Before her journey to the other side of the planet, we managed to catch up with the 2013 recipient of the ‘Dan Beattie Award for Dedication to Musical Excellence’, Nikki Lamont. Starting lessons at an early age at Morningside School of Music in singing, guitar and piano. Nikki went on to study music, graduating with a BMus (Hons) in Edinburgh. Nikki is now working on new material and relocating to Australia to concentrate on her music career.
What is your first memory of music?
My earliest musical memory is hearing my dad playing the guitar at home when I was very young. From then on I knew that music would be necessary for me, after hearing him play I wanted to learn and be a musician too.
So, you have your dad to thank for your talent?
When I was listening to music, and I felt like I wanted to sing/play along to the material. I felt tied to music, and I knew I had to learn to be able to play along with the music I loved. I also really wanted to write my material similar to the musicians I looked up to. I have fond memories of my first guitar lessons and just wanting to be able to play everything already and make music straight away.
I learnt to play the guitar when I was 12, although I was hesitant to begin with. I am so grateful I persevered with it as it is a real passion of mine now. I started getting singing lessons a few years after this began. I realised I wanted to go further with my technique and learn how to sing professionally with my guitar.
Who inspires you musically? Are there certain musicians that make you want to go into the studio?
If you could only take one instrument to a desert island with you, what would it be?
Out of all the instruments my real passion is vocals. I love being able to experiment with different sounds and putting emotion into what I play. I love progressing further with my voice and always being able to learn more is a fantastic trait that comes with an instrument like vocals (and everything else too!).
“There is no feeling like getting up on stage and playing your songs…”
Did you find that music lessons played an essential role in your musical development?
Getting music lessons impacted the way I grew as a musician positively. Meeting many fellow musicians and becoming close friends with these people was a huge part of what shaped me into the musician I am today. Learning from extremely talented individuals and growing my confidence and technique with them over the years has been an absolute pleasure. Lessons are such a great way to develop and meet other musicians. It’s not just the educational aspect, there is a huge social and cultural aspect to tuition too.
What do you prefer most, playing live or recording?
I love spending days in the studio. Getting a song down and just falling in love with the sound of what my band and I have created. My passion for performing overrules that. There is no feeling like getting up on stage and playing your songs. An audience of familiar and unfamiliar faces. Telling a story through my lyrics is something I love so much about live performance. People get to be in that moment with you and I think it’s a beautiful thing. Playing with other musicians is also an incredible feeling as you grow to have a bond with them through this. Live performance is something that I will always be passionate about doing.
Do you have any tips for us on who is hot right now?
My favourite artist at the moment is Maggie Rogers. I hadn’t heard of her until recently, but her music is incredible. Her lyrics take you on an emotional journey, and it’s music like this that inspires me to write and always be creative.
Do you ever listen to a song and wish that you had written it?
If I could have written a song, it would have to be Holocene by Bon Iver. It is a song that rings so much to me emotionally. It’s such a beautiful song, and it captivates me with every single listen no matter how many times I hear it. It is a dream of mine to be able to write lyrics even half as well as Justin Vernon.
Who, in your opinion, is the greatest musician in the world?
This is a complicated question as there are many musicians I respect technically. If I had to pick one, I would choose Gabrielle Aplin. Having seen her live many times now, the different takes she has on technology in and out of her recordings is excellent to see. She progresses more each time I see her live, and this is something I love seeing in musicians I look up to.
Tell us about the best live show you ever attended?
The best gig I have ever been at hands down was when I went to see Bon Iver at The Picture House in Edinburgh late last year. I have never been to see a band perform live where I have felt so emotional the entire time. The feeling they put into their songs playing live was exactly what comes through the music they record. It was such a fantastic experience to see it live and so raw.
Are you glad you did a degree in popular music at university?
Doing a degree in music was very challenging, and there were times where I was unsure of what direction to go in. I would recommend it to other musicians. My classmates opened my eyes to just how many people wanted to be musicians too. It’s been a fantastic experience growing with these people and getting into bands and just playing our hearts out together. Although it was hard work, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Do you think you will stay in Australia permanently?
The plan is to go to Australia long term and hopefully continue to gig and record music regularly. I hope to find bandmates over there whom I can keep playing with and writing material with as this is what I’ve been enjoying doing for years now.
Are you working on any new Nikki Lamont material currently?
I have just recently recorded a new song with Mark Morrow Audio. There will be an update for some news about that pretty soon!
Do you have any live gigs coming up in Scotland?
Unfortunately, due to me moving to Australia, I don’t have any gigs lined up. I plan to gig a lot in Australia, so I am sure it will all work out for the best!
What does the future hold for Nikki Lamont?
At this stage, I’m unsure of what the future holds for me as a musician. Right now I am so happy releasing music for people to listen to. I’m just finding my own feet as my degree has come to an end. I’m so glad to be able to tell my story through my songs and connect with people through my music. You have to be confident about your future. Mine I hope, is filled with lots of music releases, gigs and good times with fellow musicians! I can’t wait to make more music and just to continue doing what I’m so passionate about.
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