Always think of the outcome and its effects in the long run — nowadays everything that we do leaves a digital trace so artists really need to think through what kind of image they are creating and is it authentic. I recently watched the Norwegian artist Angelina Jordan who starts singing jazz at the age of 3. She’s really sincere in what she does, I love her.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Lina Nikol.
Contemporary, soulful and funky sounds, combined with distinctive female vocals and catchy vocal runs with a true RnB vibe. Singer-songwriter Lina Nikol likes to write from her own personal experience. Every story is authentic and comes from the heart. She never felt like she “belonged” to a specific genre or sound. Her music is a blend of old — school R&B and new, modern influences, sounds and production techniques. Her latest highlights include guest appearance on BBC Radio In-Sessions, duet song with the amazing soul artist Frank McComb and reviews from outlets such as “You Know I Got Soul” and “Soultracks”.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/0b58492dd0dc0d792e50ea8e7b03e41e
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I had an amazing but a bit of an unusual childhood. Since both of my parents are musicians who traveled a lot, I grew up in so many different places but mainly in Norway. I was pretty much homeschooled until fourth grade so that I could be with my parents. Spending hours in a car, moving from one location to another was normal for me. Music has been a constant in my life since day one.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I was little, I would fall asleep on some couch, waiting for my parents to end their performance so that we would go back to the hotel room. I didn’t want to go to bed early, I wanted to listen to them and it was a problem sometimes, I guess, haha. When we traveled, I loved to go to record stores and buy a bunch of CDs. That’s how I started listening to Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, BoyzIIMen, Babyface and many more. So I just wanted to sing more and more.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
The “most interesting” hasn’t been written yet, but I’m sure it will soon. I really can’t think of something super special right now.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I don’t know if it’s the funniest but one time me and the band had to perform at a special private event and during one of the songs the drummer had a part where he was rapping. While we were rehearsing everything was good but at the event, I forgot about that part and I just went blank. At some point I look to the left and right, and both the bass player and guitar player are coming closer to me with some dance moves and everyone is shouting “mic, drummer, give him the mic”. It was pretty hilarious at the moment.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I actually just finished working on my upcoming album “Who I Am”. The collaborations with so many talented musicians and producers have really inspired me. My next exciting project is shooting “Live video sessions” of songs from the album. Can’t wait to work on the live arrangements and see how it goes.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I am an artist and being creative, unique, different is in the core of what I do. We wouldn’t be where we are in the world if it weren’t for individuality and thinking outside the box, so diversity is important to keep us moving forward. And it’s so important now to learn how to be more understanding and respectful. We need this in the world.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
5 is a lot, but I’ll try.
1. Preparation is key — sometimes when enthusiasm kicks in, we tend to overlook the details but that’s really important.
2. Always think of the outcome and its effects in the long run — nowadays everything that we do leaves a digital trace so artists really need to think through what kind of image they are creating and is it authentic. I recently watched the Norwegian artist Angelina Jordan who starts singing jazz at the age of 3. She’s really sincere in what she does, I love her.
3. Hard work pays off — I’ve stumbled across the internet in ads like “learn how to sing in a week”. Kids and teens should know that investing time in practice is important, never underestimate it. Getting good at your craft will pay off in the long run, because it may look like someone made it overnight just because they posted a cover on YouTube, but don’t just rely on looks — talent, practice, and consistently learning will pay off. There are many examples I can think of, but let’s say Tori Kelly. She made her first EPs at home. That’s actually something I didn’t need to be reminded of, I always had the craving to learn more.
4. Be patient — that’s a really tough one, but things happen when they should and if something hasn’t happened yet, then maybe you’re not prepared for it.
5. Trust your gut feeling — people will always have an opinion but don’t lean to someone else’s vision if you’re not 100% sure. I’ve been told so many times what I should and should not do, but with time you learn to say “no” and you learn to protect your own vision and identity.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
There are two things that have really helped me. First one is my morning ritual. My day doesn’t start before meditation, visualisation and words of gratitude. I need my 10–15 minutes of total isolation so that I can be effective during the day. The second thing is to detach myself from the phone whenever I can, especially if I need to be really present in what I’m doing. Sometimes I would just leave the phone somewhere I can’t see it, so that it doesn’t distract me.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I love the idea of the “Pay it forward” movement. If everyone was involved in a movement like this — helping out strangers or certain communities on a regular basis, I think the world would definitely become a better place.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mom has been the most inspiring person in my life. She has been there for me every step of the way, no matter what. The most valuable thing I learned from her is that there are no boundaries in life. Working hard and believing in yourself can go a long way. She would keep telling me “dream big” and even when life was not so great, she would make sure I’m protected and could thrive.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Dream big” — I really am a big dreamer and a visualiser. Recently a really close friend of mine told me to make a “vision board” of the things I want to achieve. Waking up and looking at that vision board makes my morning coffee taste much better.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
There are so many, not just one. But the first person that came to mind — Clive Davis. I mean, his career path in the music industry, oh my god.
How can our readers follow you online?
They can follow me on Instagram: @linanikolofficial
Also, check out music on my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/LinaNikolMusic
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!