Monique Nikkole says yes to reggae
When singer Monique Nikkole recorded the song Say Yes , she felt there was more to it than a rhythm and blues flavour. She wanted to do an alternative mix that took her back to her roots.
“The original song had that nice, smooth grove that transitioned very well into a classic reggae song. I figured it would be a great way to reach a market that also represents who I am. My mother's side of the family is from Barbados,” she said. “I want to do music that is expressive of all sides of me. I grew up in the melting pot of East Flatbush/Canarsie in Brooklyn, and it is very diverse culturally. It's just a natural progression.”
Say Yes is the American artiste's first reggae single after doing R&B for several years. The reggae cut is produced by Joe Lindsey and R&B version by Michael Westbrooks.
Much of the promotion behind Say Yes has been in New York, where Nikkole has performed at popular reggae spots like SOB's and on shows like WBLS Circle of Sisters.
Much of Nikkole's time in the entertainment industry has been behind the scenes. Prior to entering the recording booth she operated recording studios, an artiste management company, and a publishing company. A desire to perform, she told the Jamaica Observer, was never far away.
“I grew up on Caribbean music. Soca, calypso, reggae along with R&B, jazz and blues — all types of music was in steady rotation in my home. When I was coming up I was lucky enough to live next door to The Mighty Sparrow's cousin. I would see him and enjoyed listening to him,” she said. “Dancehall was a big influence also. I love Shabba, Buju, Beenie Man, Yellow Man, Shaggy, Super Cat, Shellie Thunder and Lady Saw.”
With influences that also include R&B singers like Diana Ross, Stephanie Mills and Meli'sa Morgan, it was only natural for Nikolle to try and reach diverse markets.
“I will be making more tunes. This first reggae release has been very well-received and I'm looking forward to creating more,” she said.
— Howard Campbell