I didn’t wanna do music no more. I mean, I kinda wanted to, but I thought it would be too hard to start over. You spend hella time out the game and every thing changes. What i wanted was to not be here. I would wake up and be disappointed that I was awake, and just lay there for an hour before I could get outta bed. I spent a lot of time in bed. I only pushed myself to get better because of my momma. She was sick, and she needed me. So I pushed myself. I didn’t have hella support, because the stigma around mental health leaves a lot of room for lack of understanding, a lot of room for judgement, a lot of room for shame.

I realize now that my music career, by itself, is not enough of a motivator for me no more. I am motivated my people. Particularly people who’s needs are underrepresented. And when I talk about that kinda stuff I feel stronger. I am releasing a trilogy of projects as part of a series I am calling “Happy Songs about Unhappy Things.” Right now my inspiration is coming primarily from the battles I have fought, the ones I am still fighting, and the people who are fighting those battles with me. I think I have accomplished a lot of stuff that I can be proud of, but nothing makes me more proud than this.

Nikki Lynette is a performer, producer, writer, and visual artist whose style is equal parts hip hop, alternative, and pop.

 

A Chicago native, her profound sense of individuality has been the cornerstone of her career an as indie artist, resulting in songs that she describes as “genreless ear candy.” Her self-produced tunes have been featured in popular shows on MTV, Fox, Hulu, Netflix, and more and have garnered digital and print features for publications like XXL, Bust, and Vibe. A proud independent artist, Lynette’s success in music licensing has earned it’s own accolades, including a prominent feature in Billboard Magazine and being invited to speak on a panel at South By Southwest. “Artists used to be limited by what opportunities were handed to them,” she explains. “But I sang a theme song for Hasbro and starred in a national Kmart commercial. Whoopi Goldberg read one of my blogs on The View. TV shows play my music and I’ve never been on major radio. Indie artists make our own opportunities now.” In 2016, Lynette collaborated on Poo-Pouri’s viral video Imagine which won her first major music award, the American Music Producer Award for Best Original Song.

After a hiatus from releasing new music, Nikki Lynette returned to the public eye with a confession: she’d secretly been battling mental health issues. She began writing articles about depression and suicide for prominent sites like BlackDoctor, Afropunk and AllHipHop, and held her own among medical professionals in live chats and panel discussions with hundreds of thousands of viewers. Now, Nikki does a popular video series for Afropunk to raise awareness for mental health.

(Manic Pixie Dream Girl) is Nikki Lynette’s first full album release since 2011. While the funky pop project screams sass and brash, it is the first in a three part body of work that includes music, visual art, and a short film detailing the experience of being driven to a dark place and finding your way back from it. “I chose to release it on September 11th because it’s the anniversary of when I tried to kill myself,” Lynette explains. “I didn’t think I’d live to release new music. So it makes sense to kick off the project on a day that means something.” Most of the project was produced by Lynette herself, alongside her long time collaborator Matt Hennessy, with the opening track being helmed by Da Internz. In this project we see Lynette stretching out her skills as a songwriter, walking the listener through the experience of playing a role dictated to her by someone else while simultaneously pushing back against it. “I got really good at writing when I was doing all those writing camps for Warner and Atlantic and BMG Chrysalis in New York,” she explains. “Just being in an environment like that, with all those talented people, it makes it so you get really good at saying exactly what you mean in a song.” The release dates for the next two installments in the three part series, Chronicles of a Crazy “B!+ ¢#” and The Suicide Bridge have not yet been set.