I am Nika… Maybe you’re here because you heard me yell that name live on stage, or you got here by swimming through some hidden doors, but welcome to you, traveler.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a stargazer, a bird lover, a poet, a writer and a musician… Playing the violin ever since I was six, at that time, I exclusively listened to and played classical music. That is until I reached adulthood. At eighteen, I stumble upon, and started playing folk music and rock, all because I fell in love with a voice… and a certain mermaid inspired song. That said, let’s just add that this late autumn night, will forever be carved into my mind, as it is still, one of my lifetime, most precious memories.
Me, who had been heartbroken at the time and me who had abandoned her violin in a dusty corner of her room, had gone to that bar because my friends, wanting to cheer me up, had told me that a cool band was playing in town. I really didn’t feel like going, after all, it had been over six months that I had completely forsaken music, but… I forced myself to go, even just for a change of mind.
As the show began, I rediscovered music in all its beauty. Literally struck to my chair, I listened, bewitched by that folk/rock band touring in my birth city. I wondered. “How popular music could be this touching and beautiful?“. During the mermaid song, I was on the verge of crying and soon after, came the intermission. Overcome by deep emotions and unable to stop myself, I went up to speak with the owner of that magnificent voice.
He was a sweet and gentle man, but also a bit crazy. I told him that I was a violin player and that I totally fell in love with their music, especially their last song. I also told him: “I am impressed, for a singer, you sing in tune lol, it’s pretty rare.” He replied: “Thank you“. Then suddenly added: “Where is your violin?” I replied: “At home.” (My house was about fifteen minutes away by car.) He then said: “My guitar player will go with you to pick it up, let’s do the second set together! I always wanted to try playing with a violinist.” I couldn’t believe my ears, my head spinning as if in a trance, but captivated, I just obeyed the mysterious man and went home with a total stranger to go get my violin. My mind now excited about the seeming infinite possibilities.
It was truly one of the craziest experiences of my life. Playing for the first time, something other than classical, with these three strangers, on songs that I had never heard before. The bass player and I, even jammed on Bizet “Habanera” from Carmen after I asked him “Hey can you play “Re, La Fa La Re…?“… Our new audience went crazy as they went from surprises to surprises and overwhelmed by emotions, here I was, standing on stage, feeling like a shooting star… All of it felt so surreal, as if like walking inside a wonderful dream. After that, we kept contact and I soon became an official member of that band. I moved out of my parents on Christmas Eve of that same year, and left with them, starting on a journey, as we toured all around Quebec. I never looked back or came back home again, except to pay short visits to my family.
That mysterious night changed me forever and was the starting point of a new life and of my adventures as a violin player and as a woman…
Years later, after having played in many bands and alongside many singer song writers from Montreal all the way to Japan, I made a decision. From now on, Nika would be a solo artist. That tantalizing dream I secretly cherished, and that was growing in my heart from years earlier, was getting stronger, and slowly taking over my mind. I wanted to be my own voice, and with it, introduce instrumental music, even my beloved classical music to the general public. To bring music closer to people by letting them see it through a new light. Like the mermaid of tales, I wanted to enchant people souls, by singing on wordless music.
So Welcome to my fairy-tale. I am Nika “Cantabile” as if singing, a stargazing mermaid hitting the seas armed with two violins, a quill, and a name given to me by fans.
Jump in, in this boat without oars and let this voice, that I have been blessed with, reach your heart, be your light and guide your path. Walk into my world of lights and shadows and brave the stormy seas. Let’s cross misty falls, dance under moonlit carnivals and watch many beautiful sunrises together, as we embark on this journey, to transform and paint the world with sounds and dreams…
I look forward to many more, sometimes hard, sometimes ugly, but always worthwhile experiences crossing our path.
If you’d like to hear my latest creations, click here to listen to my EP, “Moonlight Carnival“.
Thank you for being a listener and for making it all matter.
P.S. Here it is especially for you, that voice and that song, the one that would become the trigger that changed my whole life…
Victime-Maritime (French song from Quebec)
Lyrics by Karine Landry
Music by Martin Robichaud
Violin by Nika Cantabile