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Get To Know Nikki Jean – A Nouveau Riche Girl With a Lupe Fiasco Cosign

Artist:  Nikki JeanLocation: St. Paul, MinnesotaInfluences: Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Laura NyroWhy You Should Know Nikki Jean:After opening for John Legend, getting free studio time with The Roots, and blogging daily for nearly a year, it turns out the biggest move Nikki Jean ever made was to simply answer the telephone.Not knowing that a seemingly random phone call from Lupe Fiasco would lead to several tracks on his album The Cool or the tour that followed. Most recently, she is appearing alongside Lupe on the Glow in the Dark Tour with Kanye West.Her potential is evident, but with a cosigner this well respected, Nikki Jean is poised to begin her career as an artist, and thanks to her blog we get to watch it all as it happens.Nikki Jean’s guest appearances on Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” and “Little Weapon” are gaining her fans and opening up many new doors for the artist. Her dramatic yet subdued style instantly enhances both songs.However, until recently she has performed most often with a band based out of Philadelphia. For Nikki Jean, being part of a larger group is well within her comfort zone. She is the lead singer of the group, Nouveau Riche, which is comprised of five performers, instrumentalists and writers.“The band is named Nouveau Riche. It means newly rich in French. We prescribe to a philosophy that states that being truly rich is living a rich full life. In that way we are rich. It is our new way of defining wealth, thus Nouveau Riche. The band consists of Dice Raw, Khari Mateen, Dominic Angelella, Joe Baldacci and myself.” The band combines the concise lyrics of Dice Raw, a long-time affiliate of the Roots with Nikki Jean’s soft and raspy vocals over guitar riffs and live drums. On “Wait a Minute” the two give opposing sides of becoming interested in someone new (Lyric: “All you know about me is the way my jeans fit”).Their views are mediated by a neutral chorus, and somehow each side still walks away a winner. This occurs again on “Just A Little Louder”, a debate over sexual frustrations and “Save Me.” Their contrast is perfect and the band is quickly gaining popularity with a broad spectrum of fans. Much of their success is due to Nikki Jean’s guest appearances and constant push forward. In the future she hopes to further challenge herself by having a solo release, something that is sure to excite all of her fans.“I haven’t had much opportunity to sing solo, always with my band or lately with Lupe. I think performing with different people, and by myself, allows me to build different muscles and express different sides of myself.”The beautiful singer will have her chance to express them all, with the support that is building around her efforts.  The response to her at shows is phenomenal, even to those who may have previously been unaware of her presence. It is human curiosity that makes people stare at her in awe, and the same potential that Lupe Fiasco and others have seen shines through.    “I feel so blessed and I am greatly appreciative of this opportunity. It is mind boggling to think of the sheer number of people who have heard my work at this point, even if it is just a little piece. It’s an immense honor.”The same drive and humility that has gotten Nikki this far will carry her throughout the rest of her promising career. She still replies to almost all of her fan mail and messages, proving that no matter how quickly things are changing, she has yet to forget those that are helping her to achieve her dreams. Get familiar with Nikki Jean, her music, her light and her energy will have you convinced that she is a sincere artist that truly deserves all of her future success.   For music, show dates, and more information on Nikki Jean and Nouveau Riche: http://www.myspace.com/thenikkijeanproject

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