Talk about starting early, Nikki is the 16 years Canadian jazz queen who started making waves as early as 13, with performances at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Jazz Festival in Japan, Avery Fisher Hall she quickly began an instant hit, constantly being compared to Ella Fitzgerald because of her vocal ability.
She has also helped in raising over $10 Million for local, national and international charities.
She also became the youngest-ever jazz signing to a major record label after signing to decca records, A part of Universal Music Group
Not bad for someone that’s only 16 right?
Hi Nikki, thanks for taking time to be on YHP today. How are you doing?
Doing great! Just got home from a 3 week US tour.
How did you get into music at such a young age?
I was always surrounded, I live with a bunch of music lovers and I guess I was always exposed to the good stuff.
Do you do all the writing on your songs?
No, I co-write the songs with various artists like Jesse Harris and Ron Sexsmith or even Randy Bachman
How would you describe your musical style?
Eclectic! I love all genres and try to bring that love to my music and reflect it.
You’ve also been involved in some philanthropy at a young age. What prompted that action?
I think it feels great to give back and help. I'm very aware how lucky I've been and I'm also very aware that not everyone is and although I get the chance to live out my dream everyday of my life, there are children out there who are stuck in the hospital [ambassador for the Montreal Childrens Hospital] or who aren't granted the opportunity to have a musical education [Ambassador for MusiCounts], which is why I feel it necessary to lend them my voice!
How do you cope doing your school work with your music career? It must be exhausting.
Not at all! I go to a really supportive school so they give me my work before I go on the road and I just do it on planes and such.
You are always been compared to Ella Fitzgerald. What are your feelings towards that, does it add any extra pressure?
Nope! I love her and I guess you hear her influence on me when I sing but I'm still my own voice in the end.
You are constantly breaking musical records, the latest being the youngest ever jazz singer signed to a major label. How does it feel?
It feels great! It’s definitely a perk but I never decided to be a singer to break records, just for the love of the music!
You’ll soon be back in the UK promoting your new album. How has the experience been so far?
I LOVE the UK I can't wait to go back and eat some more fish'n'chips!
I know your album comes out in January. What should fans be expecting from the album, what is the message behind the album?
It’s basically a vocal diary, you see who influenced me (through the covers) and how (through the originals).
You have also launched an initiative called jazz for kids. What’s the idea behind this?
Jazz is a great form of art and I think it’s important that it lives on, what better way that to ignite a love for it in a new generation! :)
Now that you’re on the record label as your friend Justin Bieber, should we be expecting any collaboration from the two of you soon?
Never say never... No pun intended haha
Do you have any other projects that you are currently working on?
Always writing and consuming and surrounding myself with opportunities to grow as an artist.
What would you say has been your most memorable moment so far?
All of it, I can't pick one because each moment shapes the next. Every second of this is a learning experience.
What tips would you like to give to young musicians looking for a break-through in the industry?
One of my favourite quotes says it all: "It’s one thing to be on the right track, it’s another thing to just sit there" - Will Rogers. If you really love something and can't see yourself doing anything else, this applies to everything, chase it.
Last words for your fans?
Thank you for your support and keep listening! Peace :)
Nikki Yanofsky performs at the London Jazz Festival on November 12th and 17th so make sure you pen those dates down.
Her album ‘Nikki’ is released on January 10th 2011 in the UK, make sure you support her on the new album and purchase a copy.