#BreakingTheIce With Nikki Briar

New Jersey isn’t a place we think of when we think of country music, however, Nikki Briar is here to eliminate all of those misconceptions. This Garden State cowgirl is rough, tough, sassy and sure knows her way around a stage. She has opened for many well established acts such as Chris Janson, Locash and Billy Currington. Vocally, she reminds me of Ann Wilson of the band Heart. Her voice is all rock and possesses a rasp factor that I just can’t get enough of. Nikki Briar prides herself on making her set as fun as possible and continues to tour all over the east coast as well as Nashville. She is a beloved Jersey resident and fans tend to flock to her shows.


1. Where are you answering these questions from and what are you wearing?
I am sitting on my comfy couch with my laptop and my pup Jovi sleeping next to me. I’m wearing my COUNTRY THANG tank top and shorts!
2. What’s your official title and favorite thing about what you do?
Nikki Briar- Country Rock Recording Artist. Fans gave me the nickname “The Garden State Cowgirl” about five years ago and it has become my signature ever since. My most favorite thing about what I do is being able to play music 24/7 and being blessed to live out my passion and dream of entertaining people and performing. 
3. What are the things you CANNOT live without?
I could never live without my husband who is my rock, my No. 1 fan and best friend. I could never live without the love and support of my family and friends who encourage me to chase my dreams and have my back (Aka #TeamBriar). I could never live without music because it is a daily necessity in my life.
 4. What’s the first concert you’ve ever attended?
HANSON! I was about 12 years old and was in LOVE with Hanson (Taylor was my favorite!). I still love their music. They are incredibly talented and I am so proud that they have continued to follow their passion in music all these years. Shortly after Hanson, I saw BackStreet Boys, Spice Girls, Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLachlan. At a young age, I had a very electric taste for music and just appreciated all styles and genres.
 5. How long have you been playing music?
Ever since I could talk. I learned how to talk by singing lyrics to songs by Whitney Houston when I was a baby (my parents have proof on old video tapes!). I got involved with every talent show our school had, every musical and dance class, plus learning the drums and guitar in middle school. My mom played classical piano and my dad was a touring Motown/Jazz drummer. Music was part of our family.
 6. What’s the hardest life lesson you’ve learned?
Being in the music business, there have been many lessons! First lesson is that you never just sit and wait for things to happen, you are the creator of your own fate so you need to be aggressive and assertive and make things happen. Second lesson has been that people will come and go in this business,  but it is the one’s who stay who matter most, beginning to end. The most important lesson is that you only live once and that you need to live it the fullest. It can all be gone at any moment and I would never take for granted what I have been blessed with and what I have worked very hard for.
 7. Do you have a favorite restaurant or hang out spot in Music City?
When we perform and record in Nashville, I love hitting up the Whiskey Bent Saloon and The Row Nashville. Great food and great music and a great crowd!
8. Beer or whiskey?
Whiskey, but I do like Blue Moon!
 9. Who is your favorite country singer from the 90s?
Garth Brooks
 10. If you could duet with any female artist, who would you pick and why?
Shania Twain. I have always been a fan of hers and admire how hard she has worked and the obstacles she has overcome. I enjoy performing her songs too!
 11. Do you have a favorite place to perform?
It was amazing performing at Taste of Country Music Fest in Hunter Mountain NY with Tim McGraw surrounded by thousands of country fans! It was wild and memorable!
 12. What’s one gift you will never forget?
A fan from New Jersey who had moved to California sent to my fan PO Box a personalized zip up hoodie that said Garden State Cowgirl in rhinestones on the back and my name on the front. I love wearing it!
 13. What current event has your eyes and ears? What are you doing about it?
I just recently performed at the PGA Tour for their Veteran event BIRIDES FOR THE BRAVE, it was such an honor! As an army wife, I enjoy doing whatever I can to entertain and show my appreciation for our vets and our war dogs.
 14. How do you think songwriters play a vital role in music today?
I have had the honor of working with some talented songwriters from New Jersey, New York and Nashville and it is always a great learning experience working with others and collaborating. My fourth EP After The New Wears Off is the product from an amazing songwriting collaboration and I can’t wait for the November 11th release. We are very proud of this EP and the music video that will be debuting as well!
 15. What’s one super power you wish you had?
The power to fly! I could accomplish so much more in a day and get places faster (or on time!) haha!
 16. You’re making your favorite sandwich…what’s on it?
American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions on wheat bread with Italian dressing…yummmm!
 17. Name one artist of any genre besides country that you are a fan of and tell us why?
I’ve always been a fan of Alanis Morissette and Jewel. I  love their unique styles and that they are women of music who stay true to their art. I also LOVE Usher, great voice and songs! I saw him live and his dance moves were killer.
 18. What makes you laugh out loud?
I am easily entertained and amused! I actually watch stand up comics and comedy skits when working out at the gym instead of listening to music. So I literally will be laughing out loud while I work out! P.S Love Kevin Hart.
 19. Fill in the blank: It’s not a party until…
…we start dancing on the tables and bar.
 20. Fill in the blank: Country music has made me…
…feel more. I connect with the lyrics and share stories through my songwriting, it has made me a more passionate person.
 Leave a comment and let us know what you think about Nikki Briar below.

Author: Brittany Vance

West Virginia born & bred living life in the DMV. I believe in kind hearts & strong drinks. Mom of two boys and Autism advocate. Music is not only powerful but magical. In the words of Merle Haggard: Good music will live forever. I am here to share that music with each of you.

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