Interview with ...
Nikki Burt


Nikki Burt has been recording for Penthouse Records since almost 10 years as well as singer that background vocalist. She became henceforth a major artist of the label. Interview with one of the most talented female singer in Jamaica.

(December 2010 - penthouserecords.free.fr)

How did you start your musical career ? I read somewhere that you began on the cabaret circuit.
I started my musical career from I was in high school. There was a local band in my home town Port Antonio which I was the lead singer for. After that I headed to the coast where I did the hotel circuit. Being that I started singing at that time.

What was the 1st single you recorded ?
My first recording was was a cover of "Morning, Noon or Night". It was produced by Fleurette Edwards in 1988.

Your older brother Frank Burt is a bass player who did a lot of works with Buju Banton in particular. Did he help you to introduce the reggae industry ?
Actually , I was the one who introduced Frank to the music business.

Were you influenced by other singers ?
Some of my favourites are like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Boyz To Men... Locally, Marcia Griffiths for sure, also sister Judy Mowatt.

Did you take singing lessons ?
I did not receive any voice training at all.

You recorded your first song for Donovan Germain's Penthouse label, "Wrong Number" (on the Number One riddim), in 2001. Do you remember when and how you met him ?
I met him through Marcia Simpson, producer of Ajang label. This was the same year, in 2001.

Did you integrate the Penthouse team to make background vocals or directly as a lead vocalist ?
I actually went to do some background vocals for him and he really liked my voice, so he decided to record me.

You recorded for many labels. What makes Donovan Germain unique in comparison to other producers ?
Knowing him for so long now, he has become a really good friend, so it is very easy to work with him because of the relationship that we have developed. Apart from that I find him to be really a people's person.

You sang many covers for Penthouse : "I Hope You Dance", "Til I Can Make It", "Make Ends Meet", "Black Man's Redemption" with Queen Ifrica & Tony Rebel or "Man Next Door" with John Holt. Is it a personal choice ?
Those covers are not personal choices. Donovan Germain asked me to cover them and I did. They are songs that I love anyway.

Among all your singles for Penthouse, which one is your favorite ?
My favorite is "Tears I Cry", which is yet to be released. I will also always remember "Love Me Always" which is a duet with Assassin. That was the song that gave me some real good publicity and that I will always treasure.

Who are the main artists for whom you did backing vocals ?
I did background vocals for Bushman, Mikey Spice, Nadine Sutherland, Everton Blender and Buju Banton.

Are you actually managed by Donovan Germain ?
No, I am not managed by Donovan Germain. At present I do not have a manager. I am currently looking for one

Despite your talent and your experiment, you are rather not very exposed, like the majority of the female artists in Jamaica. How do you explain that women do not have as much credibility as men in the reggae music industry ?
Well, for some reason producers always cling to the male artists more and want to use the females for only background vocals. It's not that we don't put our all out. Sometimes we get really frustrated, but we do push on.


DISCOGRAPHY ON PENTHOUSE RECORDS :

- Are You Ready (2009 - Them Never Love Poor Marcus riddim)
- Black Man's Redemption with Queen Ifrica & Tony Rebel (2008)
- Don't Look Back with Tarrus Riley (2009)
- Good Wine (2009 - Chant Down Babylon Kingdom riddim)
- Hustling Juggling with Queen Ifrica (2009 - Make Ends Meet riddim)
- Horny (2005 - Migraine riddim)
- I Hope You Dance (2008)
- Living In Style with Buju Banton (2005)
- Make Ends Meet (2008 - Make Ends Meet riddim)
- Make Your Move (2004 - Some Like It Hot riddim)
- Man Next Door with John Holt (2008)
- Nobody Else with Assassin (2003 - Love Me Always Riddim)
- Should I (2010)
- Til I Can Make It (2008)
- We Cry (2004 - Time Will Tell riddim)
- Wrong Number (2001 - Number One riddim)

listen to these singles :