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Independence has always come easy for vocalist/lyricist/bandleader Nikki Hill, raised by a single mother and two older sisters in close quarters throughout Durham, North Carolina. This inspired not only her confidence at a young age, but a self-reliance and strong curiosity, which informed Hill’s interest in art, reading and writing. The moment she could break free from the long Sunday sermons and weekday choir practices, Nikki traded the pews for barstools, sneaking into venues when necessary, and was soon immersed in North Carolina’s roots scene. She felt oddly comfortable, finding a direct connection between the energy she saw at local shows in Chapel Hill, and the intense praise dancing, gospel shouting church services she attended and sang with up until she was a teen. Seeing everything from Dexter Romweber to Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bo Diddley to Motorhead, her new sermons came from rockers and bartenders, cowpunks and starving artists. Everyone had a story, and very soon, Nikki was in the mix herself, immersed in music, getting into trouble, and making stories of her own.