The most important thing to know about Nicki Richards – The Musician – is that she records luxuriantly expansive modern soul music. And when you drop the metaphorical needle on said record, OVERSTAND that this lady composed, produced, arranged, played and SANG (leads and layered backgrounds) 80% of every note you hear…then custom-casted the remaining 20% with a talented rainbow of friends – from jazz legends Randy Brecker, Christian McBride and Lenny White to vocal virtuosos Take 6, Trey Lorenz, Lisa Fischer, Tawatha Agee, Fonzi Thornton and Vaneese Thomas to dance club tastemakers Tony Moran, Parrish James, Josh Harris and DJ Inferno.
The most important thing to know about Nicki Richards – The Woman – is that she is all about The Love….
With rave anthem written all over it, “Lay Your Hands On Me” [the lead-off single from her soon-to-bow third album, Bedtime Story (Tell Me)] dually conjures the sensual and spiritual – imageries of surrender and healing as our heroine dances upon a cloud, Heaven-bound. “I’m more a spiritual person than religious,” Nicki confesses, “but I found myself turning to the Bible more than once while making this record. I was re-reading stories about Mary Magdalene, and the woman that touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed forever. That feeling is what this song is really about.”
Dreaming big panned out like solid gold for Diamond Girl Nicki Richards.
As one of the most highly respected singers in the business, Nicki Richards has traveled around the globe spreading musical love shine in multiple languages for sessions, concerts, film and television, and at the service of an untouchable array of superstars that includes Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, Jimmy Cliff, Mick Jagger, Chris Botti, Florence + The Machine and Enrique Iglesias…names representing merely the tip of a staggering mountaintop of talent. Nicki recently recorded a transfixing rendition of Lennon & McCartney’s “I’ll Be Back” to the multi-artist project The Complete Beatles on Ukulele. With longtime mentor Lenny White, she co-wrote and sang a highly unique jazz-rock fusion tribute song to “King of Pop” Michael Jackson (another artist she worked with) titled “Forever” (from White’s 2010 CD, Anomaly). And for the fourth time, Nicki is jetting around the globe with superstar Madonna on her “2012 World Tour” as a featured singer before hundreds of thousands of people on especially epic nights.
Ms. Richards first graced us with her magnificence in 1991 with Naked (To the World) – a dynamic debut of aural alchemy that blindsided the musically astute. Legendary Atlantic Records co-founding President Ahmet Ertegun personally inked Nicki to the company tersely declaring, “I signed Aretha Franklin. I signed Led Zeppelin. Now I’m signing you!” 17 years later in 2008, Nicki Richards triumphantly returned with a 17-song CD of uncompromised creativity, versatility and excellence titled Nicki (launched via her own company, Hydrus Music). Promoted with a maxi-single unity anthem “Bring the Love” and an ironically steamy video for the heartbreak jam “Why You Wanna Hurt Me So Bad,” Nicki was the answer to Richards’ long devoted fans’ prayers. Those songs sowed the seeds for the night flights of Bedtime Story (Tell Me) – all from an Earth Angel who, in spite of all, never gives up on her dream of the perfect love.
“If you let it, music can remake you…make you resilient despite all things,” Nicki promises. “I wanted to celebrate life in honor of all the loved ones I lost, to share that there is always hope even when times are not so great, and to manifest my fantasies as they pertain to love. My first thought was that as a child at bedtime, I would have story time, get on my knees to say my prayers, then climb into bed and dream…and I’d dream big! I’m still doing that to this day.”