ARTS AND CULTURE

NIKKI WHITEHEAD OF NIKKI’S WIVES LEAVES US THIRSTY FOR LEMONADE

Lead Singer Nikki Whitehead Speaks To inFATuated About Finding Her Way Into The Spotlight

By: Fatima Syed

With her boundless charisma and youthful energy, 21-year-old Nikki Whitehead is quickly gaining a name for herself as the frontwoman of Canadian band Nikki’s Wives. Although the rising group itself is on its way to becoming a household name, chances are that you have already heard Whitehead’s powerful vocals. Accompanied by her bandmates, guitarist Dylan Lauzon and drummer Nate Baylor, the blonde powerhouse performed in Toronto at an exclusive listening party at Lee’s Palace earlier this spring. We had a chance to attend the event, where Nikki’s Wives filled the venue with their special brand of eclectic, funky sound. From her journey into the spotlight to the band’s iconic single “Lemonade” to their recent partnership with Canadian duo Loud Luxury, here’s everything to know about this emerging alternative-rock star.

Photo: @nikkiswives on Instagram

Your show had great vibes. What goes through your mind before a performance?

I don’t really have a set ritual before we play- it changes depending on the show. I always try to get away from everyone for half an hour and warm my voice up. It helps me focus my mind and energy before going on stage. I have a bad habit of overthinking before playing, so I usually have all the worst case scenarios running through my head.

Describe what inspired you to pursue music, and why. 

I started singing when I was around six and haven’t stopped since. Music has just been the only thing that’s made sense to me throughout my life. The inspiration came from watching some of my idols on stage and wanting to take their place. 

Who are your favourite artists, and what makes their music memorable and powerful to you?

Currently I’m obsessed with Queen. I usually get super into one or two artists and listen to them until I can’t anymore. Queen has always been a favourite of mine, but I’ve discovered a newfound love for them this year. I love the drama in their music. Every album, they explore different genres while still staying true to Queen. 

What are the biggest challenges of being a young musician?

The biggest challenges I’ve faced being a young musician all stem from being a young female. I’ve been put in situations where older men have made me feel extremely uncomfortable being alone with them. It forced me to grow up quickly and find the courage to tell these guys to f*** off. Now that I’m a bit older, I feel like finding that strength and courage so young helped to define me as a woman. 

Photo: nikkiswives on Instagram

Your single “Lemonade” has INCREDIBLE passion and energy, with a retro feel as well. Tell us more about this song.

“Lemonade” is such a fun song. I loved playing it in Toronto and hearing the crowd sing along. When we were writing it, we wanted to write a social commentary on how ridiculous the world is right now, but have fun while doing it. “Lemonade” isn’t a song that should be taken super seriously, it’s cynical and sarcastic, just like us. 

You also have some other great collabs, such as the song “Show Me” with Loud Luxury. Tell us more about the experience of partnering with Loud Luxury- how was this? 

It was great! We’ve been buddies with Joe and Andrew for a while, so it was nice to work on something creative with them. “Show Me” was great exposure for all of us. Getting 14 million spins on a single has helped open up a ton of doors in the industry for us. Since doing that single with them, “Loud Luxury” has just exploded. It’s been really cool seeing how far they’ve come.

What’s next for you- what can fans expect in the year ahead? 

Our fans can expect LOTS of new material coming their way. On April 19th, we released a new single, “Real Girl”, and another one in May. It’s an exciting time for us and we can’t wait to share this journey with everyone. 

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