Nikka Costa

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Nikka Costa
Birth name Domenica Costa
Born (1972-06-04) 4 June 1972 (age 42)
Tokyo, Japan
Genres Funk, blue-eyed soul, pop, blues, rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, acoustic guitar, organ, keyboards
Years active 1981–present
Labels Mushroom, Stax, Virgin
Website www.nikkacosta.com

Domenica "Nikka" Costa (born June 4, 1972) is an American singer whose music combines elements of funk, soul, and blues. She also had a career as a child singer starting in the early 1980s. She is the daughter of notable music producer Don Costa and is married to Australian producer/songwriter Justin Stanley.

Early life[edit]

Nikka Costa was born in Tokyo, Japan.[1] Her father Don Costa was a notable producer and a musician with many connections in the music business. During her childhood Costa was surrounded by famous musicians and traveled around the world with her father.[1]

At age 5 Costa recorded a single with Hawaiian singer Don Ho. Italian producers Danny B. Besquet and Tony Renis were working with her father on the album Don Costa Plays The Beatles when they had a brainstorm to produce an album with Nikka singing while her father played acoustic guitar. The album was well received in Europe and Costa became known as a child star. At age 9 Costa sang with Frank Sinatra in an appearance on the lawn of the White House.[2]

Costa's career as a recording artist under her own name started in 1981, when she recorded the song "(Out Here) On My Own" (from the musical Fame). The single, recorded in Milan with the conductor Victor Bach and produced by Besquet and Renis, spent fourteen weeks at number 1 in Italy, nine weeks at number 1 in Spain, and five weeks at number 1 in France. The song also reached number 7 in Switzerland and number 32 in the Netherlands. The album Nikka Costa, produced by Besquet and Remis, was released outside the U.S. in 1981. The album reached #1 in Europe and South America[citation needed] and Costa toured around the world.[1] Her second album Fairy Tales (cuentos de hadas) was released in 1983. Don Costa died of a heart attack shortly after the album was recorded. The pop album Here I Am... Yes, It's Me was released to fulfill a contractual obligation in 1989, though it still topped some charts in Europe.[1] In 1990 she performed at the San Remo Music Festival with a rendition of All for the Love, an English version of Vattene amore by Mietta and Amedeo Minghi.

After graduating from high school, Costa decided to move away from pop and moved toward funk and soul, becoming influenced by Motown artists.[1]

Adult career[edit]

While already a music business veteran, in the early 1990s Costa transitioned away from childhood pop to mature soul. She married Australian producer/songwriter Justin Stanley and moved to his country. (Costa and Stanley now have a daughter named Sugar McQueen.) While in Australia, Costa began writing her own songs and formed a "happy funk" band called Little Mona & The Shag Daddies, which broke up after four gigs in Sydney. Costa's next venture was a band called Sugarbone, which toured Australia in 1994. Costa describes the experience as "It was really scary to unveil it but the reaction was good. It helped my confidence." [3] After Sugarbone, she signed to the Mushroom label in Australia. In 1996 Costa released the album Butterfly Rocket in Australia, which reached the Top 20. The record led to a nomination for ARIA Music Awards Breakthrough Artist in 1996 and Best Female Artist in 1997.[4]

In 2000, Costa's song "Like A Feather" was featured in a Tommy Hilfiger television advertising campaign. That exposure coupled with the track's music video helped launch her U.S. music career. The album Everybody Got Their Something was released in 2001 and reached #120 on the Billboard 200. The title track and "Like a Feather" were radio hits, although the latter did peak at #53 in the United Kingdom.[5] In 2005, Costa released the album can'tneverdidnothin'. She toured with Lenny Kravitz who also performed on the record. In 2006 she and her husband Justin recorded and performed the theme to the short-lived CBS sitcom "Courting Alex", which starred Jenna Elfman.

Costa was a guest singer on Mark Ronson's album Here Comes the Fuzz. Ronson has produced some of Costa's songs.[6] Her song "Push & Pull" from the album Everybody Got Their Something is included in the soundtrack of the 2001 movie Blow starring Johnny Depp. Her song "Everybody Got Their Something", was used in the soundtrack of the 2009 movie All About Steve starring Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper. Her song "Stuck To You" from the album Pebble to a Pearl was used in an episode of Grey's Anatomy in season five.

Costa is currently signed with Stax Records.[7] Her latest studio album Pebble to a Pearl was released on October 14, 2008. In 2010 she released the single "Ching Ching Ching" in Europe. The song is notable from a genre change from soul/funk to electro-pop. The single reached #77 in Germany, making it Costa's first single to chart in Germany since "On My Own" in 1981. A new album titled PRO★WHOA! was set for release in late 2010 but has been delayed until early 2011. Costa co-wrote the song "Diamonds Made from Rain" on Eric Clapton's 2010 album Clapton.

Costa sings a reinterpreted version of the INXS hit "Kick", on the INXS album Original Sin, digitally released in Australia in October 2010, and in the United States in April 2011.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

As a child artist

  • Nikka Costa (1981) - Released in Europe and South America
  • Fairy Tales aka Cuentos de Hadas (1983) - Spanish album, released in Europe and South America
  • Here I Am... Yes, It's Me aka Loca Tentación (1989) - English album, released in Europe and South America

As an adult artist

EPs[edit]

Demos[edit]

  • Sugarbone (1994) - Three-track demo tape recorded in Australia
  • Everybody Got Their Something - Demo (2001) - Featuring unreleased tracks and alternate mixes from the album sessions
  • Can'tneverdidnothin' - Unreleased Version (2004) - Featuring unreleased tracks and alternate mixes from the album sessions

Remix albums[edit]

  • Return of the Funky White Girl (2001) - a promo release featuring remixed versions of songs from Everybody Got Their Something, with remixes by Mark Ronson

Live albums[edit]

  • Live at the Bridge (1996) - EP bundled with the re-released version of Butterfly Rocket
  • Live in Tokyo (2001) - promo CDR featuring a performance at Astro Hall
  • Live at the Roxy (2005) - DVD sold at concerts

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Nikka Costa Biography
  2. ^ "Nikka Costa : Nikka Costa: Tour Talk - Rhapsody Music Downloads". VH1.com. Retrieved 2012-05-08. 
  3. ^ "Nikka.Costa". Pollstar. Retrieved 2012-05-08. 
  4. ^ ARIA Awards History: Winners by Year - 1997
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 122. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ Mark Ronson
  7. ^ Concord Music Group - Nikka Costa Signs With Stax Records!