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Singer/Guitarist Nikki O’Neill Endorses Daisy Rock Guitars

05/18/2006

Daisy Rock Guitars is pleased to announce that singer/guitarist Nikki O’Neill has signed up as one of our newest Daisy Rock artist endorsers.

Nikki O\'Neill is a New York-based singer, songwriter, guitarist, music teacher and journalist. Coming from Santa Monica, CA, by way of Sweden, Poland, and now living in Brooklyn, she\'s a true reflection of New York City\'s cosmopolitan music scene.

A trained singer and guitarist in jazz and classical music, Nikki\'s greatest inspiration comes from Southern soul, heavy guitar rock, funk and Afro-Latin music. Her main guitar heroes are Carlos Santana, Jimmy Page, Warren Haynes, Tennie Hodges (Al Green) and Al Anderson (The Wailers).

As a singer, Nikki listens to "every great African-American vocalist out there: Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Aretha, Dionne Warwick, Ann Peebles, Linda Womack... I owe them everything." Her blues-tinged vocal style sometimes gets compared to Joan Osborne and Bonnie Raitt, but she has a breathy and intimate tone which is distinctively her own.

Nikki is the founder of Women’s School of Rock (WSR), a business which initially started with her teaching private guitar lessons to women and girls of all ages in NYC. Due to popular demand, Nikki is now expanding WSR with clinics in songwriting, both nationally and internationally.

She is also a faculty member at New School University’s Guitar Study Center, where she teaches the 12-week class “Women\'s Contemporary Rock Guitar” - the only university-level guitar course in the United States that focuses on the contributions of female rock and blues guitarists, like Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, PJ Harvey and Jennifer Batten.

She travels to Sweden as a guest clinician for ELLA, a rock music college program for women only. Recently invited by former Tom Waits/Elvis Costello drummer Michael Blair, Nikki has also become part of the international mentoring program for Sweden\'s Music Factory, a university-level music program.

A former rock journalist, Nikki interviews guitarists for FUZZ Magazine – Sweden’s version of Guitar Player.

Nikki recently played lead guitar and sang backing vocals in pop singer Johanna Stahley’s band. Stahley\'s songs "My Big O" and "Nothing I Would Change" were featured on MTV’s Laguna Beach in October 2005. That month, Nikki also performed in a videogame commercial with Stahley. They appear as a rock band in "The Turnaround Game," which is about saving a dying record label (!).

Formerly a guitarist in New York\'s up-and-rising Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra, Nikki has performed at the Knitting Factory and can be heard on Kokolo\'s nationally distributed CD, Fuss & Fight (AfroKings).

In 2003, Nikki auditioned as a guitarist for Courtney Love\'s touring band. Although she didn\'t get the gig, the queen of grunge did call Nikki up after the audition in true Courtney time (= 2 AM) to tell her she really liked her talents as a songwriter and poet. The song in question was "Unbearable Love" - featured on Nikki\'s debut EP, Life Behind Her Eyes, released in 2003.

Nikki debuted as instrumental guitar composer for a dance ensemble at the Soho Joyce Theatre in New York City in 2001. She was awarded with the Martin Guitar Scholarship in 1998.

At this time, Nikki is performing in NYC with her first original band, and meeting publishers and producers in New York and Sweden to begin recording her first full-length solo album in 2006.

"My music is inspired by classic stuff: George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, Southern Soul artists - and with me being half-Swedish, you\'ll probably find a little ABBA in there too," she says. "It\'s very guitar-friendly story songs, and hopefully with harmonies off the beaten path. Most of all, I want a sense of humanness to the sound. I want to make pop music where you can hear the energy and touch of real people."

For more information about Nikki, stop by her web site at www.nikkioneill.com.