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Harderstate interviews Nikkita

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Postby atomicoz » 24 May 2010, 21:20

Nikkita is a person I've always wanted to interview but always given up on as I've never been able to come up with good enough questions. So here's your own chance to ask her whatever you want instead of being bummed out because the interviewer didn't ask what you wanted to know! :)

For the people who aren't up to date on who she is...
Music wise she produces, writes lyrics and does vocals for many different genres including hardstyle, hardcore, chip tunes, electro, speedcore.. The list goes on. She's also done vocals for animes and commercials.

Discogs page with all her credited releases: http://www.discogs.com/artist/Nikkita+Bradette
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Postby atomicoz » 24 May 2010, 21:27

Members of Harderstate interviews Nikkita

Atomicoz:Is there any music genre that you don't like or dislike most stuff from? I often see you link disco songs, japanese songs, dubstep etc on Facebook

Honestly, I'm not really sure... unless "dubstyle" counts, but I think there's too few releases to even say that for certain... otherwise, I'm pretty open minded with music. I think each genre has something I enjoy, and I try to appreciate each genre for what it is. :) I even like country music, and don't understand how anyone who claims to love music throws in that cop out excuse "hurr hurrr except country!"

If I have to give an answer, I'd say splittercore/extratone though... Haven't really found anything enjoyable in it, except for a headache. Although headaches could get me out of work sometimes... hmmmmm.... (6)


Brice:Is there any artist in the Hardstyle/Hardcore scene you absolutely want to work with in the future?

Actually, yes: Bioweapon, Kamui, Geck-O, Thera, Da Tweekaz, Evil Activities, Neophyte, Lenny Dee, The Outside Agency, Ophidian, Speedfreak, Ruffa Suffa (if he is still making music :()... These are some guys I'd love to work with. (I forgot a couple, hehe) Non-hardcore/hardstyle: Noisia, I:gor, Rotator, Cardopusher...

Brice:Is there any artist in the Hardstyle/Hardcore scene you absolutely want to work with in the future?

Anyone who's screwed me over before! :+

Brice:Are you involved in the production of tracks like 'Poltergeist' or 'Project Hardcore' or are you just singing the lyrics?

Not Project Hardcore, the idea was already there and being worked on at the same time as the track was being developed -- but with tracks like Poltergeist, I'm more involved in the direction/concept of it... Gerardo woke up one day and had a melody, he sent it to me and wanted to do a party track. Anyone who knows me by now knows I'm more or less a sucker for deep/dark stuff and feel a nice melody shouldn't be wasted on a plain ol' party track. So I said "NO!" -- I felt really inspired by the stories of the Rusalka, etc. and as I was playing around loading different presets on to the melody, a more clear idea came through... I sang over top of it, and wrote some more incidental poetry to go with it, and he started getting the idea and going along with it. He put in a lot of work in to it, and after listening to it being worked on for hours and hours and kicking his butt and adding new ideas, we came up with something cool. I've switched back to Cubase (Cubase 5), so our upcoming projects will have more involvement... we're working on a couple different things right now that are coming along really fantastic.

Brice:Do you write those lyricss alone ?

95% of the time, yes. There's some days where I completely lose inspiration or motivation, so whoever I am working with, or a friend of mine will throw out a phrase or a word which gets me warmed up. Otherwise, a majority of the lyrics are my own -- and I also write for others, too. :)

Brice:I'm dubstep fan: Is any collaboration with Dub artist planned?

This is territory I would love to be part of. I love thick basslines, wobbles, and the overall hardness/darkness I hear in a lot of dubstep. I have a possible collaboration coming up with a fairly big name in the IDM/glitch/break genre, but we'll have to see where that ends up. :)

Phantomias:Nikkita, why are you spending so much time on Harderstate? I mean, it's great. But nearly everyone, who is that in-scene like you stays away from these tedious internet discussions.

I'm a oldie internet user, I've been on forums since the dawn of time. A bit impossible to shake the habit :P Plus, a little ego stroking is nice now and then. Good to let people know what to look forward to, what's going on, and not keep them speculating and in the dark.

A lot of artists may lurk and not participate in discussions... but at the end of the day writing is part of what I do. I like discussing things I am passionate about, and I like to not alienate people completely. Forums remind me that I'm not God, so it can keep me grounded. However, it's also motivating when there's a lot of positive reaction and interest about what you do. I also like to share things I know, and my opinions with people hoping it can influence a different set of ideas.


zanshi:how do you see yourself as a woman in hardstyle?

I see myself as a taco in a sea of burrito! :+ Just kidding... I see myself of someone who hopes to positively contribute to a genre -- just like anybody else who cares about the music. It's sometimes a little lonely, though, because in the end as much as you want to feel like you're "one of the guys", you have to accept that you're not a guy.

zanshi:what's your point of view on the "typical hardstyle djane" as we know her atm?

In my own eyes, there's a gigantic gap with nothing in between and with very few exceptions. Dana, for example, has earned her respect in a humble and modest way and she stuck with it for many years. She proved herself to be more than just a "flash in the pan"... However, the trend these days for commercial hardstyle seems to be watering down the image of a skilled woman people like Dana have helped establish, instead of building on it. It seems labels are more concerned with putting a pretty face in a skirt and making some gimmick on top of a gimmick. Now we have women parading around in tights or miniskirts shouting "PINK THIS! PINK THAT!!" -- personally? PINK STINKS! I feel as a result of these very FEW girls who are hyped and thrust in to the spotlight, and willingly comply with their own degradation for fame and popularity, that the rest of the girls are automatically given a bad name, and confines the role of a woman in hardstyle to a simple puppet or girlfriend.

It's already hard enough for a guy to break in the scene (as many producers will know) -- but now imagine on top of having to produce you need to now have "sex appeal"... In a sense, these very few girls have helped perpetuate the categorization of women in to a simple, 2D concept. If more of these girls would stand up for themselves and simply sign their contracts instead of sleeping with them, there would be a lot more than just a typical feminine archetype parading around as the "queen" of something she has no clue about.

To add: the worst part is most of the blame is placed on to ALL women, and in our society, women are already generalized and categorized -- you're being labelled as "sluts", "bitches", "whores", the frigid girl, the virgin and all these creative charactarizations of who we're "supposed" to be... If a project fails, it fails because she's a girl -- not because it was a shitty move on the part of the organisation. If she's a bad mixer, it's because she's a girl. And so on, and so forth. I think it's sad that labels/agencies will continue to get away with this, because they will never be held responsible for bad mistakes by the fans.

Many women who do venture in to this scene with a good heart end up getting so worn down on they either say "fuck this" and jump ship, or they end up conforming, or they go nowhere. It's saddening, because there are many talented women, but it's intimidating when all you see with success for women is a) being the girlfriend of an already famous DJ, and b) wearing next to nothing.

We've already seen skilled, successful women -- Miss Djax and Dana to name a couple... so we all know you don't need to be dressed up in designer clothing, or making photoshoots in your underwear in order to be a successful woman... so why is it the labels suddenly decided "this is what people want"? They have no problem putting fat male DJs up there, I'm pretty sure 99% of the crowd won't notice if there's a fat or a not-as-attractive-yet-skilled female DJ up there.

Now we have "DJ beauty pageants", girls talking about how "oh, I'm not a model or just a pretty face!" as they spread their legs and wear a bikini over a pile of vinyl. To me, it's shocking people allow themselves to be used and exploited this much, and even more shocking that there are significant amounts of people out there saying this is A0OK. If I was a DJ and a producer, the last thing I'd want to be commended on is my looks.

Alright, skipping ahead across the gap -- you have female DJs out there who are clearly skilled and devoted to what they do. They gather a large following as a result, and garner respect based on what they do. These girls definitely deserve a break and much respect for sticking to their guns, and not giving up. These are the women who are in actuality the majority of what represents females in music (even if they are the minority) -- unfortunately, those women are horribly under-represented.


zanshi:what are the biggest problems females have to struggle with atm?

Being female! :+ Right now, it's fighting the assumption people will automatically make against you. If you are even remotely attractive, well, you've fucked your way on the label obviously! If you are ugly, it's the other side: "oh, she's not that hot"... There is 2x the expectations placed on to you, and not only that, but it's also hard to figure out who you can trust -- guy or girl. If you work with a producer who IS attracted to you, you start to think maybe he's only working with you because he wants to have a chance with you.

zanshi:how do you see the future of hardstyle and hardcore in general, what's your view on the future of these genres

o be honest, from some of the hands-uppiness that is making its way in to hardcore, it's not something I'm happy about. With hardstyle, it's easier to get away with it but at the very least: keep it hard!

I see hardcore as the electronic equivalent to metal -- and I don't listen to metal to feel uplifted, happy, or hearing a club singer. I listen to feel angry, aggressive, and driven. I hope, with any luck, that it will evolve (while still retaining the same, important elements that makes it what it is) and that it can become more than just a genre of music meant to be DJ'd.

I think with some risk taking and more creative thinking (and less commercial thinking), these genres can become something unique and long lasting.


Azrael:Have you ever had any weird request?

I had one producer ask me to record myself having an orgasm and saying his name -- he called me a bitch when I told him to piss off. :P

Northrulerz:What is a good lyric according to you ?

It's art, and art is subjective... so there is no "good" or "bad" lyrics. Really, all lyrics are at the most basic level is a creative arrangement of language. I've definitely heard some lyrics that I really don't like, but I wouldn't consider them "bad".

However, what I'd consider a good lyric, is honesty. Something from the heart. The best lyrics have the most passion in them -- and you can definitely tell when someone has something important to say... it's not uncommon that it will come out through their lyrics. :)


Northrulerz:Can you make a living out of being a vocalist?

If you bust your ass off, get a good manager, and work with some top names and tour -- then definitely! If you supplement it with side voice work (doing radio commercials, audio books, etc) then absolutely. However, most studio (only) vocalists can't survive very long in one genre (even the larger genres) unless they take their act to the stage and start touring.

The reason for this is because your voice eventually becomes overplayed, unless you diversify. People will become tired, and then your "shelf-life" is shortened.


Northrulerz:Did/do you have any role models?

Absolutely! Miss Djax, Jen Mas, Tyra from Saigon, Lady Gaga, Angela Gossow, Tairrie B, Brody Dahle

D-Vinity:When did you discover that your voice is such a nice one?

I will be absolutely honest -- I hate my voice! First, and foremost, I am a voice actor. This is how I got my start -- one day I wanted to be Sailor Moon, so I started hanging around the online dubbing/voice acting communities where we all made fan projects. Over time I decided there was more to voice acting than just being Sailor Moon (right around the time I turned 12 years old, lol) -- I started learning how to mix audio, record, write my own scripts, and so on... It was something I enjoyed more than choir at the time, so I just stuck with that.

D-Vinity:How did you come to genres like hardstyle/hardcore? (I don't ask this, because you're a women!)

I used to be really in to the warez/hacking/demo scene stuff. One of my friends from the Netherlands ran a known warez website, and we became friends (I was maybe 14 at the time)... I was really in to metal, and he was in to this stuff called "hardcore". He sent me "Artwork" by Art of Fighters, and the rest was history. :) From there, I started exploring various sub-genres...

D-Vinity:How do you like men? Or how do you handle men?
Because idk how e.g. Endymion are in real, but in their videos they look kind of crazy :lol:

I like my men docile, and kissing my feet. :+ Just kidding... honestly, it's normal to have really strong feelings for a person when you work on music together. I think it's really the only way good, and passionate music can happen -- when two people click. I've had some bigger artists want to work with me where the spark just wasn't there, and I've just felt "Meh..." about it... I really try my best to get to know them. Sometimes I make a friend, sometimes I don't.

I think the most important part is knowing when to draw the line. A lot of those guys come off as "crazy" for their fans, but it's really an act. If you talk to them in private, when the lights are off and everyone's going home... you'll probably find some of the nicest/most polite people, and in many cases: some of the most quiet people. Not to say EVERY producer is like this, there are obviously some assholes everywhere... but more often than not, you'll find the complete opposite from what you see on stage. Especially those Endymion guys! ;P Really though, they are very sweet guys and I consider them people I absolutely trust, and have for a few years now.

D-Vinity:You are very self confident (not arrogant), have you always been a power woman or did you get this after becoming a vocalist so you have/had to handle with assholes.

Honestly, it's not so much because I'm a vocalist, it's just the way I am. I've always been very outspoken and rebellious about things, and the pursuit of knowledge has always been important for me. I try my best to be aware of many social issues in general (racism, theories of privilege, social psychology, gender identity issues, religious freedom, personal freedom, etc), and there's always been a lot of women in my family who describe themselves as "feminists"... Through these concepts, you begin to see things a little differently. A lot of people think "Oh, feminists just hate men! They are a bunch of bra-burning dykes!! BOOO!!!" but I realised it's something much more than that and more about standing up for yourself as an equal. Of course, you also have people with extreme opinions... but not all of them are like that. I used to be the type of person who had a lot of self-hate and misogynistic tendencies, because quite frankly I didn't understand any better. Then I grew up, and I realised I don't have to hate myself just to make friends, and if I need to go all "OMG I LOOOOVE PORN! OMG WOMEN ARE BITCHES AND WHOOOORES!" just so guys will like me or whatever... no thanks. Maybe they aren't the type of people who should be in my life.

You absolutely do need to have a tough skin, and most importantly, you need to have a GOOD set of friends. A lot of stupid shit happens in these scenes, and sometimes I -SWEAR- I am back in highschool again!! I think also if you understand what you're up against (ie: why things happen the way they happen), it alleviates some of the frustration in these types of industries.

So, in a way, this type of attitude/confidence helps me not take "no" for an answer. It motivates me not to just shut my mouth and let people walk all over me, and it motivates me to stand up and speak up when there is a problem.


Darycka:Would you ever consider doing the vocals of a hardstyle-track live?
So lets say, Zatox ft. Nikkita live, with instrumental versions of the tracks and you singing live?

Haha! I've considered this, actually! I'd love to do a really entertaining kind of live. It's a pipe-dream, but I'd love to create like a concert within a concert -- with music specially made specifically to be recreated live, sung/MC'd live, with cool things happening. I have nothing against DJs or DJing, but I think people are being a little too safe, and I guess I just want to shake things up a bit. It could work, it could not... This way each set can be a new take on things, still keep people dancing, but also give them something to see on stage, too.

I would just really love to create hardstyle/hardcore music where people can quote and wear it like a badge of the type of music they listen to, without reciting a Jay-Z or DMX vocal, or that involves more than just "Hardstyle!!", or selling out the genre.

In reality for as much as I've got right now: I really would like to split DJing and MCing for my own stuff.

I'm moving out to Europe pretty soon, so between working a job and working on music... I've really got to hit the ground running when I'm out there. Hopefully we can see some interesting stuff.


aXXis:When can we meet you for real @ a party in Holland ;D

I was in Holland in November of 2009! :D

I'll definitely be back out there within a year or so, and moving out to the UK soon after (so I'll be in Holland every weekend!)

Maybe we can do some huge coffee get-together and make the Starbucks baristas weep. :+


Darycka:I have got a silly question:
How does it sound to hear your own voice pitched? :+

Buahahahhahaa sometimes it's funny hearing my voice pitched like a hamster; but sometimes I go "FUUUUUUUUU" when the record is pitched and I hear my voice booming on the overhead like a pissed off 2 year old ahahhaa

jumpstyleknight:just out of curiousity, how does it make you feel when you turn on like hardstyle/hardcore radio or something and hear yourself (by coincidence) in one of the songs or dj mixes? does it still surprise you or did you end up getting used to it?

One thing about me is that I'm always excited, haha. There's a problem if I am not excited... and it's fun because some of my friends will be at Defqon or something and they'll message me like "OMG I HEAR YOU!!!!" which is also really motivating and exciting. Then I look at videos with people singing along, and I am STILL surprised. I'm still not used to it -- I hope I never get used to it, either lol.

jumpstyleknight:also, what advice would you give to people that are interested in becoming some kind of vocalist in general? (like an MC or a song lyricist or radio host and etc.).

Practise! That is the best advice ever. It's totally cliché and corny, but always practise. Try getting involved in online/amateur voice acting to try it as a hobby first -- volunteer at local radio stations, as well. I know plenty of people who have gone in to vocals with the intent of being a vocalist -- and then a year later they discover they'd rather be a sound/recording engineer, or something else entirely. One thing I'd also recommend is practising character style voices... this allows you to be more diverse in your range, and will allow you more longevity as you'd be able to produce "movie-style/acting" samples. I love reading that people think something I've done sounds like it was sampled from a movie or a TV show. :D Singing is also nice to do too -- eventually you'll find what you're comfortable with... but the more you practise, the more you develop your voice and the more you learn which you can apply to music.

Look in to acting, singing, and improv workshops as well.. this will help you "free yourself" because another major thing about vocal work is confidence in what you're doing. A lot of people can have a great voice, but they hold themselves back some times because they are intimidated. I have this a lot of times when I record in front of other people.

For lyrics, I keep myself "warm" by randomly putting exercises on my facebook wall when I run out of inspiration or hit a "block"... I tell people: "write me some words or phrases and I'll write some lyrics around it"... so far I've written power metal lyrics inspired by "penis", and an R&B track inspired by "dogging" haha. :)

Also, find like minded people and just GO FOR IT... Volunteer to record for some friends of yours, so you can get that boost of motivation that comes from a completed work with your voice.

Over time you start to pick up new things, and have more involvement -- and that's the best part. :) Of course, also walking in to a party and singing along to your own stuff is cool too, hehe.

Oh, and to add:
When you are comfortable, look in to recording a generic type of "demo" -- when you feel like taking the next step, send it around to game developers, sound production studios, marketing agencies, talent agencies, and also radio stations... you might be stuck doing some free grunt work like commercial reads and such (for little or no money), but from that point on you start to take that professionally completed work and incorporate in to future demos.

For an example of what my old character demo (from 2008) sounds like, you can take a look at it here:
http://soundcloud.com/nikkita_b/nikkita-animation-demo
:)


Dakpan:Is it your voice in Tat & Zat - Loops And Things?

Yep, indeed it is :)

MKN:I don't think this has been asked but, Have you ever thought about going on X Factor or Britain's got Talent or something like that? I think simon cowell would like you :p

Haha, I think he'll hate me because I don't have that R&B style voice he seems to love! :P

I'm just gonna stick to my lil' underground niche. I'm happier in places where I can be honest and human. :)

xjo3lx09:
nikkita:
xjo3lx09:Hello (:
Just wanted to ask something: Have you ever worked with House producers?
And if not, would you ever like to? :D

Yep, I've worked with Muzikjunky and I have my own progressive house project called "Mistigris" where we release on Flashover Recordings :) I also do sassy/bitchy electro too with Mat Weasel Busters as "Keewix & Nikkita"

Wow! I heard some of your tracks with your Mistigris project and i loveee the tracks! (L)
Beautiful voice! You should come to the states and work with the House producers.
Your voice is just right for the tribal and underground scene here :D

Thanks! :D

Yeah, I really like underground music, because I find it's always "ahead of the time"... I hear stuff on the radio today that people think is so "innovative", and I think to myself... wait a minute, I heard this exact style of music years ago coming from Ed Banger Records/etc!

I think I'd rather be an innovator for a modest income than someone famous and rich if it means I'm "behind in the times" I guess.


Double-T:- Is Nikkita your real name (H) ? If no, can we know how your friends are used to name you ? :)

Nikkita is my real name. I wanted to choose an artist name, but I haven't really used a stage name since I was 12 years old. So I just use my first name for everything now, haha.

Double-T:- I read in the older posts that you are married ? :'( No just kidding ^^ I just wanted to ask if your husband also is in the harder styles ? Meaning by this question, is he also listening to this kind of music ? :)

Haha :P You'll be surprised to hear this, but he's not really in to harder music. He's more of a classic rock fan -- like the Beatles, CCR, Bob Dylan... but he's sort of taking a shining to some electro and house. However, I show him what I'm working on all the time, and he shows it to people he works with and he's still proud and supportive of what I do. :)

Double-T:- Have you already been out for a drink (or something else) with a fan [friends counted out] ?

Sort of! To be honest, I'm a friendly person. There's quite a few friends I have who started out as fans of me, or who I met through music stuff. Sometimes when people are in the area and send me a message, if I'm familiar with them or know them I'll go and meet with them.

Double-T:Have you already been considering becoming a MC for some big hardstyle festival and by this personify the first woman that would handle this role ?

Actually, I believe there is a female MC who came around after I did -- her name is MC Linez. She's holding down the fort as a great MC for those events. I have a lot of respect for her -- she holds her ground, and she is a genuinely nice person. :)

I would love to MC at some events, though, because hey I'm a vocalist... it's in my nature to be in front of the mic. :P


Double-T:- What are you all-time favourite songs ? :D

Tatanka - Borderline
Tat & Zat - Gangsta
The Pitcher - I Just Can't Stop
Abba Gabba - Riot Nation (Speedfreak Remix)
Radium & Lenny Dee - Headbanger Boogie
Neophyte & Lenny Dee - Future Priest of Now
Art of Fighters - Artwork

Non-hard*
Everclear - When it all goes wrong again
Bush - Machine Head
Matthew Good Band - Grey Street
Children of Bodom - Kissing the Shadows
Sonata Arctica - Wolf & Raven
Storm - Oppi Fjellet
Spirit of the West - Home for a Rest
The Pogues - Turkish Song of the Damned
Hithouse - Jack to the Sound of the Underground

And oh boy... the list goes on. :)


Double-T:- Who with did you have the best experience (as a vocalist of course ;D)

I'd have to say Zatox, Michel Pollen, and Endymion. They are great people. :)

ProtoType:Do you want to become a producer, or are you staying a vocalist
( it thought of thisquestion because you can learn from the masters(Zatox, Pitcher))

PS: do you wan't to do a vocal for my new track? :facepalm: xD


I do produce + arrangements :) People know me as only a vocalist, though, for now. I'm working hard to learn, but unfortunately vocals and also writing for others always took up a majority of my time. However, I'm out of commission for vocals for the next few months, so I've been putting time and effort in to producing more independently/writing for my own project/etc.

I've also gotten a little bit closer to my agency dream, so I'll be able to facilitate vocal work from other/new vocal artists to producers and continue writing the text/etc myself.


Spirit`:Hi Nikkita :)
Just a short question:
How come your name sometimes is in the trackname and sometimes it's not?
E.G.
Zatox & Nikkita - Poltergeist
whilst it is Tat & Zat - Loops 'N Things..

both have your vocals, but your name is not in the Loops 'N Things trackname!

In the beginning I got screwed over quite a bit with regards to getting credited. I wasn't very familiar with etiquette, and I tended to take a lot of people's word for it. Usually, I wouldn't find out I wasn't credited on certain things I should have been credited on until I'd go to Midtown and see my name nowhere, or go to discogs and my name would not be up there, or even worse, when I see an interview with the producer taking credit. This happened for a few years; luckily, it's stopped now, especially since I've built up relationships with certain producers and pretty much stick to working with them nearly exclusively.

Now-a-days, it is a bit different. I prefer to put my name on something I was actively involved in -- whether it is writing + vocals, and more. At this point, I tend not to put my name in the title of things I recorded, but did not write. I put my name only on things I wrote + record. I put my part of the work in to it, it's only fair to be recognized. In other situations, when a text is provided to me only (as was the case with Loops & Things), or if it's just a really small text, like one line (like Strength & Fury), I'll do it without a featuring credit, just a small thank you is enough. :)

Another thing I have realised as well, is that I can literally do 500 tracks in one year, with 500 different producers, and if all 500 of those became a hit, nobody would complain about me "being everywhere!" if they don't know it is me. But the minute I'm "ft Nikkita" on 3 tracks, suddenly I'm overused. :P I find it funny haha.


Paralletic:How often travelling into other countries?
Do you have any favourite vocalist voice (not considered yourself)? (I think your one is the most beautiful voice what I've ever heard in hardstyle music :+)

Hi Parallectic,

1. I try to go once per year... I hope to be in Europe for 3 months this summer.
2. Hmmm a favourite vocalist --I really love the voice of Kimiko, and I think another up and comer to watch for is Zanshi. Ran-D has an insanely sexy voice too. Hehe. Outside of dance music... I have waaaay too many favourites!!


momze:have you ever sang or said some text that you didn't find comfortable saying or singing doing a track?

I write pretty much everything I record... but in the odd time I get the text from the producer, if I don't like it, I rewrite it.

If a producer hands me something I don't feel comfortable reading, or they say "I want you to do a sexy/slut kind of voice" I simply say "hell no" and turn it down. =)


Smdee:have you always wanted to be in the music scene? or is it something that came along

I've always had a strong "musical" background (I was in choir for a long ass time, but quit in favour of voice acting, and now I balance voice acting with music).

Music was just trying something new -- I was already a hardcore fan for years before, and there was a market for it, so I kept going with it. :)


Paralletic:What was the hardest period in your vocalist carrier?

Honestly, I'd have to say I'm still in that "hardest period".

I think because I'm sort of the first of my "type" to do this, there's a lot of misunderstandings on etiquette. I outlined in previous posts about disrespect from some producers. They don't see your value, in what you can contribute... or they try to "keep you for themselves" and give you ultimatums rather than giving you the option of whether you want to stay exclusive to them.

Ah yes, and let's not forget the double standards... I remember a year ago I applied to have an artist profile on Partyflock. They told me they did not consider me a "real artist".... funnily enough, they didn't answer my question on how someone with two CD players in their bedroom is considered more of an artist than someone actively releasing. Senseless bullshit.

In the beginning, I made a lot of tracks that went on to become hits, but my name was left out of the title. This severely affected me, because those were major sources of promotion. As a result, I didn't quite become the "house hold name", and nobody took me seriously as a stage artist.

Now-a-days, I have the pull and respect where I can pick and choose where my name will appear, whether it is an anthem or working with a top artist. That was one major privilege that I worked hard to earn, and it took a good 3 - 4 years to get there. Luckily, now other vocalists can benefit from this.

Then, of course, transitioning to a stage artist. It's frustrating, because people kind of sit around with thumbs up their asses, overlooking you despite the fact you have made it quite apparent that you want to do stage shows/etc. Then you get the whole: "well, if you're in the area we'll see what we can do". It's these sort of things that are frustrating to deal with, especially when you have some of the biggest names in the scene requesting to work live with you, and have you put on the line-up.

Or, you're contacted, groomed, hyped up, and built up for a booking for months, only for them to turn around and not book you entirely for some bullshit excuse that they could have easily told you ahead of time.

It's expensive to pay out of your own pocket for uncertain things. In fact, it costs me thousands of dollars to simply stay out there for a month (I did that twice). For non-paying work, or uncertain/unofficial bookings, it's a severe blow to the financials... not only does it take a year of saving, working a full-time job (I was working 3 jobs, including my music), but it cuts in to music time. And at the end of it all, if you come back without making any money, you start to think back like "yeah, I could have taken that $7,000 and put it towards a studio upgrade, or I could have put it towards paying off my car".

However, for an agency or a label, it's pennies. They cover your expenses, and then they can put you to work 2 or 3 days a week at the label, or place you on line-ups and take a cut from your fee. The whole point of the %% they take away from you is mostly to reinvest back in to the artist.

When you look at things that way, and you look that they will happily develop some other random person, all expenses paid, you kind of take a look at things and doubt yourself. It's a huge demotivator, and a major slap to your self-esteem because it sort of starts to come across as: "they don't want ME", and you take it a bit personal. It's really, really hard not to.
Last edited by atomicoz on 31 May 2011, 22:53, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby nikkita » 24 May 2010, 21:31

Honestly, I'm not really sure... unless "dubstyle" counts, but I think there's too few releases to even say that for certain... otherwise, I'm pretty open minded with music. I think each genre has something I enjoy, and I try to appreciate each genre for what it is. :) I even like country music, and don't understand how anyone who claims to love music throws in that cop out excuse "hurr hurrr except country!"

If I have to give an answer, I'd say splittercore/extratone though... Haven't really found anything enjoyable in it, except for a headache. Although headaches could get me out of work sometimes... hmmmmm.... (6)
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Postby Brice » 24 May 2010, 21:41

Do you want to marry me? :+

Serious questions:
- Is there any artist in the Hardstyle/Hardcore scene you absolutely want to work with in the future?
- Is there any artist in the Hardstyle/Hardcore scene you absolutely don't want to work with in the future? :+

- Are you involved in the production of tracks like 'Poltergeist' or 'Project Hardcore' or are you just singing the lyrics?
- Do you write those lyricss alone ?

- I'm dubstep fan: Is any collaboration with Dub artist planned?

With love,
Brice.
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Postby nikkita » 24 May 2010, 21:52

Brice:Do you want to marry me? :+


I think you'll have to go through my husband first hehe

- Is there any artist in the Hardstyle/Hardcore scene you absolutely want to work with in the future?


Actually, yes: Bioweapon, Kamui, Geck-O, Thera, Da Tweekaz, Evil Activities, Neophyte, Lenny Dee, The Outside Agency, Ophidian, Speedfreak, Ruffa Suffa (if he is still making music :()... These are some guys I'd love to work with. (I forgot a couple, hehe) Non-hardcore/hardstyle: Noisia, I:gor, Rotator, Cardopusher...

- Is there any artist in the Hardstyle/Hardcore scene you absolutely don't want to work with in the future? :+


Anyone who's screwed me over before! :+

- Are you involved in the production of tracks like 'Poltergeist' or 'Project Hardcore' or are you just singing the lyrics?


Not Project Hardcore, the idea was already there and being worked on at the same time as the track was being developed -- but with tracks like Poltergeist, I'm more involved in the direction/concept of it... Gerardo woke up one day and had a melody, he sent it to me and wanted to do a party track. Anyone who knows me by now knows I'm more or less a sucker for deep/dark stuff and feel a nice melody shouldn't be wasted on a plain ol' party track. So I said "NO!" -- I felt really inspired by the stories of the Rusalka, etc. and as I was playing around loading different presets on to the melody, a more clear idea came through... I sang over top of it, and wrote some more incidental poetry to go with it, and he started getting the idea and going along with it. He put in a lot of work in to it, and after listening to it being worked on for hours and hours and kicking his butt and adding new ideas, we came up with something cool. I've switched back to Cubase (Cubase 5), so our upcoming projects will have more involvement... we're working on a couple different things right now that are coming along really fantastic.

- Do you write those lyricss alone ?


95% of the time, yes. There's some days where I completely lose inspiration or motivation, so whoever I am working with, or a friend of mine will throw out a phrase or a word which gets me warmed up. Otherwise, a majority of the lyrics are my own -- and I also write for others, too. :)

- I'm dubstep fan: Is any collaboration with Dub artist planned?


This is territory I would love to be part of. I love thick basslines, wobbles, and the overall hardness/darkness I hear in a lot of dubstep. I have a possible collaboration coming up with a fairly big name in the IDM/glitch/break genre, but we'll have to see where that ends up. :)


With love,
Brice.


Thanks!! xo
Last edited by nikkita on 24 May 2010, 22:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Brice » 24 May 2010, 21:56

Thx for answering so fast _O_
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Postby Klingy » 24 May 2010, 22:07

Nice thread. _O_

Nikkita, why are you spending so much time on Harderstate? I mean, I really appreciate that. But nearly everyone, who is as much in-scene as you, stays away from these tedious internet discussions.
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Postby nikkita » 24 May 2010, 22:11

Phantomias:Nice thread. _O_

Nikkita, why are you spending so much time on Harderstate? I mean, it's great. But nearly everyone, who is that in-scene like you stays away from these tedious internet discussions.


I'm a oldie internet user, I've been on forums since the dawn of time. A bit impossible to shake the habit :P Plus, a little ego stroking is nice now and then. Good to let people know what to look forward to, what's going on, and not keep them speculating and in the dark.

A lot of artists may lurk and not participate in discussions... but at the end of the day writing is part of what I do. I like discussing things I am passionate about, and I like to not alienate people completely. Forums remind me that I'm not God, so it can keep me grounded. However, it's also motivating when there's a lot of positive reaction and interest about what you do. I also like to share things I know, and my opinions with people hoping it can influence a different set of ideas.
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Postby zanshi » 24 May 2010, 22:26

yooo :3

some questions from me too now:

how do you see yourself as a woman in hardstyle? what's your point of view on the "typical hardstyle djane" as we know her atm? what are the biggest problems females have to struggle with atm?
any new plans on mistigris?
or on own hardstyle and/or hardcore stuff?
how do you see the future of hardstyle and hardcore in general, what's your view on the future of these genres?
when are we going to have some coffee? :+
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Postby nikkita » 24 May 2010, 22:56

how do you see yourself as a woman in hardstyle?

I see myself as a taco in a sea of burrito! :+ Just kidding... I see myself of someone who hopes to positively contribute to a genre -- just like anybody else who cares about the music. It's sometimes a little lonely, though, because in the end as much as you want to feel like you're "one of the guys", you have to accept that you're not a guy.

what's your point of view on the "typical hardstyle djane" as we know her atm?


In my own eyes, there's a gigantic gap with nothing in between and with very few exceptions. Dana, for example, has earned her respect in a humble and modest way and she stuck with it for many years. She proved herself to be more than just a "flash in the pan"... However, the trend these days for commercial hardstyle seems to be watering down the image of a skilled woman people like Dana have helped establish, instead of building on it. It seems labels are more concerned with putting a pretty face in a skirt and making some gimmick on top of a gimmick. Now we have women parading around in tights or miniskirts shouting "PINK THIS! PINK THAT!!" -- personally? PINK STINKS! I feel as a result of these very FEW girls who are hyped and thrust in to the spotlight, and willingly comply with their own degradation for fame and popularity, that the rest of the girls are automatically given a bad name, and confines the role of a woman in hardstyle to a simple puppet or girlfriend.

It's already hard enough for a guy to break in the scene (as many producers will know) -- but now imagine on top of having to produce you need to now have "sex appeal"... In a sense, these very few girls have helped perpetuate the categorization of women in to a simple, 2D concept. If more of these girls would stand up for themselves and simply sign their contracts instead of sleeping with them, there would be a lot more than just a typical feminine archetype parading around as the "queen" of something she has no clue about.

To add: the worst part is most of the blame is placed on to ALL women, and in our society, women are already generalized and categorized -- you're being labelled as "sluts", "bitches", "whores", the frigid girl, the virgin and all these creative charactarizations of who we're "supposed" to be... If a project fails, it fails because she's a girl -- not because it was a shitty move on the part of the organisation. If she's a bad mixer, it's because she's a girl. And so on, and so forth. I think it's sad that labels/agencies will continue to get away with this, because they will never be held responsible for bad mistakes by the fans.

Many women who do venture in to this scene with a good heart end up getting so worn down on they either say "fuck this" and jump ship, or they end up conforming, or they go nowhere. It's saddening, because there are many talented women, but it's intimidating when all you see with success for women is a) being the girlfriend of an already famous DJ, and b) wearing next to nothing.

We've already seen skilled, successful women -- Miss Djax and Dana to name a couple... so we all know you don't need to be dressed up in designer clothing, or making photoshoots in your underwear in order to be a successful woman... so why is it the labels suddenly decided "this is what people want"? They have no problem putting fat male DJs up there, I'm pretty sure 99% of the crowd won't notice if there's a fat or a not-as-attractive-yet-skilled female DJ up there.

Now we have "DJ beauty pageants", girls talking about how "oh, I'm not a model or just a pretty face!" as they spread their legs and wear a bikini over a pile of vinyl. To me, it's shocking people allow themselves to be used and exploited this much, and even more shocking that there are significant amounts of people out there saying this is A0OK. If I was a DJ and a producer, the last thing I'd want to be commended on is my looks.

Alright, skipping ahead across the gap -- you have female DJs out there who are clearly skilled and devoted to what they do. They gather a large following as a result, and garner respect based on what they do. These girls definitely deserve a break and much respect for sticking to their guns, and not giving up. These are the women who are in actuality the majority of what represents females in music (even if they are the minority) -- unfortunately, those women are horribly under-represented.

what are the biggest problems females have to struggle with atm?


Being female! :+ Right now, it's fighting the assumption people will automatically make against you. If you are even remotely attractive, well, you've fucked your way on the label obviously! If you are ugly, it's the other side: "oh, she's not that hot"... There is 2x the expectations placed on to you, and not only that, but it's also hard to figure out who you can trust -- guy or girl. If you work with a producer who IS attracted to you, you start to think maybe he's only working with you because he wants to have a chance with you.

any new plans on mistigris?


Yes! :D In fact, in my soundcloud you'll find a preview for a track I am working on ("qqqqqqqqqqqqqqq") -- I've been stuck on the vocals, but my best friend who is the other 50% of Mistigris is helping me out with a topline for some of it so I can get writing/recording. We also have an oldschool-ish trance/prog house track called "Amour" which will be released soon. You can currently hear it on youtube if you search "Mistigris - Amour" :)

or on own hardstyle and/or hardcore stuff?


I'm taking a bit of a break from hardcore for now -- 2009 was a fantastic year for me, but they are still playing tracks I did vocals in back in 2007! I hope to be able to pick it up soon. For now, I'm putting most of my focus to the Italian Hardstyle label, with Zatox. I have a few more collaborations coming up with him, and in between I've been learning some things. My goal is to be able to do an e.p. on my own, but unfortunately my production skills aren't exactly the best right now. :)

There was one track I recorded while I was in the studio with Endymion last year, so hopefully they will get working on that soon.

how do you see the future of hardstyle and hardcore in general, what's your view on the future of these genres


To be honest, from some of the hands-uppiness that is making its way in to hardcore, it's not something I'm happy about. With hardstyle, it's easier to get away with it but at the very least: keep it hard!

I see hardcore as the electronic equivalent to metal -- and I don't listen to metal to feel uplifted, happy, or hearing a club singer. I listen to feel angry, aggressive, and driven. I hope, with any luck, that it will evolve (while still retaining the same, important elements that makes it what it is) and that it can become more than just a genre of music meant to be DJ'd.

I think with some risk taking and more creative thinking (and less commercial thinking), these genres can become something unique and long lasting.


when are we going to have some coffee?


Oh gurl next year! We'll get some frapuccinos from Starbucks!
Last edited by nikkita on 24 May 2010, 23:49, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby zanshi » 24 May 2010, 23:02

AWESOME statements <3
thanks a million ^^
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Postby Azrael » 24 May 2010, 23:49

Have you ever had any weird request?
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Postby nikkita » 24 May 2010, 23:53

Azrael:Have you ever had any weird request?


I had one producer ask me to record myself having an orgasm and saying his name -- he called me a bitch when I told him to piss off. :P
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Postby TheCryoniq » 24 May 2010, 23:54

Hey there, very interesting reading :)
- What is a good lyric according to you ?
- Can you make a living out of being a vocalist ?
- Did/do you have any role models ?
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Postby Brice » 24 May 2010, 23:55

nikkita:
Azrael:Have you ever had any weird request?


I had one producer ask me to record myself having an orgasm and saying his name -- he called me a bitch when I told him to piss off. :P

:O
Some fucking idiots on this earth... :rofl:
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