Monday, October 12, 2009

Nikki & Rich

This week’s new artist is hot off the presses. Nikki & Rich is a brand new duo that just signed with Warner Bros. Records. They had only their second show together last Thursday at The Viper Room in Hollywood and I was invited to attend. I was enticed with free admission and open bar to celebrate the duo’s signing and I happily attended.

Nikki & Rich are comprised of Nikki Leonti, a pastor’s daughter from California, and Rich Velonskis, who goes by Rich Skillz, from Queens, New York. Rich is a former DJ and hip-hop/R&B producer who has produced tracks for Robin Thicke, Ludacris and several others. Nikki on the other hand was working out of Nashville as a background singer for Carrie Underwood. Rich was looking to do something different with his music and found Nikki in 2007 to collaborate as the vocals to his tracks.

So what happens when you pair Rich’s DJ/Remixing/Producing skills with Nikki’s strong vocals? Something that sounds like the Supremes, a little Amy Winehouse and a touch of the Black Eyed Peas. Music that will make you want to shimmy and shake, do the mashed potato and the Beyonce booty shake all at the same time.

At their show last Thursday I knew I was in for a treat when the three back up singers came out all wearing the same vintage gold dress and matching black wigs. Rich started out with some beats and a beautiful woman in black came out and began dancing on the stage to welcome Nikki up. The backing track for “Heatwave” started up, a few choreographed moves and Nikki appeared dazzling a short white sequined dress and high heels. Everyone on stage had great energy, the music was great and the spirits in the room were high thanks to the open bar.

Nikki & Rich have taken the great sounds from 40 years ago and made them contemporary without being just a tribute group. They have already had several tracks featured on Entourage and the new 90210 so this new duo is on their way to be a huge success. Their single “Cat & Mouse” is available on iTunes and you can hear two other tracks on Their debut album is due out in 2010 and I’ll keep you all updated on the release. Hope you all enjoyed this brand new group. I thought we could use a little music that gets the body moving since the cold weather is setting in.

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