With millions of streams on her releases, NIKI DEMAR Is Making Huge Moves In The Indie Music Scene.
Tell us about your latest single “25,” how was it working on it, and what is the story behind it?
I always want to put out what’s on my mind, and something that has been on my mind a lot the past year has been my age. You’re always told when you’re younger “never ask someone their age, it’s insulting.” Discussing age and not being where you thought you would be is taboo, and everyone feels that way now (more than ever) with social media, to prove you’re doing something great with your life. I wanted to put out a song admitting how I (really) feel and how I know others my age feel, which I know from having conversations about this with my friends.
Ever since you were a child, the love for the world of fashion and beauty has been a significant thing in your life, which has tagged you as an influencer at the beginning of your journey. How is the love for fashion reflected in your daily life?
It’s funny, because this fashion thing goes way back, and it’s how I got to where I am right now. Growing up, I would ask for clothing on Christmas or birthdays as a 6-year-old (instead of toys like kids normally want). My mom would buy blank books from the craft store for me and my sisters to write and illustrate our own stories, and I would design outfits in mine. It’s crazy how my love for fashion led me to YouTube and how YouTube gave me a platform to do music. The two loves of my life are music and fashion, and it’s crazy how one led to the other. I’m so thankful that I can do both now. I actually styled myself for my “ Messy Room” music video and had so much fun playing stylist for my own video! Haha.
Your single “Messy Room” has an interesting story, what can you tell us about it, and does it tell us a little about you in everyday life?
I’ve dealt with mood instability my entire life, and my room always reflected that. I remember being so ashamed when relatives would bring up how messy I am at family dinners or make me out to seem so disobedient and lazy for not keeping my room clean and organized, the way I wish I could. In my depressive episodes, I couldn’t muscle the energy to pick things up. The smallest of tasks seemed like the biggest of tasks, and I just didn’t have the energy. To this day, I still deal with mental illness, and now instead of just my bedroom being a mess, my entire apartment can become a mess. There’s this similarity between someone’s space and their mental health and how the thoughts inside someone’s brain actually look like their space. They both mirror each other. Instead of feeling ashamed of my messy space, I started to come to terms with my bad habits simply being a result of poor mental health, and that it’s okay. I wanted others to have that same realization moment I had and to feel less shame for their bad habits or symptoms of depression, so I put out “Messy Room.”
How did Corona’s year change you as a musician and what did you learn about yourself during that time?
Prior to the pandemic, I had kept myself distracted so that my deepest darkest emotions wouldn’t be accessible to me, as a way to protect myself. Specifically, being alone at night with my loud thoughts, felt like something I wasn’t ready to do. Once the pandemic hit, I was forced to pause, be in my own presence, and not only listen to those loud, uncomfortable thoughts, but face them. Going deep within led me to music, as writing became my form of coping with these emotions during the pandemic. Writing these songs also led me to discover my purpose and passion, which is music. I wouldn’t have these songs or be pursuing music without that time alone to myself.
What do you think made people love you and your sister as a couple, is this the openness and fun relationship between you guys?
There’s always been this stereotype that twin sisters are the same, look the same, dress the same and get along. On YouTube, my twin sister Gabi and embraced our differences, calling ourselves the opposite twins, which I think people were attracted to. Obviously, we’re not the first set of twins who are different, but I think we accidentally tapped into something that had never been done on YouTube before. Usually, twins are seen as cookie cutter and perfect, but we showed our imperfections and fights instead.
As an artist, you are influenced by other artists you value and admire, who are the artists who have influenced you over the years, and is there anyone special?
I’m mostly inspired by artists who constantly allow themselves to evolve like Miley, Halsey, and Lady Gaga. Looking at these three artists, you can visually and sonically hear their evolution and enter different phases with them. I think it’s so cool that they never put themselves in a box and allow themselves to experiment in their artistry.
Who is the next artist you would like to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with the artists (and sisters) who first inspired me, Aly & AJ. Ironically, I’m friends with both of them now; we got connected back in 2017, and I’m obsessed with the music they’re putting out currently.
Was going out into the world of music writing and singing your way into something new that is just yours?
Starting this music career, I had to be okay with starting from the bottom again and putting myself out there, knowing I could fail publicly. It’s been refreshing and scary starting an entirely new journey. I feel like the new kid in school again, similar to how I felt when I began my YouTube channel. You’ll never know what can come of something unless you try and beginning something new and putting yourself out there is the first step. I believed in myself with YouTube, the same way I believe in myself with my music. It’s scary and super discouraging at times, but if you love something enough, the feedback doesn’t matter. No matter where this journey takes me, I’m putting out music and connecting with an audience who resonates with it, and that’s all I can ask for.
You and many of the artists share their daily lives on social media, how important is exposure and connection to the audience for you?
I want to connect with my audience so they know me the best they can, without actually knowing me personally. I want them to be able to hear a song that was released and know what my inspiration was behind it.
As a media star and social influencer, what advice would you like to give young people at the beginning of their careers as new influencers or fashion designers?
Let the heart and passion lead, not the ego. If you genuinely are in love with what you’re doing, it will translate, and you will find people who want to follow you.
From all the singles you’ve released so far, which one still makes you excited every time you hear it?
“Alone in My Car” will always have a special place in my heart because it’s my first baby. It feels like a first relationship. I’ll always have a soft spot for that one because it paved the way for the rest.