Thu | Jul 18, 2019

A Chat with Nikeisha

Published:Tuesday | August 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer
Nikeisha Barnes performing at the National Gallery.

After an hour-long exhilarating performance at the Kingston-based National Gallery of Jamaica Last Sunday series, Nikeisha Barnes spoke of her plans to The Gleaner, attributing her amazing performance to a number of factors, which includes resting her voice. As a result, her vocals felt rested.

She has grown professionally since her days in Digicel Rising Stars, a fact she is very cognisant of. "I think my confidence has grown in terms of who I am as a woman, and this has translated into who I am as an artiste. I am no longer afraid of the stage, and that comes out when I am performing. I am not worried about who is present. I plan to do a very good show, and once I think I can bring that to the table, I am not worried. I just go out and enjoy myself."

She continued, "With Rising Stars, each week you had to sing a different set of songs, which you have to learn and prepare. The audience might be a little different, too. this pushes you to be a better performer. You are ready for whatever comes."

And that experience has come in handy. "In terms of song selection, I was so involved, that now I am comfortable with the songs that I sing because I know that they are songs that suit me. I think my repertoire speaks to that, and I am able now to navigate through the different songs, and nobody can force me to sing songs that I am uncomfortable with."

Like with so many other artistes, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who passed away last week, was an inspiration. "In her I saw my grandmother. I stayed inspired by seeing her as a woman of colour on television, and this keep me believing that if I just keep one foot in front of the other, my dreams will manifest themselves. It is going to be hard work because I have heard her say it, but you must believe in it, and with her at the forefront I know my space in music was better."

Barnes advice to aspiring female artistes: "If this is what you want do, do not give up."

She revealed that she has been in the studio and has recoded an EP, her second (the first was Wounded in Love one) - Layers of My Soul. It is due to be released at the end of September. She is also working towards tours in the spring of next year. Having done some Caribbean tours, she is hoping to go a little wider afield.