This week we shine our spotlight on New Jersey country artist, Nikki Briar. Her unique brand of country music has resonated across the genre and the United States. She fully put her career in God’s hands, but it’s evident that music has been in her soul since birth.
Growing up, Briar was consumed by music. Her father worked as a touring musician, while her mother played classical piano. She tells us “I learned how to play the drums because of him and I learned how to play the piano because of her,” adding later, that her early exposure to music helped to mold her, while also assisting her with working through her own struggles with a speech impediment.
Taking the influences from her parents, Briar’s first introduction to music was in the style of Motown and Jazz. She credits artists like Frankie Valli and Frank Sinatra as early influences. As her musical style evolved, the singer-songwriter found herself listening to boy bands like Hanson, Backstreet Boys, and New Kids On The Block. It wasn’t until middle school that Briar found a connection to country music.
“Country music kinda came into the picture when I started playing the guitar in middle school,” she tell us. The singer’s uncle taught her to play acoustic guitar, which of course, lends itself to country music. Because of the likes of artists like Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, and Garth Brooks, “I fell in love with country music.”
Despite her appreciation for music and natural talent, Briar decided to pursue a career as a teacher, even getting her master’s degree. It wasn’t until she was invited to sing the national anthem at a military event that her path in life started to shift. Her boyfriend was overseas serving our country, and a fellow soldier took a liking to the singer’s voice. The soldier happened to also be a producer and writer in Nashville and invited Briar to come down to work on music.
On a whim, the songstress decided to take the risk. She headed to Nashville to write and has not turned back since. On that trip, Briar ended up writing her first single “A Soldier’s Princess,” which found its way to radio. “That’s when I realized, wow, that’s how it easy it is,” she shared, “I just told [him] a story about my email address and that right there, started a title of a song.”
Her first writing experience combined with her first trip to Nashville and the support of her now, husband helped her to find the courage to put all of her energy into music. With newfound confidence and instilled faith, Briar tells us she realized, “I love country music and I do have a story to tell,” adding later, “If God wants it to happen, it’s going to happen. I’ll work on it and I’ll do what I gotta do and if it works out, okay, let’s see what happens.”
Flash forward to today, Briar has been in the business for over thirteen years. Most recently she released a new song called “MAMA’S BOY,’ to her fans via Facebook. The new single will be apart of her upcoming EP FOREVER YOUNG. The singer drew inspiration from her daily life as a mom, and it is a beautiful ode to her 1 and 3-year-old sons. “So Mama’s Boy came probably about a week ago when I just was determined to finish a song that I wanted to write about being a mother,” Briar tells us. Utilizing the downtime of this national crisis, the singer was finally able to finish a song that she has been wanting to write, since becoming a mother.
Old and new fans of Briar alike should keep their eyes peeled for more from the singer as we head into the later part of the year. She is scheduled to play at some festivals, as well as, shows across the Northeast, Nashville, and Florida in the summer and fall months. For current dates and times head to nikkibriar.com.
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