Interview with Monique Nikkole

Written by Divine Magazine

Monique Nikkole was born and raised in Canarsie Brooklyn and started singing at the tender age of two. No matter where she was, she was singing. Monique would participate in local talent shows sporadically through her youth and also sang in school and church choir.

With over 20 years of entrepreneurial, business, and professional acumen, Monique Nikkole is a vocalist with a sincere interest in the music industry and has used her spare time to work with rising stars and artists seeking fame and entertainment fortune via her companies. She embodies a unique ability to ferret out and appreciate raw talent; represented via the eclectic and eccentric music from the street and beyond. Monique has finally decided to stand front stage and use all of her music knowledge to catapult her new venture as a “new artist”. Having this continued involvement within her music companies has kept her ear to the street, and her finger pressed firmly on the pulse of the music industry. Monique has worked in multiple capacities within the music business but her true raw talent kept pushing to the surface and has finally erupted! They say the best investment made is in yourself! Here comes Monique Nikkole!

Getting to know Monique

What would be a good theme song for your life?

“I’m Every Women” This song is definitely a awesome description of me! There’s so many sides to me. I worked many years in law, music, I’m a fitness junkie, marathoner X2, business owner, singer songwriter, concert promoter and a family women, just to name a few. I do it all with Gods grace!

If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?

I would tell the younger me, you’re as beast! There’s isn’t anything you can’t do! Be confident in your God given gifts and cultivate them! Be patient it will come to you. You’re more beautiful then you know…inside and out.

If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?

I’m a worrier, I tend to overthink situations. Ive been a work in progress as far as this character flaw goes. I’m such a perfectionist that I worry about fine details a lot, probably more then I should. I’m trying to do better with this.

Would you rather be the one in a movie who gets the hero/heroine or the baddie with all the good lines?

Ha! I’m definitely the baddie lol! I have a smart mouth and a lot of one liners ha! My mouth can be sharp at times, with a comedic edge.

If you had to describe yourself as a flavor, what would it be?

LOL! Definitely chocolate. I’m a walking chocolate bar… I love good chocolate candy as well! Chocolate is my favorite.

Photo by Errick Lewis

If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

Humm that’s a hard question! If I was sing my classic R&B I would love to open for Stephanie Mills, Gladys Knight or Jennifer Hudson. If I was doing a contemporary R&B set, it would be Teddy Riley and both his groups Guy and Blackstreet. It would be pretty awesome to open for Bruno Mars and Beyoncé too!

What would you be doing right now if it weren’t for your music career?

I would be focused on owning a few very successful companies. One would be a multipurpose event space, where I could have a state of the art music stage for intimate live performances and the other side would be open space to rent, for all types of events and filming projects. I Would be investing into more real estate and Airbnb. I would own a transportation company as well. Although I sing, these are some of the other endeavors I wish to accomplish and I will!

In your opinion, how do artists in this industry stay on top of the game when faced with so much competition? What’s the secret to making yourself noticed? 

I think an artist shouldn’t worry about competition. Focus on yourself. Practice and polish your skills daily. Work on being the best YOU possible. The less energy and time you put into watching your “competition” the more time you have to invest in your craft! Sometimes as artists we worry about not being as talented as our counterparts, but the truth is, sometimes it’s not about that, it’s about your work ethic! If you believe in yourself and outwork everyone else, you will win! An artist should push themselves and compete with the person they were yesterday, to be the best future self they can be today!

What is your top two favorite albums of all time? Why those albums?

“Talking Book” by Stevie Wonder and “Rapture” by Anita Baker.

“Talking Book” is one of the greatest body of works ever! Every song sounds different, but the entire vibe is so cohesive.. So many treatments, so eclectic! His choice of cords, some of which I have never heard before. It’s R&B brilliantly infused with jazz and funk.. my God! It just never gets old. My favorite song on this body of work is “You And I”. It’s sung in a very difficult key for a female, F Major with a key change! Just outstanding!

Rapture by Anita Baker came along and changed the sound of R&B. Her throaty chest and air filed vocals with that rasp! The quality of her voice and style weren’t like anything heard before. That was it for me! In my opinion she coined Smooth Jazz! It’s still one the best body of works today. From “Sweet Love” to my favorite “You Bring me Joy” and “Rapture”! I actually remade a hip hop  remake of Rapture!

Are you creative in other disciplines?

Actually yes! I love to design. Fashion is a huge part of my makeup. I draw designs and have them created for me. I also have an eye for putting pieces together. I won’t wear anything that doesn’t feel good when I put it on. I know right away if an outfit works. Most times I style myself.

On May 7th Monique released her new single Red Bottoms And Lingerie.

“Red Bottoms And Lingerie” is a pivotal song for Monique Nikkole. A lot different from her classic R&B/Jazz roots and her first release Say Yes! that put her on the map. This song was presented to her by her manager Michael Stemley. It was written by Ray Lavender and produced by C Scott / JHott Scott. Monique loved it and viewed it as a challenge! It was a total style flip. Short choppy cadence, more of “today’s” R&B sound. Monique, being the enigma that she is, did exactly what she always does. Made it her own and put her stamp on…letting her signature adlibs shine. The original version for this song dropped in January and has enjoyed early success!

The dance promo video was amazing displaying Monique Nikkole and her dancers sexy choreography!! The visuals were amazing! It was a great way to introduce her new sound to the world!

“Red Bottoms and Lingerie” is featuring Lil Flip out of Houston Texas. This heavy hitter wrote an inane verse that definitely put his stamp on it. The chemistry between Monique Nikkole and Lil Flip is electric on this track

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