Nikki's Wives press photo 2019

Nikki’s Wives: Freshly Squeezed Tunes

Tried to resist a lemonade pun but we both know that I’m not that strong. I saw Nikki’s Wives play a set at Lee’s Palace this spring and the room was packed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen people from so many different segments of the Toronto music scene all in the same room before like that. But the band put on such a high energy show and I constantly find myself thinking back to it.

The main song I knew going into the event was “Lemonade”, which was a great way to get introduced to the band… but holy hell, “Real Girl” is absolutely where it’s at. The perfect combination of catchy pop music with a spooky, unsettling atmosphere that spices it up. Anything involving music box tunes automatically create a specific feeling that I love.

The band has been hard at work on brand new music, a ton of covers, and gearing up for what the rest of this year has to offer. Luckily, I caught them for a few minutes to chat about it all before they launch into the stratosphere. You can read our interview below!

I saw y’all play Lee’s Palace not too long ago and I loved your energy live. What’s one of your favourite shows that you’ve ever played?

I mean, Lee’s was pretty sick, like that’s definitely up there. It was like a big homecoming. But one of the coolest ones, I think, was the first show we ever did with Cee Lo Green… ’cause it was on a weird cruise ship that went around Manhattan. We parked under the Statue of Liberty and played a set. It was our first show on our first big tour, so it was just this big, crazy emotional moment with such an iconic backdrop behind us. It was pretty wild.

That’s amazing. Out of all the answers I expected to hear, I did not expect that. That’s really cool. The music definitely fits that vibe. I know you’ve been recording music in the house you’ve been renting. Should we expect more like what we’ve already heard?

Right now, we’re actually working on some covers to drop that are like… cool and creepy cinematic covers of earlier pop songs. We’ve got a little summer cover series we’re going to be putting out, and then we’re dropping an EP in the fall. So we’re super excited about that! I think the vibe is going to stick with a lot of the stuff we did in Toronto because a bunch of that is still unreleased. So it’ll be seeing the light of day over the next couple of months. 

I really like what I’ve heard so far and I love the idea of you guys covering other songs, just because I feel like they would be as fun as your original music. So thinking about other artists, who are some that are currently inspiring you?

We all listen to all kinds of different music. I’m into like a big UK punk phase, so I’m listening to a lot of IDLES and Slaves and stuff like that right now. I don’t know, just like super aggressive music. And then coming over to the Canadian side, there’s like Fucked Up and Single Mothers, who — by the way, we see every time they’re around. Actually, the cover that we’re hoping to drop next week or the week after is “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper. We took a dark spin on it, which is kind of a cool angle with how dark it is. A different take on the song, I think.

In the past, you’ve also collaborated with other artists like Loud Luxury. Do you think going forward you’ll work on more collaborations or are you more like lone wolves in that regard?

We love collaborating with other people, like we just love being in the studio and writing. But right now we’re definitely focused on putting out Nikki’s Wives songs. It’s time for a full length and a bunch more singles. Yeah, definitely lots of collaborations in the future but right now we’re just kind of focusing on putting some of our stuff out. There’s a couple ones kind of bubbling but we can’t really say who with yet, but definitely just focusing on us right now. 

I know that you guys are from Ontario, but you’ve currently made Nashville your home base. What’s the music scene like there compared to back here?

It’s great. I mean it’s not just a country town anymore. There’s lots of alternative music, there’s a big psychedelic scene like psych rock in Nashville. It’s really exciting and fun. So I feel like the music industry in Nashville has changed from what it used to be, y’know, maybe ten years ago. Plus, Nashville has such a friendly Canadian vibe. Everyone’s so sweet and welcoming, like we found the whole Southern hospitality thing to be so true. I love it. It’s such a fun city. And it doesn’t really go below minus 5, which is a bonus.

That sounds lovely, it’s freezing cold and raining here, it’s June and I’m miserable. I’ve always heard that Nashville’s nice, I’ve never been but I always hear it’s so much nicer than other cities. I’m glad you guys chose such a good place. 

It’s such a different culture than a lot of US cities, it’s cool. It’s so warm and inviting, you feel like everyone’s a nice Grandma and just wants to take care of you. 

Oh that’s perfect. Especially when you’re trying to get your music out there… when people are so warm and accepting, I feel like that’s a lot easier than the cold reaction you can get elsewhere. 

Oh yeah. We’ve been able to sit down — just meeting people randomly, you’ll get to sit down with someone who’s sold like 50 or 60 million records across their career and they’re like “Oh yeah, come on by! We’ll write a song together!” and it’s just no big deal. It’s really weird that way.

Nikki's Wives
Photo by @coleschwartz
Maybe we need to start fostering a little more of that up here too. Maybe we need to adopt the Nashville way. It sounds like you’re working on a lot of incredible things, 2019 should be a big year for you! Do you have any milestones set of things you’d like to accomplish?

I think we’re already starting to accomplish some of them. I mean we can’t give away any details, but some of the songs we’ve been writing have been placed on TLC shows that are coming out soon. And we’re working with a publishing distribution company which is new this year. And then doing some other big stuff, 2019’s been a good year for us so far. I think the biggest milestone we want to reach isn’t really a numbers one, but it’s just to release music and engage more with our audience. So far we’ve released the most music we ever have in a year and we’re gonna keep that up.

I can’t wait to see this all start rolling out so I can actually see what it is you guys are working on because now I’m all hyped up. It sounds like you have a lot of stuff in the works that is a mystery. What’s next for you that isn’t a secret at this point?

So this covers series is the next phase and then hopefully we get a single out, we’re hoping August sometime we’ll have another original. It’ll be one of the ones we played at Lee’s Palace. We’ve been working on those songs for… not too long, but a while now. It’s time to put them out in the world.

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Paige Williams

Paige is a writer & creative multi-hyphenate living in Hamilton, Canada. Every band she loves breaks up eventually, but she can't find the witch who cursed her to this life. You can find more of her work on Billboard, Consequence of Sound, A.Side, and Paige Backstage.

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