Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Niki: I was born in Balanga, Bataan, Philippines; then, I was adopted into a Fil-Am family, and was raised in the Bay Area. I’ve been here most of my life.
Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Niki: I think all children start off on a creative path. I started music when I was three, drawing when I was four, and writing when I was six. What allowed me to stick with it all were the many nurturing experiences with my parents, mentors and homies from the Filipino Youth Coalition (FYC) in the South Bay, best friends, and alone time with my Self. I took the professional route while in college, stuck with it since, and I don’t plan on deviating from it. I acknowledge the hardships and many privileges I’ve grown up with that have shaped this path.
Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Niki: My families (adoptive and birth), their lives, their missed opportunities, their laughter; other creative work by fellow artists; the storytelling of dancers, actors, painters, poets, musicians, teachers; the Indigenous/indio-genius culturebearers whose memory we depend on; the differently-abled folks I work with at my dayjob (their perspectives, philosophies, vitality, humor, frustrations); my son Praxedis and his ability to get up and dance wherever and whenever a song comes on.
Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Niki: Billie Holiday- Lady Day Blues
Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Niki: For young and/or single artistmamas out there: when shit gets real and you feel trapped/unable to pursue your work, let your children inspire you. Within them they carry the creative and healing energies of the cosmos. When they play, you play. When they get up and dance, you dance. When they sit in awe of a winged-insect, you sit in awe. As corny as that may sound, that’s how we cultivate art—by remembering that we don’t come from nature. We are nature—the most intricate mural ever designed, the most elaborate movement ever expressed.