Interview: "Lotus" - Nikki Era
‘Lotus’ is so fun and upbeat, I have had it on repeat ever since hearing it! What did the songwriting process look like for this track?
Nikki: Thanks so much! It really is such a fun song but ironically it came from a really challenging place! I was going through a tough time personally and professionally and I had a lot of negative energy around me. I kept imagining this version of myself that was confident, unapologetic, and secure in her womanhood. I wrote this song from her perspective and in that way, it helped me become her.
I love how the music video has a mother nature aspect to match the lyrics! What is one of your favorite memories of shooting the video?
Nikki: This video was truly such an amazing experience. The director, Austin Nunes, really took care of me and the vision from the first conversation to the last take. I knew I had to feel safe to shoot such intimate scenes and to really go into this idea of divine feminine energy. Mother Nature is something we often refer to as relating to physical nature and the elements but in a way it’s also just the ‘nature’ of growth, of power, of transformation within ourselves. I really wanted to embody that. I asked my friend and stylist Davey Matthew if he thought he could create a piece of hair that could serve as an entire costume and as he was sending me photos I knew he had done it in such a beautiful way! Attaching that hair and figuring out its placement was one of my fave moments! We actually had to hang it on a clothes rack while we attached it lol.
You have written with multiple different artists and companies. Was there a particular experience that stood out to you from these collaborations?
Nikki: I think songwriting as practice and songwriting as profession can be very different, but I truly love them both. I think writing with JoJo Siwa was probably one of the coolest moments for me. At the time, my mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer again and I was feeling super down and lost. I met JoJo and she was so full of life, so confident, so sure. When JoJo said she wanted to write a song telling her fans to D.R.E.A.M. I almost felt like it was a message I needed, too. Luckily, my mom ended up being ok. I needed that hope at the time so I’m grateful.
Do you have a favorite performance you have done? Or a city you particularly enjoyed performing in?
Nikki: My favorite performance is always the last performance I’ve done! Putting together a show is such an evolution in itself. I love seeing it grow and change as more things go into place. The last show in New York we did was really the full concept of what I wanted when I started putting together the MEGA show. The instrumentalists, the track elements, the dancers, the look. It went from being an idea to a reality and it was in such a welcoming space (QUEERANTINE TOUR). I can’t wait to perform it in every city!
What made you decide to draw inspiration from the 80s and 90s for this era of your music?
Nikki: It kind of just happened accidentally. I was writing a lot with other artists. I was confused about who I was and what message I wanted to explore. A producer friend of mine that goes by BIG HOS was in his studio creating this very 80s kick and snare pattern and I just started singing a melody. That song would kind of start this whole evolution (Fantasy Boy). It started my idea of calling myself Nikki Era and permission to stop pressuring myself to choose anything. I decided at that point that I would just create in different ‘eras’ and I would let them happen organically. I surrounded myself with talented producers (Anthony Mirabella and Nate Simon) who happen to be my best friends and I started to play with more 80s production elements and vocal styles. It just felt right. It felt fun. I just trusted that feeling and I trusted them.
Are there any upcoming projects you could talk about?
Nikki: For now, we are just super focused on bringing this live show to its full formation. In truth, I finished this album going into 2019! I released singles slowly on purpose so I could really build a relationship with the people listening and give myself space to create without any pressure. But now I’m anxious to perform it as much as possible because as a writer it’s hard to stop writing. The next era has definitely started to emerge.
Interviewed By Kendall Koval