Sometimes I sit down and think about how terrifying it must be for people (Artists) who constantly put themselves out there for criticism, hoping to learn and grow from the exposure. We live in the world of Anonymous, where anything can be said from anyone online all in the light of opinions.
So for me, when someone decides to jump into the mouth of the shark, there are always something to learn from them.
I decided to sit down with one of YouTube’s very best, Nike Jemiyo as we spoke about her journey as an independent singer/songwriter, the opportunities from posting covers on YouTube, Criticisms and handling them.
Hi Nike, Great to have you on YHP, How are you doing today?
I'm great thanks!!
Can you quickly give us some background information about yourself?
I'm a singer – songwriter and pianist born and raised in London who is absolutely in love with music! Who isn't, lol?
So how did you get into the whole music thing?
Well I've always sung in choirs from a young age. I started going to a classical music school when I was 15 where I had piano lessons and first started songwriting and performing so music has always been a huge part of my life.
Why did you decide to start posting your videos especially covers on YouTube?
Because a friend held a gun to my head and made me do it! (Jokes) But it was a friend who convinced me to! It was quite an emotional moment when he sat me down and told me that he thought I was wasting my talent. (I had let music take a bit of a back set because I was scared of failing). He said that he wanted to help me get myself out there and suggested posting covers on youtube - so I did!
Talking about YouTube, they are so many artists that have been bombarded by abuse through comments, how do you handle that, I have seen a lot of people that have either closed their YouTube account or chosen not to post cover at all.
I've been very fortunate as I haven't really had too many negative comments and I rarely get the chance to read them because my fans are amazing and bombard them with unlikes which make them disappear! I do welcome constructive criticism though and it only make you stronger.
I can see you have an ever-increasing number of supporters, how instrumental has social media been in helping you build a presence and showcase your musical talent, especially building a fan base online?
Hugely! Youtube is really where it all started for me in terms of getting exposure and building a fanbase which has now migrated to Facebook and Twitter. Using social media has really helped me build relationships with my fans, it's so cool being able to chat to them on a regular basis and get their opinion of my music!
Can you remember how it felt posting your first cover on YouTube; you were practically opening yourself to the world?
I was soooo nervous. You can tell that just by watching the video!!! I remember being anxious about what people would say about my voice and what I looked like. I can't explain my relief and shock when the comments were really encouraging!
How effective has YouTube and other tools been on your career, tell us some of the opportunities that’s it’s given you?
Other than building a fanbase, it has opened opportunities for interviews, live gigs and pulled in interest from songwriters, producers, management companies and record labels!
Who are your musical influences?
This question is so hard, because there are so many! Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Whitney Housten, Kirk Franklin, Ryan Tedder, Beyonce to name a few...
What sets you apart from other artists in your genre?
What makes me different is my love for the piano and the feel it brings to my music. I feel at home when it's me and keys.
Who do you get inspiration from or wish to emulate in music and life?
Stevie Wonder's musicianship is incredible, Christina Aguilera's vocal sensational, Beyonce's stage presence captivating and Michael Jackson efforts to raise awareness is truly inspiration! But there are so many people who have inspired me along the way, family , friends, people that have truly shown love and a desire to see change.
Who were your favourite musicians as a child?
Michael Jackson was definitely my number one favourite! My mum always tells the story of the time when I would disappear from her side while we were shopping and finding me dancing in front of a TV that he has was on!
How often and for how long do you practice?
Hmm...I should practice a lot more than I do. I have weekly rehearsals with my band. I would ideally like to practice piano and my vocals for an hour each day. That doesn't happen.. :(
Share some of your worst experiences, especially some failures you’ve had starting up and how you have managed to bounce back from it even stronger?
I remember one gig when I first started performing on the live scene I was really really really nervous. Apparently I looked petrified. Anyway I was the last act on the night (no pressure) and I was singing a pretty tough song by Christina Aguilera. I got the bridge and to my dismay my voice cracked. (NOT THE ONE) Anyway I wanted the ground to swallow me up and couldn't get off the stage quick enough.
After that I started taking footage of myself performing and using it to work on my performance, I got a vocal coach to help and constantly asked for constructive feedback. Now – I can't wait to get up on stage!
What has been your most memorable moment so far since starting on your journey?
It has to be the first gig that I put on for my fans last July. It was the first time that I performed in front of a crowd that already knew and loved what I'm about which is special place to be for an artist. It's a night I'll never forget.
What is the best and worst part about being a musician?
For me the best is being the position where you can inspire people with music. It is a privilege and hugely rewarding. Unfortunately it can often be a thickle industry where you're loved one minute and not the next - you're constantly trying to prove yourself as good enough.
Do you do music full-time?
Yes and it's great! I finally have the time I need to develop myself as an artist to focus on writing music
How do you balance your music with other obligations –family, job?
I use google calender, it's awesome, lol. More seriously, I guess I try and do a bit of everything each week. So I have family time, some evenings to catch up with my friends and scheduled in session work and well as songwriting each week – which seems to be working so far.
What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous, especially posting covers on YouTube?
Be aware that there are people out there who may give unconstructive comments but continue to be yourself because no-one can do you better than you.
What are your musical plans for the year ahead?
Well at the moment I am writing with some very talented songwriters and producers with the intention of getting a product together to take to major labels and get signed. Let's hope that these plans become reality!
Thanks for your time Nike.
Latest Cover: Lil wayne - How to Love
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