Crankin' Up with Nikki Briar
"Crank It Country" catches up with Singer/Songwriter Nikki Briar
(Crank It) What's your inspiration for the style of music that you play?
(Briar) I grew up on all genres of music since my mom was a classical piano player, my father a motown drummer and my uncle a jazz guitarist, so my appreciation for music came at a very early age. I did on and off Broadway musicals and cabarets and covered Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra classics so taking every aspect of what I grew up on and my own love for country music it formed my style of country rock with lots of soul. Once I met my husband, I started singing the national anthem for various events and for the NJ National Guard, he has been in the army for over 12 years, and a fellow soldier complimented my style of singing the anthem and introduced me to his friend Mike Kuhl in Nashville.When my husband deployed to Iraq I kept myself busy with music and songwriting and went to Nashville to create my first album A SOLDIER'S PRINCESS and once it got radio play a few months later, I knew i found my calling. So many elements have pieced together my style and have inspired me in ways, it is just one of the many stories that I have to tell and express through my music.
(Crank It) What do you love about country music?
(Briar) I love the instrumentation, lyrics and the story told in every song. One of my favorite instruments is the steel guitar and I am so fortunate to work with 3 amazingly talented steel guitarists in NJ, NY and in Nashville, it is a very emotional instrument. I also love to line dance! (Crank It) What has been your favorite live performance, so far?
(Briar) I have been fortunate enough to perform at various venues, festivals, oncerts, tv shows and marathons so it's hard to point out one that was the best. We perform over 220 shows a year and each are special in their own way. Opening for Tim McGraw at Taste of Country in NY was an incredible experience and they treated my band and I like royalty! Performing for the last 3 years at the NYC Marathon in Central Park for hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world coming together to run/walk for charity has been a blessing. This spring we are touring through Florida and look forward to enjoying some restful days and rowdy nights in Key West and of course when we perform in Nashville it's always a great time! I feel at home on stage and just love meeting fans and making new friends.
(Crank It) Which country artist you would be starstruck by?
(Briar) I am a huge Kenny Chesney fan and although he seems to be very down to Earth, I would find it hard to talk to him at first lol I would love to open for him!
(Crank It) When you’re alone, which one of your songs do you CRANK UP and sing along to?
(Briar) I'm always crankin some Kenny and Tim and I just love George Strait's new CD!