...Nikhil Korula, Musician
Nikki Korula fronts the Nikhil Korula band. He describes their music as Rock / Acoustic / Jam Band on their official MySpace page. On their site they list their influences as Dave Matthews Band, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Coldplay, Bob Marley, Allman Brothers, Rusted Root, Jack Johnson, Sting (and Police) and it shows in their music. The band headlines shows in the Los Angeles area and beyond.
Taking some time out from rehearsal, jamming and traveling for gigs, Nikki gave us some time to share a little about trying to make it big in the music world and give us his Two Cents and Five Answers.
Two Cents: Please tell the Two Cents readers about yourself a how you got your start in music.
Nikhi Korula: I got my start in music by singing in my children's choir at a local church in Pasadena called All Saints Episcopal Church. I also started taking piano lessons at the same time. My choir director, along with another local choir director, decided to start a professional children's chorus in LA called The Los Angeles Children's Chorus which I was the youngest founding member of. Through this group, I was introduced to the amazing works of Gustav Mahler, Bach, Hadyn, Leonard Berenstein, Benjamin Britten, Mozart, Carl Orff, and many more. Being a member of LACC, I was able to travel around the country performing in such esteemed music venues as Carnegie Hall, Crystal Cathedral, Dorothy Chandler Pavillion and Shrine Auditorium for the 32nd Annual Grammy Awards, singing back up for Mike and the Mechanics. That was really a thrill. I got the chance to meet some of my favorite artists at the time such as Billy Joel, Motley Crue, Miles Davis, and others. As I became more immersed in classical music, I began performing at the LA Opera and got the opportunity to sing with Placido Domingo in 6 operas that included Puccini's TOSCA, Bizet's CARMEN and Verdi's OTHELLO, all masterpieces in the operatic world. After my voice changed, I continued my classical voice training and was accepted to the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for Vocal Performance. Once I got there, I was introduced to so many different kinds of musicians and artists that began to influence my craft. For instance, all of my roommates happened to be jazz musicians, some of whom blew me away with the amount of talent they possessed at such a young age. From then on, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I graduated from USC with a bachelor's degree in music, but I had my sights on starting a world influenced jam band and write music in the style of Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Dave Matthews. I guess you could say the rest is history.
TC: You just had a CD release show, tell us about the new CD.
NK: Well, 2 years ago, we recorded our first full length album at Ocean Way Studios, one of the greatest studios in the world, called THE WAY THINGS WORK. We have since been selling this album like crazy at our live shows and on our website (www.nkband.com), but so many fans were requesting some songs that weren't on this album. Luckily, when we were recording THE WAY THINGS WORK, we cut 2 songs that were initially supposed to be on the album, but were left out due to time restrictions and consistency with the overall vision of the record stylistically. Due to popular demand, our fans inspired me to go back into the studio to mix and master 2 full band songs and 2 solo acoustic songs that I had previously recorded just months prior. The new EP we released at our House of Blues show on April 9th is called ACOUSTIC B-SIDES & RARITIES and we couldn't be more thrilled with the way the
songs turned out.
TC: If you could go back in time and have been responsible for a recording a song that is now legend, which song would it be?
NK: There is no question in my mind about what song I wish I could have written and recorded. It would have to be IN YOUR EYES by Peter Gabriel. I think it is the most beautiful sound recording ever made and I would have been honored to compose and record a song as amazing as that one.
TC: What fun websites do you visit for your own entertainment?
NK: I think Myspace is one of those sites I check out for work and entertainment. Youtube would also be under the same category. Its easy to waste time on both of those sites, but very often you can find something that both inspires and intrigues your senses.
TC: What new projects do you have coming up?
NK: I am most excited about our first appearance at SUMMERFEST 2007 in Milwaukee, WI this summer. We will be opening for OAR, but the lineup includes such incredible artists as John Mayer, Ben Folds, The Fray, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Jay Z, Ludacris and many more. It's our first big break and we can't wait to be in the company of such unbelievable musical acts.
*Two Cents Bonus Question*
TC: If someone were to climb off a desert island and only have time to watch five movies to learn what American cinema is all about, what five movies would you show them?
NK: I think I would have to go with: SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, AIRPLANE, STAR WARS (Any of the original trilogy), BIG FISH, THE WIZARD OF OZ.
A standing ovation for Nikki and his time he gave us! Go check him out on MySpace or the band's own website and look for them coming to a venue near you!