NIK:11: Spinning love

by Brent Cole

Tucked away in the outskirts of Bellingham lives Nicole Tindall, aka NIK:11, an electronic dance music DJ who has performed in front of thousands at some of the biggest festivals across the US. Raised in Detroit, she cut her teeth in the P-Funk All Stars as a teenager before leaving the band to pursue her true passion as a DJ.

“I love the way I can make people feel, music is universal and speaks no language – just a feeling deep inside your soul,” Nicole said about music. “You don’t even have to think about it, just let go and let the music take you there.”

Having grown up “on the other side of eight mile” in Detroit, Nicole began her career in show business after seeing Miss America on TV as a teenager, figuring it was a good way to start “something.” An avid music fan, she thought pageants would be a way to open the door into what she really wanted. “So, that’s what I did, I started entering Miss Teen pageants… I had no clue what I was doing or what I was getting myself into, I just knew I had to do it.”

By her third pageant, she was confident in the process and began meeting different people in the industry. She met a producer who gave her a small movie role, and from there, more acting roles began to pop up. But what she wanted to do was make music.

During her teenage years, she said, she “met up with a friend whose brother was going to school to become a recording engineer and he had access to recording studios.” She wrote a song called “Rock Me Baby” and made “a ton” of copies, giving them out to everyone, including her movie producer friend who loved it. “Turns out he used to be a big shot record promoter back in the George Clinton (of Parliament Funkadelic) days late 80s or 90s and gave a copy to George Clinton.” She added, “Next thing I knew I was in the studio with George Clinton as my producer, with people like Eminem bouncing around the room.”

With that, she began touring as part of the P-Funk All Stars,. Before she was even 20 years old, Nicole was performing all over the world, something she did for five years. “One day, I decided I wasn’t really following my heart and passion that I had for dance music. So I decided to part ways with the P-Funk.”

After forming a band and touring, then having it implode, Nicole began going to underground raves and parties, seeking out house music and techno. “I really fell in love with DJs, vinyl and the passion of beat matching on technics. I couldn’t get enough of it,” she said. She became friends with DJ Rap out of the UK and Nicole suddenly understood what to do next. “As I met her and watched her spin, I was in love and realized I needed to be apart of this new movement of dance music.”

Nicole began practicing and playing every day – something she still works on – and it wasn’t long before NIK:11 was born. She began touring and playing all over the world including Lollapalooza to the Gorge.

“I fell in love with Washington State after playing the Gorge. I’ve never seen anything like it,” she exclaimed. “Seattle is amazing and I really like the vibe of Vancouver – so Bellingham was the perfect place to settle. After being here for a couple years, I have never felt more at home, the people of Bellingham are very creative, artistic and talented.” She added, “There is a sense of community that I’ve never had before but I’ve always wanted to be a part of.”

Nicole has kept a low profile  while living in Bellingham, though still playing festivals. When not performing, she’s constantly working on her craft. “My sound/mixes seem to get edgier/harder as the years go by, I used to be really into house music and future house music, but now I’m really into hard/progressive/electro house,” adding, “I know the moment I hear a sound, if it’s going to work during the creative process of recording a track. I’m very in tune with my energy and self, constantly analyzing the way I’m feeling and thinking. There is no particular style or music genres, but the tracks I seem to create or mix are very electronic and bass driven set recorded at 128bmp.”

Nicole will have a special performance at Rumors on July 29 and is hoping to start collaborating with local producers. “I would love to hear and work with any and all talent,” she stated excitedly. “I’m always looking for EDM producers/writers to collaborate with.”

At her performance, you’ll also see Nicole transfer into NIK:11, thanks in part to Amy and Billy at The Velvet Rope. “I honestly don’t know what I would do without them – moving from the East Coast to the West Coast I had to find all new stylist/creative people,” she said, adding, “that always helps me look like a rockstar before the show.”

See NIK:11 at Rumors on July 29. For more information, follow her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/djnikki1111.

Published in the July 2016 issue of What’s Up! Magazine