Nicki Nicole is a rising Gen-Z star in Latin music. In under two years, the Argentine artist has a Latin Grammy nomination and a global smash hit under her name. She’s extending her reach by collaborating with artists from around the world like Puerto Rican singer Lunay in “No Toque Mi Naik.” In an exclusive interview with Latido Music, Nicole talked about the origins of her new single, her wild ascent this past year, and her love for her LGBTQ+ fans.

Nicole’s life changed with her Latin Grammy nomination last November.

Since releasing her debut album Recuerdos in 2019, Nicole has dominated the Argentine music scene as part of the country’s Latin trap music wave. The 20-year-old has amassed multiple top five hits on Billboard Argentina’s Hot 100 chart. Her career started to take a different turn last November when she was nominated for Best New Artist at the Latin Grammy Awards.

“That was something that I never expected in my life,” Nicole tells mitú about the nomination. “I knew it would happen one day but not this soon. The Latin Grammys have changed me. They’ve changed the whole course of my career. Even though I didn’t win, that [nomination] put me in a place that I never before dreamed of.”

Now she’s extending her success in Argentina to the rest of the world.

On the heels of that Latin Grammy nomination, Nicole kept the momentum in her career going when she jumped on the “Ella No Es Tuya” remix in February. She teamed up with Dominican artist Rochy RD and Puerto Rican superstar Myke Towers. While she’s known for her Latin trap sound, she dabbles in R&B and reggaeton for this collaboration that’s climbing up the US Billboard Latin chart.

“My life changed a lot [with that song],” she says. “I never before collaborated with artists who were not only big and respected but who were on another global level in their careers. That song with Rochy and Myke Towers not only changed the course of my career, it was a step that took my [artistic] identity to a place where I never thought it could go. I never worked with a rhythm like that. They’re incredible artists.”

Her latest global collaboration is “No Toque Mi Naik” with Lunay.

For her latest single “No Toque Mi Naik,” Nicole teams up with fellow Gen-Z artist on the rise Lunay. She blends her Latin trap edge with the Boricua singer’s reggaeton touch. The music video was shot in Puerto Rico where Nicole and Lunay raced ATVs around the island.

“Puerto Rico is one of the most beautiful places that I’ve gotten to know,” she says. “The inspiration for the song was from a few months ago when I put out [an IG] story that said ‘No Toque Mi Naik’ and all my fans hit me up saying, ‘You have to make that into a song. You have to do something with it.'”

A lot of major moments are happening in Nicole’s career, especially in the past year. She’s also learning plenty of lessons along the way.

“There was a lot of pressure,” Nicole says. “Not only pressure from the public to keep putting out music, but pressure from myself to keep putting out something better each time. I forgot that music is something that you have to feel. You have to make music when it’s born. It’s a process that I’m understanding little by little. I’m very proud to be young and to have the power to make music that I’m feeling.”

She’s happy to see more women in these male-dominated genres.

Nicole is also one of the women breaking through the Latin trap and reggaeton music scenes that are largely dominated by men. Since Puerto Rican icon Ivy Queen helped pave the way in these Latin hip-hop genres, more women, like Karol G, Natti Natasha, Becky G, Cazzu, and Anitta, have risen up in her wake.

“I believe that women have always been present in music, but they were never given an adequate opportunity to be heard,” Nicole says. “In this day, to see more women make up the music industry is something that’s incredible to me. There has to be more women, more respect, and more equality in all types of work. It’s not just about the female artists. There has to be more women in all spaces doing what they want to do.”

She loves her fans in the LGBTQ+ community.

Since the women have had to fight for space in these genres, the LGBTQ+ community often identifies with their struggle and feels empowered by their music. I ask Nicole if she has a message for her fans in the community and her face lights up as she gives her answer.

“We feel a bit guilty when we’re free,” Nicole says. “I think it happens to everyone. When we go out with clothes that we like wearing or acting like how we like to act, and someone looks at us strange, we feel like the guilty ones. When someone points at us because we’re different or they think our sexuality is strange, I believe the bad person is one that’s pointing. It makes us feel like we’re the guilty ones. That’s something we always have to fight for and we have to stop feeling guilty for what we feel, who we are, and who we want to be.”

She hopes to keep collaborating on her next album (and there might be a Camilo feature in the future).

As for what’s next, Nicole hopes to drop her second album later this year. One of the artists that she hopes to collaborate with in the future is Colombian pop star Camilo.

“I want to keep making music videos around the world and getting to know new places,” she says. “I want to keep collaborating with artists from different places and spaces. That makes me grow as an artist. I learn a lot from other people.”

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