Who is Niki Barr of The Last Year?
First, let’s look back at how Niki Barr first became interested in pursing a musical career. When you have a house filled with family members playing instruments like the drums, bass, guitar and keys, you can’t help to be influenced. Add being introduced to vinyl and tapes of bands like REM, Depeche Mode and The Cars, there is no doubt that the desire of becoming a rock star would enter into your mind.
“When I was in elementary school, my music teacher encouraged me to sing, Niki Barr said. I think he realized I had a pretty good ear for pitch and singing. I probably have him to thank the most for making me believe that music wasn’t just a passion of mine, but something I could actually be a part of making. I tried a lot of different instruments from piano to clarinet to drums, and finally guitar. The guitar made sense to me because I could play and sing at the same time and from the age of 15 and on, I started writing my own songs.”
What do you remember about your first live performance?
“It was scary,” Niki Barr said. To this day, I still struggle with social anxiety. I think all the performing I’ve done has helped me manage it better, but it’s there. I played often on the weekends throughout high school, just me and my guitar. I remember my first performances as a teenager were at local bars and coffee shops. I vividly remember the smelly, crusty house microphones and 5 to 7 people in smoke-filled bars. Things used to race through my mind, like “what if I forget the lyrics?” and “what if my voice cracks?”. To be honest, performing in front of 5 people is WAY more scary than 1,000s of people.”
What musical artists are you inspired by?
- The Breeders
- No Doubt
- Alanis Morrisette
- PJ Harvey
What’s the best part of performing live?
“The audience, Niki Barr said. I like watching their faces light up when the big chorus hits. I like the uncertaintly of knowing whether they’ll respond to things I say in between songs. I’m sure it’s the same feeling broadway actors get on stage. No one show is ever the same. It’s exciting! The studio is for organized chaos. Our live show is just chaos. Things break, someone gets hurt, someone gets pissed off that things are breaking. It’s fun and scary all at the same time. “
Describe your personal style in five words or less.
On Stage: Pre-Loved (usually find my stuff at consignment or thrift stores), Spontaneous, Vibrant
Off Stage: Sophisticated Rock Chic
Does your stage style differ from your personal style? Why or why not?
“It does a bit, Niki Barr said. My personality is much louder on stage and my style tends to match that. I’ll wear a short skirt with leggings, colorful crop top, faux fur, and colorful makeup. Off-stage, I actually don’t like wearing makeup at all. I may use some concealer if I didn’t get enough sleep or some highlighting on my cheeks and eyes, but that’s about it.Some stage pieces do end up in my “casual” outfits. For example, I have a white studded faux leather jacket that I love and wear it all the time.”
What are your top three favorite stage outfits? Why?
This is tough because I try not to repeat outfits as much as I can, even if it means changing out one piece. Overall, I have my go-to items for comfort. I don’t want any wardrobe malfunctions on stage and I don’t want to think about anything else, other than performing. I always wear a pair of boots. I have a really cool pair of silver metallic boots that I love. They’re very flashy and cut through our often dark stage show. I also like any top that’s low-cut. I’ve got small boobs and I like the way low-cut tops look on me. Otherwise, I like tops that show off my arms. I work out a lot to keep myself sane and my arms show it. I feel strong in tops that show off my arms.
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