Nikki Hill: Overnight superstar and blues master
The rock ‘n’ roll songbird will perform at Roots N Blues on Friday.
When: 9:45 p.m. Friday Where: Shelter Insurance Stage
Nikki Hill is new to the music scene. She’s still in her first year of touring, yet has performed all over Europe and in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
The 28-year-old rock ‘n’ roll singer’s experience with music centered around listening to what her older sisters and her parents listened.
“I heard a lot of Creedence Clearwater (Revival), a lot of Little Richard and a lot of Otis Redding,” Hill says. “Once I became a teenager, I started getting into rock ‘n’ roll and into American roots music and started researching a lot of that on my own. I became a huge music nerd, and I’ve been one ever since.”
It wasn’t until Hill’s guitar-playing husband, Matt, came along that music became her way of life. Ironically, when she originally met Matt, she says she had a thing against dating musicians.
She says when they were dating she sang along to what he played on his guitar. She also played some gigs with him on bass and vocals. When they got married, she says things really took off.
“He was really encouraging of it and thought the sound was great and thought it was something we could do something really cool with,” Hill says. “A little bit after that we started working out songs, and the next thing you know I’m doing a gig and another gig and another gig and recording and more gigs. It’s such a funny thing how quickly it happened.”
Hill says her love of rock ‘n’ roll music means she has a soft spot for old-school dive bar venues, but many of her shows are at roots festivals around the country and the world. (She’s even played at a blues festival in Norway.)
“The fun of performing in front of thousands of people — nothing replaces that,” she says. “We’ve played over 20 festivals this summer.”
And despite working harder than she ever has, she says she feels lucky to have her career be something that’s also one of her passions.
“I’ve always had the opinion that a musical career is really more of a calling,” she says. “It chooses you more than you choose it a lot of times.”