Nikki Lynette is a prolific singer/songwriter, rapper, and playwright who is about to debut her new play “Get Out Alive”. We caught up with her to discuss her play and how she uses her past as inspiration for her work.
The Knockturnal: What inspired you to get into the music industry?
Nikki Lynette: For as long as I can remember I have always loved to perform. It was never a question for me. I kinda always knew what I wanted to do.
The Knockturnal: What was your first music gig like?
Nikki Lynette: I rap. If you are good at it you get immediate validation. I was the only girl in a big squad full of boys and we performed at a college. I got a lot of love so my first gig was awesome.
The Knockturnal: How does it feel to work with outlets like MTV and Netflix?
Nikki Lynette: At this point, it’s pretty normal. This is how indie artists make money off our music. Shows need content, and they pay for stuff they like. Lately, all the placements I got are for really cool shows that I like a lot. That’s definitely a good feeling.
The Knockturnal: What convinced you to make “Get Out Alive”?
Nikki Lynette: I was talked into it by my mentor, Ira Antelis. I was still recovering from being suicidal and he was just trying to encourage me to start creating again. When I first started writing my play I didn’t think I would ever finish it…. now here I am adapting it to film. Life comes at you fast!
The Knockturnal: How does it feel to write about these very personal parts of your life?
Nikki Lynette: I feel used to it honestly. I have PTSD. I process trauma a bit differently. I have flashbacks and things that trigger me into remembering. It’s in my body, it happens most days. So, to write about it and talk about it intentionally actually helps.
The Knockturnal: Do you feel that this play will help other people express their own battles with depression?
Nikki Lynette: People who saw it told me it helped them. Quite a few people did. So I definitely hope it does that for other people.
The Knockturnal: Could you describe the experience of speaking at TEDx?
Nikki Lynette: I’m still shocked about it. I always wanted to do that. I had so much to say about mental health for so long. And so to be able to share my thoughts on that platform felt unreal. It still feels unreal. It probably won’t really hit me till the video goes on the TEDx YouTube later this month.
The Knockturnal: How would you describe the experience of working with Spike Lee?
Nikki Lynette: It was one of the most motivating experiences of my life.
The Knockturnal: Could you tell us about your documentary, Happy Songs About Unhappy Things?
Nikki Lynette: My documentary started as an exploration of how we are navigating mental health right now, but then coronavirus happened, and that changed. So my documentary is going to have to evolve to accommodate our current reality. I’m still thinking about what that means, but it’s an exciting thing to think about.
The Knockturnal: What are your plans for 2021?
Nikki Lynette: Of course, I will be promoting my play “Get Out Alive” so people can watch it online. And hopefully, I will be working on my documentary as well, but before anything, I want to take a little bit of time off. I’m currently in the process of earning myself some extra luxurious self-care.