These two are Nikki + Rich, a newly signed soul pop act from Warner Brothers Records.
While I was intrigued from the beginning, it was this slick, stylishly crafted intro video that sealed the deal for me.
And now, a brief summation:
Nikki & Rich are Nikki Leonti, a California-born pastorâ€™s daughter who grew up singing in church, and Rich Velonskis, a Queens, NY-born former DJ and established hip-hop/R&B producer who got his start spinning in New York City clubs as a teenager. These two seemingly opposite characters first met in 2007. Nikki was based in Nashville working as a background singer for Carrie Underwood and Rich was in Los Angeles producing tracks for Eve, Robin Thicke, Mario, and Ludacris, under his moniker Rich Skillz…Rich was looking for a strong vocalist and lyricist to collaborate with and take his tracks to the next level and he found the perfect match in Nikki.
To put it simply, Nikki + Rich are to doo wop as Bitter:Sweet are to acid nu-jazz: a dynamic duo of two (rather attractive) musicians with a flair for the old-fashioned.
Though there’s been some backlash as of late for ‘revival acts’ that call upon the sounds of yesterday (Adele, Duffy, Winehouse), Nikki + Rich show the promise of staying true to today without looking back to the point of becoming a tribute band.
I’m utterly obsessed with these two!