After Jim Bauer from Marc Lavoine’s team, who told us about his coaching with Vald, his collaboration with Slimane and many other things, it’s the turn of Niki Black, Amel Bent’s talent of everything tell us. The 25-year-old American studied music in Los Angeles before moving to Paris to pursue a master’s degree in art history. A few hours before the semi-final live, Niki Black, candidate for The Voice 2021, confided in her love affair with France, the French artists she listens to, her difficulty singing in our language, her dream collaboration and even gives us a hint on the song she’s going to perform tonight! And if you were wondering what talent was going to replace The Vivi at the big live shows, know that we have the answer.
Niki Black (candidate for The Voice): I would say my emotions are quite unstable. At one point I can be very confident, then stressed, then paranoid, then chill, then normal … The life of an artist! (Laughs). We rehearsed a lot this week. The song I’m going to sing is that of an iconic artist in France. I’m not going to say if it’s French or not, but his career is immense. So obviously, it adds stress to me!
Niki Black: Basically, I had studied music to compose songs, not necessarily to become a singer. When I moved to France for my art history studies, I went to concerts, I sang in French … One day, friends of my parents who also lived in France told me: “Why don’t you participate in The Voice, here in France?”. And There you go !
Niki Black: I felt she spoke to me in the most loving and open-hearted way. I was really moved by what she told me. I am very happy with this decision because I have the feeling that it really is. Thanks to her, I have the feeling that I have learned to be an authentic artist who shows her emotions.
Niki Black: Of course! I have always been a fan of French music and since I moved to Paris, of course, I have started listening to more French music (laughs). There are several artists that I love, but if I had to pick one it would be Christine and the Queens! But since I particularly like the music of the 70s, I have to say the two greatest French voices: Johnny Hallyday and Edith Piaf!
Niki Black: It’s the most beautiful song of all time in my opinion. It was extremely important for me to sing in French. I wanted to prove to the public that I took it very seriously! I love the French language and Edith Piaf. I really worked hard to perfect the song with my own interpretation and pronunciation (laughs). I prefer to sing in French than to speak in French. The thing is, I still don’t know the language enough to be funny, I can be funny in English but not in French (laughs). I am not yet very comfortable with your humor which is very sarcastic!
Niki Black: I think I experienced it differently. Singing Edith Piaf was more stressful for me, because I was singing in French for the first time and on a French program moreover. I am very comfortable singing in English, of course. I don’t really think about whether or not I’m going to make it to the semi-finals and it helps relieve my stress. There weren’t any particular candidates that scared me. We all get along really well, it’s a bit like in Glee (American series, editor’s note). We’re all a little weird but having fun like crazy (laughs).
Niki Black: Harry Styles! I feel like he’s obsessed with the 70s like me and I love him. My dream is to collaborate with him musically and romantically speaking (laughs).
Niki Black: I would like to say that it is an honor to be in The Voice in France, and to sing for the French public. I hope my story can inspire people to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves. Honestly, if you dream of something then anything is possible. I’m going through this right now, so thank you to the French audience.