Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Niki Tonik

Artwork for ‘Equinox.’ Courtesy of Milestone Publicity.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Soul-pop/R&B artist Niki Tonik recently delivered her latest single “Equinox,” a duet with TMGMusic that steadily balances progressive pop and dream rock.

The track thematically revolves around the passing of time and seasonal changes, thus, the song title. The first day of the Spring equinox is the first day in the year where the hours of day and night are equal in length, so it represents balance and renewal.

“Equinox” ensures that Tonik hasn’t lost a step since her October 2020 debut album ‘Write On Time,’ which featured jazz luminary Kamasi Washington.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk to the American-Israeli singer-songwriter about “Equinox” and more.

Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music? 

Niki Tonik – I really enjoy exploring different sounds and vibes within my genre or genres of pop, R&B and rock. The freedom to create whatever style of song that I feel like is always exciting. 

Music Bugle – What was it like making your new single “Equinox”? 

Niki Tonik – So, my partner, TMGMusic actually wrote and produced this track and I immediately felt drawn to the lyrics and melody. We both felt like it would be great as a duet for us to be on together, so that’s pretty much how the track came about. I really enjoyed singing the beautiful and descriptive lyrics that he wrote and bringing them to life. It’s a very special track, I feel. 

Music Bugle – Which of your newest songs were the hardest to write? 

Niki Tonik – From my debut album ‘Write On Time’ that I released in October last year, I would say that “Give Thx 4 Music” was probably the hardest to write, simply because I had the melody in my head for a long time, but it took a little while to finish writing the lyrics. I had several different ideas for the lyrics and wanted to make sure that I chose my words carefully to reflect the message and vibe, which is my version of a world-peace pop song. 

Music Bugle – How would you describe Los Angeles to someone who has never been there before? 

Niki Tonik – L.A. is definitely a melting pot of many things. Lots of different cultures, music, food and cars! (Laughs) Musically, you can definitely feel the influences of several genres, including hip hop, pop, R&B/soul, jazz and rock. It’s a really fun place, but also very big and can at times be overwhelming, but one thing that always brings me back to L.A. other than music, friends and family, is the food. I love me a green juice, some great organic/vegan food and of course, the beach!

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise? 

Niki Tonik – TMGMusic, SZA, Jhene Aiko, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Rickie Byers, Rob McDonald, Aviana and The Pure Root, Divynah Universe, DeAnna Carpenter, EE Beyond, QUIN, Rivers & Robots, John Mark Pantana, Colin Martin, Dré Tamashī, Yasuke, YB The Prophet, Dave Coresh, Vic Mensa, Miguel, Ryck Jane, Beautiful Chorus, Bibi Bourelly, Kamasi Washington and Kendre Streeter are just some. I also listen to a lot of sound healing music/meditations and Motown-era music. 

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Niki Tonik – In very interesting ways, I would say. Unexpected and crazy things came in 2020 for pretty much everybody and at the same time, we – TMGMusic and myself – moved up to Northern California and it has opened up a really cool new chapter and adventure for us, so overall, I would describe it, for me personally, as bittersweet. 

Music Bugle – What’s something that you wish happened more in today’s music industry? 

Niki Tonik – I wish that the music industry put more priority on talent and the integrity of an artist’s message rather than on numbers. 

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need an escape? 

Niki Tonik – Mount Shasta!

Music Bugle – If you had to pick your own theme song, what would it be? 

Niki Tonik – My own theme song that I wrote would have to be “Tadpole,” because the lyrics basically talk about being my own hero and rooting myself on. 

Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately? 

Niki Tonik – Maintaining a solid workout schedule! I’m a really big fan of yoga classes because it gets me out of my normal environment and routine, so since the pandemic has started, it’s been a bit of a challenge getting excited to do yoga in my room/living room on a consistent basis. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way! (Laughs) However, now that it’s starting to warm up again, I’m really looking forward to engaging in more outdoor activities. 

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