Byron Bay Bluesfest

Take 5 with Nikki Hill. Discover The Soundtrack To Her Life

9 September 2016

Nikki Hill shares with us some of the artists and songs that have shaped her life including some Bluesfest alumni artists and artists performing in 2017.

What is the one song that reminds you of growing up and why?

 “Little Red Corvette” by Prince was on a mixtape of a friend of mine in middle school. We hit it off in homeroom, and started going to live shows and getting into trouble together, sneaking out of town, cutting each other’s hair in the bathroom at school, and all of that. She had this mixtape that was punk rock and 80s stuff. We would play each other new tapes/CDs of bands we liked, but that mixtape was always the go-to. Driving around with nothing to do but blast this tape and harmonize to the songs together was one of our favourite things. We’re still friends and those moments are just as important as a lot of the wild shit we did!



What are the songs that get you up on the dance floor, every time?

 If Al Jackson Jr. (Booker T & The MG’s) or Howard Grimes (Al Green) or Phil Rudd (AC/DC) played the drums on it, I’m on the dance floor. Plain and simple!

Al Jackson Jr. was best known as a founding member of Booker T & The MG’s and became one of the most influential drummers in the history of recorded music at Stax. Booker T. is presenting the Stax Revue at Bluesfest 2017.



What is the song that’s always busted out when no one is around - why?

Tom Jones singing “Its Not Unusual”. Although I would play this with people around too. It’s a catchy song, Tom Jones is a killer singer, and sexy as hell, and if you grew up in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air era like I did, that song holds a special place. We all know the ‘Carlton Dance’!



 Tom Jones performed on Easter Monday at Bluesfest 2016

What are the songs on high rotation in your car at the moment?

Been listening to Lee Moses "Time and Place" album on repeat. “Adorable One” just tears me up! Iggy Pop and the StoogesSearch and Destroy”, Amy Winehouse “Just Friends”, SeratonesChandelier”, Gary Clark Jr. “The Healing” and Toots and the Maytals has probably been my go-to for the past, well, forever. I’m really studying Toot’s singing style right now. I just saw him live for the first time this summer, and I was so blown away. I’ll definitely never forget the impact his sound had on me!



Iggy Pop, Gary Clark Jr. and Toots and the Maytals have all performed at Bluesfest. 

 What was your wedding song (or what would it be)?

 Our wedding song was Otis Redding’sI Love You More Than Words Can Say”.



Your favourite song/s to cover at the moment?

 You Cant Put Your Arms Around a Memory” by Johnny Thunders



If you could sing a duet with anyone dead or alive who would it be and what would be the song?

 Let’s do alive and dead because this is just killing me ok?

For someone no longer with us, I would have loved to do a duet with Lemmy. I think doing a rock n’ roll version of “No Good Lover”, by Mickey and Sylvia would have been so much fun. Alive, from my gigantic list of dreams, I would say Mavis Staples. I would sing whatever the hell she told me to, because I don’t really think Mavis could steer me or anyone wrong.


 Mavis Staples is appearing exclusively at Bluesfest 2017 – hopefully, an onstage cameo can be tee’d up!

Your all-time rock ‘n’ roll hero is….why?

 Sister Rosetta Tharpe - She could walk the walk, talk the talk, was incredibly innovative, emotive, and passionate about her music, and looked good while doing it. She’s a pioneer as far as I’m concerned.


 Nikki Hill performs at Bluesfest 2017 4 consecutive nights from opening night through to Easter Sunday + stops into Sydney at the Newtown Social Club on 17 April - get all the info here: 

Nikki Hill - Take 5 Spotify Playlist

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