Los Angelino singer/songwriter, Nikki Segal, debuts her first project as Dillatante: An avant garde soundscape of electro folk-pop inspired by her roots in Southern California and Mexican-American heritage. Nikki started touring live with DJ/Producer, Josh Legg (Goldroom), throughout North America the day after graduating film school from the University of Southern California. Upon quickly entering the professional world of music, she met producer/songwriter/engineer Greg Cortez, who she began to record and produce her new project with at New Monkey Studios in Van Nuys, CA. Dillatante is currently working on releasing an EP over the course of 2019 and make sure to follow her on Instagram to keep updated. Check out our interview we did with her and watch her amazing music video to her recent song, “Sad Bitch” down below!
R: When did you first discover your drive to be an artist?
N: I kind of fell into the music scene by chance after graduating from film school. I got this random audition through Facebook to play live with an electronic disco group that I ended up landing. It was senior year of college, I now had a job, I was so excited I danced so hard and broke my foot in 3 places. The day after graduation, we started touring. It was pretty hilarious performing at these major EDM festivals wearing a giant boot on my foot. I mean I fit right in! But singing had always been a hobby of mine that I never took that seriously until I had to. After touring for a couple years and writing songs, I decided to give my own thing a go.
R: What inspired your recent song, “Sad Bitch”?
N: “Sad Bitch” is the love story that went so wrong yet once felt so right. It's the ultimate heartbreak haiku. Like Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, two artists or creatives can be a recipe for the greatest art or the greatest destruction. I didn’t know I was in toxic relationship until long after the fact. The grief from that relationship taught me so much about myself and my partner at the time. Even though the relationship I was in had (rightly) ended, I still held very strong feelings for this person. Over the course of the “grieving” process and reflection on the relationship, I ultimately was able to see that I would heal from this but he would stay the same. That's when I shifted from being sad, to feeling sad for him.
R: What message would you like people to take away through your music?
N: Dillatante is a project about embracing the art of being human, the quirks, the ups, the downs, the characters we play, and the stories we write about ourselves. Through it, I hope to welcome the intrinsic eccentricities within ourselves while at the same time provide a reminder to not take ourselves too seriously. We are all connected, and when we’re open and vulnerably honest, I think there is a lot of magic in paying attention to one another.
R: Who are some of your most cherished influences in music and why?
N: Bill Withers to this day humbles me to my core. He’s the kind of artist that is able to talk when he sings. It is so effortless that his songs feel like conversations to me. Knowing an artist’s story and the context of their work persuades so much of how I perceive them. I love the fact that he took a job building toilets for planes to make his 1st album, “Just as I am”. I think working real jobs is one of the greatest humbling experiences to pursue. You learn so much about people and how to treat people through observation and practice. And you learn a lot about work ethic. Morals. Tolerance. Respect. Etc. I respect the hell out of Bill Withers and his music gives me hope in humanity and in vulnerability through music.
R: Who is an artist you would love to collaborate with?
N: So many... Collaboration, to me, is the whole point. I love collaborating with many of my friends. Some other artists would be Annie Clark / St. Vincent, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Solange, Devendrá Banhart, Andy Shauf, Dev Hynes / Blood Orange, and Marc Ronson, to name a few.
R: How has your creativity helped you to embrace your true authentic self?
N: By listening more to myself. Easier said than done. It’s a life long practice :)
R: If you could live in only one city besides LA, where would it be and why?
N: Picking just one city is very hard. At the moment, with all things considered in my life, I would love to live in Mexico. Mexico City or Oaxaca is on my mind…
R: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
N: To listen to my own advice. Listening is everything.
R: If you could have one song to play every time you walked into a room, what would it be?
N: Currently I want to hear “Return Of The Mack” in every restaurant I walk into. I don’t know why, yet at the same time I know EXACTLY why.
R: What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of music?
N: Traveling, building, gardening, hosting, and set design. I actually work as an art director on the side and plan events to make ends meet. The way a room is set up has such an effect on energy and it’s really fun to play around with feng shui especially when bringing people together. I feel very grateful to have a hobby as a side hustle.