Photography: Carin Verbruggen

If you had to describe your style in a sentence, what would you say?
Breezy, dream-laced pop, surf and new wave elements.

Have you always wanted to create music?
Nikki: I started playing piano at age 12 but never practised very seriously. I tried writing some songs in my room when I was a moody teenager, but the grassroots scene in Amsterdam, where I am originally from, is basically non-existent. It wasn’t until I moved to Liverpool and met lots of other musicians that something clicked in my head with regards to music making.

Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially inspired you?
Tom W: When my dad played me Black Magic Woman by Fleetwood Mac for the first time on tape as we were driving through France looking for somewhere to pitch our tent. It made me love Peter Green as a songwriter, and the early Fleetwood Mac allowed Mick Fleetwood to definitely influence my drumming style.

NIKKI & THE WAVES Image 2

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform? What does it say about you?
Nikki: I really love playing our new song Romance At The Sha-La-La. It’s one of the few songs that I don’t play keys on, so I get to walk around on stage a bit more. Our new single Welsh Mountains is always really nice to play as well because it starts off so softly but builds to something more cinematic.

Jake: About You because I dig the way it starts with a Crumb-style riff and then progresses to a heavy, Tame Impala-esque riff, which shows off our versatility.

What do you think is the overriding influence on your songwriting: other art, emotions, current affairs – or a mixture of all of these?
Nikki: My own emotions and memories as well as observations I have of the people around me. I’m also inspired by other artists and bands and films that portray a mood or atmosphere that I tried to recreate through music.

If you could support any artist in the future, who would it be?
Nikki: We each have our own idols and dream artists that we would love to support. As a band we would love to play with Whitney, TOPS, No Vacation or Metronomy. Though I would be lying if I didn’t mention Arctic Monkeys, even if we don’t fit that well musically.

“It wasn’t until I moved to Liverpool and met other musicians that something clicked with regards to music making” Nikki Milla

Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in?
Nikki: I think we all agree that it’s probably the Palm House in Sefton Park. We played there in March for Fiesta Bombarda. It was such a surreal and beautiful setting to play in; glass, plants and palms all around us. Totally different from the usual dark and moody basements.

Why is music important to you?
Nikki: I guess music has and will always be a way for me to relate to my emotions and feel less alone. It’s not just writing music that makes me feel like I can express myself – even just listening to something I really love, or that speaks to me at that time, can do that.

Tom S: It’s everything.

 

facebook.com/nikkiandthewaves
Welsh Mountains is out now.

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