That Nikki You Know takes a Jill Scott classic to heart in her new single and lyric video Love Rain — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The second release from the Montreal-based artist’s home-recorded debut album Memories, Love Rain gracefully and confidently walks the line between spoken-word poetry, soul and jazz — all set against a sparse electro backdrop anchored by a beat generated on the website typedrummer.com.
“Users can type anything into a text box that attaches a sound to each letter and loops that sound,” That Nikki You Know explains. “I found this added not only a musical element, but another layer of meaning as well. All of the beats in this album were formed by typing thematically linked words into that box.
“Memories is a compilation of poems I have performed at slams over the years as a way of encapsulating that time. It is by no means an exhaustive digest, but a curated set of poetry and sound.”
Her own spoken-word memories begin with her first poetry slam, which she still recalls vividly. “It was in a basement art gallery with dirt floors and a smoking room in the back. Crammed into that tiny space, we yelled and cheered and screamed late into the night. Judges scored poems that brought us to incomparable places and it culminated in a reggae dance party. I attended several more before setting it aside in favour of my studies.
“Years later, after my first band dissolved, I followed my heart to a writer’s open mic. I read my poetry and was encouraged to perform at the slam. My first slam piece was Under My Skin. It remains one of the most striking poems in my repertoire.”
Since then, she has performed at The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, Eden Mills Writer’s Festival, Hillside Music Festival, Slamtario, 100 Mile Riot, Strummer Fest and POP MTL. From Victoria to Halifax, That Nikki You Know has performed her original music and poetry under a variety of names and with a variety of projects. She has facilitated workshops with Rock Camp For Girls MTL to help vocalists find their voice and continues to find her own voice as it evolves, shifts and grows.