Go Funk Yourself
By Japhy Grant
Nikka Costa has wandered in and out of the mainstream for years, with songs such as �Like a Feather� and �Everybody�s Got Their Something.� After a stormy relationship with Virgin Records dissolved in 2004, Costa went off on her own. This fall, after a four-year hiatus, she released a new studio album, Pebble to a Pearl, under her own Go Funk Yourself label.
Costa�s blend of funk, soul, blues and rock will grace tonight�s Out 100 party. We asked the refreshingly honest singer about what it�s like to come in from the cold, whether she and Amy Winehouse are soul sisters, and what she thinks of California�s Proposition 8.
Out: You�ve been gone for four years. Where have you been?
Nikka Costa: I�d gotten off my major label and wanted to get back to the music I loved as a teenager -- Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Etta James. I wanted to get back to the joy of making music. I�ve had four different presidents in the time I was at my old label. It was frustrating and soul destroying. It was like being on a sinking ship. We know the industry�s really changing, and I�m happy to be on my own now. What else? I had a baby. I played some gigs in L.A -- just trying to clear my head, you know?
It seems like every interview I�ve read with you has someone asking, �Why are you not a bigger star?� It�s a sort of backhanded compliment.
I don�t even know how to respond to the �Why aren�t you bigger?� question. Whatever. I want to sell records, obviously, but I think my career is the thing that it is. There are enough musicians and producers out there making that kind of music and it doesn�t interest me. All those songs are interchangeable. I�m not into music to be famous. I�m into capturing an experience and sharing it. It�s a longer road, maybe, but it�s the one I�m on.
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