Nikki & Rich To Give Fans Everything This Summer
Nikki & Rich will release their debut album, entitled Everything, this summer on Reprise Records. An eclectic, genre-defying debut, Everything truly lives up to its title by taking inspiration from pop, soul, hip-hop, R&B, and classic '60s girl groups and blending it all together to create a truly unique sound.
Nikki Leonti's sassy, high-stepping vocals are bolstered throughout by Rich Velonskis' combination of hard-hitting, radio-ready beats, programmed keyboard flourishes, and live instrumentation.
The first single is the swaggering "Next Best Thing," which the duo performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on April 15th. The song can also be heard in the promos for ABC's new show Romantically Challenged as well as on VH-1's Tough Love Couples. The video premiered on the Ellen show's website.
Other highlights include the soulful "Same Kind of Man," the doo-wop inspired "Cat & Mouse" (which was heard in the season premiere of the CW network's 90210), and the playful "Dreaming" (which will be used in the opening title credits of Fox Searchlight's summer film Just Wright). Digital bonus track "Money Chaser" was featured on the July season premiere of HBO's Entourage). Then there's the gospel-infused "Yellow Brick Road," the cinematic-sounding "Take The Lead," the timelessly elegant love song "Everything," the epic R&B ballad "Never Again," and the sultry "Kryptonite" (which will be used in VH-1's new show Basketball Wives).
"We didn't want to make a tribute record to past artists and have it sound like something that came out 40 years ago," Velonskis says. "We wanted to take the spirit and greatness of those times and bring them into the present day, and I think the way it's produced and the style of our writing bear that out. The album we've made sounds contemporary, not like a doo-wop throwback."
Lyrically, Leonti says the songs draw on the everyday things people deal with. "Some of it is personal to me, some of it isn't," she says, "but I think the subject matter — like someone cheating, making bad choices in relationships, or trying to win someone over — are things that a lot of people can relate to."
Leonti is a Corona, CA-born pastor's daughter and former Christian music artist who grew up singing in church, while Velonskis is a Queens, NY-born former DJ and established hip-hop/R&B producer who got his start spinning in New York City clubs as a teenager. These two seemingly opposite characters first met in 2007 while Leonti was based in Nashville working as a background singer for Carrie Underwood. Velonskis was in Los Angeles producing tracks for Eve, Robin Thicke, Mario, and Ludacris, under his moniker Rich Skillz. (A track he produced on Ludacris' No. 1 album Release Therapy earned Velonskis a "Best Rap Album" Grammy.) Velonskis was looking for a strong vocalist and lyricist to collaborate with and take his tracks to the next level and he found her in Leonti. The two began working together in December 2008, writing and recording Everything up in Velonskis' Hollywood Hills home studio.
The track-listing for Nikki & Rich's Everything is as follows:
Next Best Thing
Cat & Mouse
Take The Lead
Same Kind of Man
Yellow Brick Road
On the Run
Money Chaser (Digital Bonus Track)
Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCdpnxf3rY8.
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