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Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Newcomer Nikki Jane Channels Skin’s Style & Janelle Monae’s Trajectory – With A Sound All Her Own

Nikki Jane
Sporting a do and fashion sense similar to former Skunk Anansie front woman Deborah Anne Dyer (Skin), 18 year old Valencia Burse aka Nikki Jane released her debut music video for “I Love You” last month, a single that is already building an impressive online following. Like Dyer, Nikki Jane proudly rocks non traditional beauty (shaved head, tattoos and andro-chic fashion sense) but unlike Dyer she creates music that is designed for the Top 40 – with a twist.

Crowned by local fans as “ATL’s Latest Superstar”, Nikke Jane weaves a catchy musical mélange of old-school soul, hip-hop, R&B, funk and rock. This young songstress is positioning herself to join the ranks of a certain eclectic artist with southern roots who has also set her sites beyond indie label success  – Janelle Monae.

Both artists have strong voices, a distinct fashion aesthetic and combine an exhilarating rock energy with R&B. They are contributing to the evolution of musical genres and subcultures such as Afro-Punk, consciously redefining the way the public perceives African Americans.

Not content with churning out traditional styles of Soul, R&B or even Pop, both artists evoke the groundbreaking work of Prince, an artist who continues to break through labels and genres. Like Prince, these ladies have their own stories to tell and aren’t letting a label create their sound for them or be pegged as the new Beyoncé (although Nikke Jane does site both Beyoncé and Solange as influences).

Although Burse is represented by 311 Music Group, a new label launched this year by creative director Kim Burse, Nikke Jane continues to write her own music – something she began doing at age 12. Growing up in Roswell, GA, Nikke found inspiration in church (Like Monae) and with singing and dancing for the Tolbert Yilmaz Dance Company.

When this talented “anti-teenager” isn’t busy performing and working on her debut album, she enjoys dancing, writing, drawing and doing hair. Burse – also known as “Baby V” – was inspired by the movie Talladega Nights when she created her stage name Nikki Jane.  According to her MySpace page, she thought it was cool to have two first names so she created “Nikki Jane” because it sounds free flowing.

Let’s hope Baby V is able to remain free and fearless on her path towards achieving her musical dreams and goals, as well as staying true to her own voice. The Lair is rooting for you!

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