Bass-player extraordinaire, Nik West, has such an eclectic, iconic and tasteful style of playing and performing. She has so much energy that is evoked through her electrifying performances. Her talent has been noticed by such classic artists as Prince, Dave Stewart, John Mayer, among numerous others. In addition, she also caught the ear and eye of Grammy-Award winning songwriter and producer, Glen Ballard (Alanis Morrissette, George Straight and Michael Jackson).
Her personality is just as interesting and infectious as her bass-playing skills. In our interview, she chats about other instruments she’d like to play, her experiences with the musicians and producers she has worked and works with, including her endorsments with Fender and Girl Rock Nation, among many other musical favorites. Nik is one-of-a-kind and has one of the best personalities you could ever hope a person to have; so, without further ado, read on to discover a little in the mind of Nik and her musical explorations.
GGM: You’re known for your diverse bass-playing skills, including guitar. Is there any other instrument you’ve wanted to play?
Nik: I’ve always wanted to be AMAZING at drums… I can play them, but not nearly as well as I would like … maybe one day Sheila E. will give me lessons. LOL!
GGM: You’ve worked with one of my musical favorites, Prince, among many notable others (Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics, John Mayer, Glen Ballard, etc). Which experience was the most unique, and who would you like to work with further?
Nik: I loved working with all of them. Prince inspired me years before I met him and he continues to inspire me. But I would say the most unique would be Dave Stewart because he was the one that originally saw the talent in me. A lot of decisions I have made were suggested by Dave. He’s not only a great musician to work with but he is a visionary and is involved in everything from producing Broadway to writing movie scripts to producing many mainstream artists’ songs. He’s got his hand in everything… and I learn from the wise. I am looking forward to working with Lenny Kravitz and Steven Tyler. They have given me unforgettable experiences by just being around them and vibing with them. Our personalities all go together very well! They are cool, crazy, and all love! Someone I have not met that I would love to work with would be Sting and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
GGM: What does music mean to you?
Nik: Hummmm…. music is something that takes my mind off of the ordinary stresses of life. I can get on my bass and forget about anything that is going on and just write and rid myself of anything toxic or stressful.
GGM: Let’s chat about your endorsements with Fender and Girl Rock Nation. How did those come about, and what are you most proud of with them?
Nik: Fender came about a few years ago. I sent an email to one of the tech guys to see what modifications I would need to do on my bass to get it to sound more like Jaco Pastorius. He saw my web link in the email and went and checked me out and forwarded it to the artist relations guys. I wasn’t looking for a Fender endorsement, but they said they saw a big future in me so they took a chance and put me all over the place in their ads and marketing campaigns. Girl Rock Nation was something that I was interested in because I hadn’t seen but a few women that played bass or guitar and the Girl Rock Nation artists happened to be amazing players. It inspired me to keep playing so I teamed up with them.
GGM: What’s in store with the future of Nik West, her music and collaborations?
Nik: I love working with my best friend Orianthi. She and I work very well together. We performed as a female trio with drummer Brittany Maccarello this year. So maybe if our schedules collide, we will do more of that. I featured Orianthi on my new single and music video called “My Relationship” and she kills it, as always. Next up? Steven Tyler mentioned working on a song together, so that would be very cool. I would LOVE to meet and collaborate with Justin Timberlake some time in the future. I dig his music, it’s so me!
GGM: What was your first album on vinyl, cassette, and/or CD?
Nik: Oh wow! I think I had one tape of Whitney Houston as a li’l kid. It was lying around the house. But MY first album was on CD and it was Brandy “Sittin up in my Room” and I think I was in about 3rd or 4th grade. She could do no wrong in my book!!!
GGM: Who was your first concert and do you have a favorite?
Nik: Ok, so don’t laugh, but it’s a true story. I never went to concerts as a kid because I was always in church. Secular music wasn’t really around me, unless it was Whitney or Brandy. So out of habit, I had never been to a real concert until I went to see Bootsy Collins a couple years ago. He BLEW MY MIND! I cried because I realized at that moment who I was musically and that I shouldn’t put limits on myself. Now I play in concerts all the time so I get a front row seat, which makes up for everything I missed!
GGM: What are your top five bands and/or albums you wouldn’t want to live without?
Nik: Let’s see
Lenny Kravitz- Greatest Hits and Black and White America
Justin Timberlake- The 20/20 Experience
Anything Michael Jackson
Pearl Jam- Alive
Prince all the funky stuff, but I especially like “Let’s Work” off of the Controversy album
GGM: If you could name one song that has been released within the last 30 years that sums up your life, what is it? (That’s a hard one, I know!)
Nik: It’s a VERY hard one… I’d have to choose “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi.
GGM: What is your guilty music or entertainment pleasure?
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