Five Questions With That Nikki You Know

Ottawa-born, Montreal-based artist, That Nikki You Know has unveiled a lyric video for her brand new single, “Love Rain” from the album, Memories released on September 19, 2019.

“Memories is a compilation of poems I have performed at slams over the years as a way of encapsulating that time. It is by no means an exhaustive digest, but a curated set of poetry and sound.”

Check out the lyric video for “Love Rain” below and find out more about That Nikki You Know via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello Readers! My name is Nikki and now that we’re introduced, I’m That Nikki You Know. I’ve been performing for years in a variety of musical and poetic projects across the country. You may have seen me at POPMontreal, Hillside Music Festival, The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, VIA Rail as an Artist On Board or maybe in your local bar. I’m a friendly Gemini, popping up everywhere and doing all the things.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

My new LP, “Memories”, is my first official release as That Nikki You Know and includes pieces that I’ve performed at poetry slams across the country, primarily in Guelph and Montreal. I recorded the vocals first for most of the tracks so they retain the feel of a live slam. Once the vocals were recorded, I went to, which is a website I used in the past to generate beats for live performances (with the creator’s blessing), and typed in words that were thematically linked to each track. I love that the beats have their own hidden meaning, adding a layer of significance to the piece. Then, I threw in some broken synth and PRESTO! AN LP IS BORN!

Joking aside, I write from experience. These tracks were written any time I was feeling something that I needed to write out. I find poetry to be a precise medium for self expression because you aren’t tied to rigid standards of communication. You can show an image, or use a tone or a particular cadence to illustrate your meaning. It’s like dreaming. Whatever way your thought comes to you is a valid way you can express it.

Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?

When I perform live, it is a profoundly emotional experience. My writing tends to come from the most vulnerable and often hurting parts of me, and everyone can feel it from the  moment I start. Even the noisiest of bars tend to fall silent when I start my performances. The connection between myself and the audience is paramount. I open myself up completely and the audience always reciprocates. It really is the closest thing to magic I’ve ever experienced.

I have no performances set in stone yet, though, if the stars align, I may be making an appearance at this year’s Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. It is being hosted in Guelph, a scene I am intimately connected to, and I’ve been asked to help with the festival. Beyond that, I have been taking a break from live performances but if this LP strikes a chord with enough listeners, I might start performing these tracks live again. Maybe even a tour! That would be fun.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be? 

This is the hardest question you could ask me. I usually recommend songs based on what the person needs to hear. I had such a hard time narrowing down singles! Having said that, I recently released a music video for Love Rain and would definitely recommend checking it out.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

There are so many amazing Canadian bands! I go to see my friends a lot in Montreal so I would definitely recommend checking out The Leanover, Clerel Djamen and Frisco Lee. When I was living in Guelph, Run With The Kittens played at The Jimmy Jazz every month and I totally went every month. They’re amazing! I’ve also been revisiting July Talk, Partner and Weaves. I especially would recommend checking out the collaboration between Weaves and Tanya Tagaq, entitled Scream.

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