lyrics were specifically written to evoke feelings of being frustrated and defeated especially in the verses and chorus.  We wanted to emulate the emotions that many people across the US and the world were feeling around the continuous news stories and Twitter storms brought on by the comments and actions of the current US President as well as #MeToo and #TimesUp as evident in the words “Caught up in your riptide, feels like I’m being buried alive” and “I’m a hostage to your greed”.  That “what now” feeling.  Despite its negative viewpoint, the song does have a hopeful message, as sung in the bridge: “I’ve got to fight through the fear, things are not how they appear, and I’ve got the truth on my side. You are not winning the war, cause I can take this and more, and I will make this right again.”  So, although each day has us dealing with more bad news, lies, manipulations, and distortions, there will always be hope, and love will always win.

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Elaborate on your music career. 

I’ve been active in the music biz for the past 7 years, but I’ve been singing, performing, and writing since I was in my teens.  I actually had my first live performance when I was 6. Commercially, things started to pick up after I released my first single, “My Christmas Wish” in 2011 and subsequent debut album, “I Come Alive”, in 2013.  Both releases went on to achieve radio success, and several tracks from I Come Alive made the 1st round ballot for the Grammy Awards, and were featured in TV shows such as Lifetime’s Dance Moms, The View, and MTV as well as several songwriting awards.  A year after “I Come Alive”, I released my EP – “Dream Big” an Americana/Country influenced EP. The songs from Dream Big received radio play worldwide, earned some more 1st round ballot placements for the Grammy Awards and were again featured in TV shows and songwriting contests globally.

 

Since the EPs release in 2014, I’ve been heavily focused on building my musical network as well as targeting more sync placements in film and TV.  I’ve thrown in a few performances over the past couple of years along with releasing several more singles including the song “Picture Yourself” which was the closing credits song for the award winning Indie Film, “Mother”, by ASD Media and Entertainment.

 

Mid last year, I released “Captain America”, the first single off my upcoming album due this summer.  The song, a patriotic Pop Rock anthem has really taken on a life of its own.  It has over 850,000 SoundCloud streams, been nominated for a HMMA award and also made the 1st round ballot for the 60th Grammy Awards in multiple categories.  It’s really been a wonderful experience seeing how much of an impact this song has had throughout the world.  We just followed up, “Captain America” with the title track from the Album, “Heartbeat” in January, released right before the 60th Grammy Awards.  I think this song really shows how much more mature my song writing has gotten over the years and moves me into my ‘comfort zone’ in terms of genre, if I really had to pick one.

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Brief us on how you are reaching fans with your music.

I’m pretty active on social media or at least I try to be.  I generally use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook the most.  Having my music on “Dance Moms” has been a big fan boost.  I still gain fans daily because they’ve watched the show or found a video on YouTube.  It’s quite surreal.  I also keep fans up-to-date with a newsletter from time to time.  Though I’m pretty bad about keeping on a schedule to send them out.  Being a music fan myself I like to get updates from time to time, but not so much that you feel like you’re getting spammed.  I tend to do the same and only send out updates when I have news to share that I think my fans would be interested in.  With the new album slated to come out this summer, I’ll be sending them out more.  I also plan to add in some shows to promote the album, something I really haven’t done in the past.  I hope the fans are as excited about that as I am.
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Discuss your motive behind making music. 

Music has been a part of me for as long as I can remember.  I’ve always had the urge to sing and perform even at a very young age and spent most of my childhood and middle school years trying to find any opportunity to do just that.  But it was really when I started High School that I started to dream about being a full-time musician.  Although things didn’t initially work out as planned, when I decided to really give the music scene a shot in 2011 after many years of being silent, I felt born again.  It was like I finally found the missing piece of the puzzle.  Everything happens for a reason and while I sometimes say, ‘what if’, I know that this is where I’m supposed to be at this place in time, regardless of how long it took me to get where I am today.

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Discuss your lyrics and songwriting. 

I try and have some type of message or at least tell a story with my lyrics.  It’s important to me that the listener can relate and I’m not afraid to be descriptive with my lyrics to make a point.  My songwriting process isn’t that unique.  Everyone has some type of general process that works for them.  Lately I’ve been using a lot of current events as inspiration for my writing, but I also often use songwriting prompts, such as listening to some of my favorite bands, books, random topics, etc.  I do tend to binge write, in that sometimes I’ll write and compose 4-5 songs in a short period of time and then I won’t write again for days or even weeks.  I don’t have a preference of having a melody first or lyrics first.  It’s really whatever moves me at the moment.

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Elaborate on your work and achievement so far in your music career. 

I’ve been very fortunate to have achieved moderate success in a short period of time.  My first album paved the way for TV and film sync placements as well as multiple first round ballot placements.  To date, I’ve had at least one ballot placement each year since I’ve been active and now I am also a voting member of the Recording Academy.  There aren’t many people that can say that and for that I am very grateful.  I’ve also been able to have my music played on radio stations worldwide.  It’s really a fabulous feeling when you look up who is streaming your music and you see fans from all over the world.  Aside from the aforementioned accomplishments, I’ve also been able to participate in multiple songwriting contests and awards and have even won one or two.

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Tell us your opinion on using rhymes dictionary or writing software to develop lyrics.

I’m a fan and in fact happen to use one on a regular basis.  I often use mine for inspiration or a jump start when I’m stuck on a word or phrase that I just can’t get right.  It’s been an enormous help.
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Discuss the music industry.

The music industry is on the verge of a catastrophic change. While we still see major labels and big names, I think music fans are getting bored and the current content is getting stale.  I don’t see a lot of uniqueness among the top artists today and I think the fans are starting to notice.  With so many streaming options and the ability for anyone to create and post a song, I think the possibilities are endless for artists like me.  I believe you’ll see more artists start to manage their own careers and releases and the labels will begin to fade out.  I’m not quite sold yet on only streaming music, as I do think some fans still want to purchase CDs and MP3s.  It’s possible vinyl could continue to make a comeback, or another media form could emerge.  Regardless, if streaming is the big winner down the road, there needs to be changes at the legislation level in order to provide fair compensation across all streaming sites as the current pay rates devalue the music in my opinion.  We’ve made some progress over the past year or so, but there is still a long way to go.

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Elaborate on how you prepare yourself for a recording session.

It depends on the agenda for the day.  I’m very bad about warming up my voice.  If I know I have multiple tracks to cut I will spend at least 30 minutes warming up with various vocal exercises and light song work.  I do like to drink warm water with honey and I keep a stash of Ricolas on hand. If I’m tracking a song that requires a little more power or has a lot of high notes, I may warm up at the studio by doing a couple of takes in lieu of doing it ahead of time.  I always have a bottle of water during my tracking sessions to keep hydrated.
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Brief us on your preference in terms of tempo as in up-tempo, mid-tempo or slow tempo.

In the past I think I tended to lean more towards slow-tempo ballads, however I’ve been very conscience to make sure that I write songs in each tempo for variety purposes and to push myself.  Mid-tempo is probably my comfort zone with up-tempo being my least favorite; however I’m working on improving that.

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Discuss your shows or live performance.

Fun, sing along, good ole fashioned concert without a bunch of fluff that all ages can attend.  I’m not a big fan of big productions so I tend to keep things more simple and intimate.

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Share your press release and reviews with us.

“Heartbeat” was a special release ahead of my up-coming album scheduled for this summer.  We’ll be doing a full press release at that time.  Here’s a recent review of the song from Dylan’s Music Corner:

 

Dylans Music Corner

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Send a message across to your fans and supporters.

I can’t thank you enough for your continued support and encouragement.  You are the reason why I continue to create and release new music.  You are all my “Superheroes” and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you, so THANK YOU!!!

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Discuss the story line of the song.

Plain and simple it’s about trying not to drown in all of the negativity that is going on in the news and media surrounding the US Commander in Chief and various turmoil going on around the world today whether it is political, sexual, human rights or whatever.  It also sends a message of hope and encouragement that we need to continue to stay strong and fight for our humanity during this time of uncertainty.

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Tell us what makes this song unique from others.

The production and song structure are very different than what is currently being played on commercial radio today. This is a little challenging as a lot of radio stations aren’t quite sure where to put the track in their programming, but very refreshing to those that are listening to it.

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Tell us the theme of most of your compositions. 

Usually I try to have multiple different themes, whether it is love, heartbreak, passion, etc.   Lately, I’ve been focused on more meaningful themes such as equality, empowerment, encouragement, and acceptance.

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Tell us the official date of release. 

My 3rd album “Heartbeat” will be out Summer 2018 – no official date has been set.

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State the links to your social media and stores.

 

Website

 

Twitter

 

Facebook

 

YouTube

 

Instagram

 

Soundcloud

 

iTunes

 

CD Baby

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