A new and upcoming talent to come out of Essex. Nicki Shakes showed her interest in the arts at a young age. She attended Rhodes Theatre School, where she got her first taste of the spotlight. Experienced with not only performing, but Nicki Sakes also turned her hand to music and writing at the age of fourteen, arming herself with the guitar to aid her learning and creativity.
Being exposed to the ever many styles, genres, and origins that music has to offer, Nicki honed her skills and musicality by entering into the world of producing. Focusing on original music that turns heads, Nicki Shakes is showing us a side of herself that we can’t wait to see more of.
Since the release of her new album, ‘Rise,’ is upon us. We take it back to 2019 when Nicki Shakes debuted one of her lead singles from the project titled “Band of Gypsies.” This grippingly raw single was the first of two lead singles to be debuted, and it caused quite the stir, the first being of an Indie Radio Station in Norway and an online magazine featured Reignland.
The smooth elements that shift between sounds of traditional folk tunes and the enticing sounds of a modern wave of Country, “Band of Gypsies,” tours us through a poignant offering that Nicki Shakes delves into with her enigmatic charm. Your attention is drawn towards the mid-tempo zest, with the instrumentation jumping out of the speakers as it accompanies Nicki Shakes chilling timbres in the massive leap. Transitioning in the notes illuminated in her wide-vocal range, Nicki Shakes allows listeners to feel a sense of escape and empowerment with the messaging in “Band of Gypsies.”
The lyrical motif, “We’ll keep running with our band of gypsies, living to be free souls,” triumphantly resonates in our minds as we soak in the victorious performance that holds Nicki Shakes at a new level of artistry. Her full-length album ‘Rise’ is available now, and with ten tracks showcased, there is a little something for everyone.
Congratulations on the release of your album ‘Rise,’ which features the lead single, “Band of Gypsies.” What encouraged you to make this the lead single from the project back in 2019?
Thank you. I guess the punchiness of the whole song made me feel like it would be a great start. It has the country sound to it but also mixed with pop undertones making it a little more mainstream than other songs on the album. It felt right to lead with Band of Gypsies other than any other on the album.
Where did inspiration strike for the message heard in this song?
The inspiration for the song comes from the love I have and receive from my close friends and family. It’s basically my love song to them. I’m not very materialistic and although I have nice things, some expensive, some not, as long as I have people around me, who I know, I can rely on and they can rely on me, then I’m happy. The title, however, came in a completely different way. There’s a clothing label called ‘Band of Gypsies’ who I bought a top from and thought this would be a cool lyric in a song. Little did I know that it would eventually become the lead single from Rise.
What are you hoping that listeners take away from the full body of work with, ‘Rise?'
I’m hoping that listeners take away several messages from Rise. The main one is about mental health and how you’re not alone. ‘Long Way to Go’ is about my own personal struggle with mental health but it is also the underlying subject of ‘I need a drink’ which is about drinking away those inner demons and ‘Keep Running’ which is about choosing who you want to be but you still feel like you need to run from others who disagree. I’m hoping that listeners can also relate to the songs. For example ’Bruised’, although it’s a simple piano ballad, it's about heartbreak and being hurt by a loved one. ‘Pedestal’ is another, where a relationship is coming to its end but you know you’ll still care for that person. The album's title track ‘Rise’ is the one that I hope most people will feel and take away the message that no matter what you’ve been through or are going through, you will still come out the other end.
Do you have any personal favorites that reside on the album?
My ultimate favorite on the album is ‘Pedestal’. I actually wrote it whilst I was making the album. For me it was a healing song, as someone I was very close with was getting further and further away. It really hurt me as there wasn’t any real reason other than our paths were on different courses. So ‘Pedestal’ was my way of telling them that it’s ok, we may not be as close but I’ll still care for them in my heart. Other favorites include Rise, Band of Gypsies and I Need a Drink. They’re the songs I find myself singing in day-to-day life.
What has been keeping you inspired to create music?
Day-to-day life and revisiting experiences and emotions are the things that have kept me inspired. I love to tell a story through music or share my feelings through it and when that inspires someone else or touches them in a personal way, it’s the best feeling in the world and I will carry on doing it for as long as I can.