Nikki & Rich, releasing their debut album in 2010, are Nikki Leonti, a California-born pastor’s daughter who grew up singing in church, and Rich Velonskis, a Queens, NY-born former DJ and established hip-hop/R&B producer who got his start spinning in New York City clubs as a teenager.
These two seemingly opposite characters first met in 2007. Nikki was based in Nashville working as a background singer for Carrie Underwood and Rich was in Los Angeles producing tracks for Eve, Robin Thicke, Mario, and a Grammy-winning track for Ludacris, under his moniker Rich Skillz. Rich was looking for a strong vocalist and lyricist to collaborate with and take his tracks to the next level, and he found the perfect match in Nikki.
Nikki & Rich, “Cat and Mouse” – Windows:
Nikki & Rich, “Next Best Thing” – Windows: