A solid mix of blues, soul, spunk and sass... new album shines with bone virtuosity and variety ” - 4 of 5 stars

American Songwriter (10/12/2020)

Guitar Player Magazine, Nov 2019 issue

The Argonaut (Los Angeles local press), 05-23-2018 issue


NIKKI O'NEILL is an Americana singer-songwriter who plays lead and rhythm guitar. Deeply in love with soul music from an early age, she counts Pops Staples and Teenie Hodges as her guitar heroes.

Nikki’s second solo album, “World is Waiting,” is out on Blackbird Record Label. American Songwriter gives it 4 out of 5 stars in their review: “A solid mix of blues, soul, spunk and sass.” Jefferson Blues Magazine in Sweden writes: “She has an expressive voice rich with nuances, and is also an excellent guitarist.”

Nikki has been featured in Guitar Player Magazine. In 2022, she performed at a showcase in Nashville during AmericanaFest, and she has opened for Stax artists Southern Avenue in Los Angeles.  She is now based in Chicago.

Nikki’s recordings are played on Blues/Americana/Roots stations in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia, and they receive positive music press reviews in the U.S. and Europe. 

Her music is available on Apple MusicSpotify, Amazon, Bandcamp, and more. 

Official Website: nikkioneill.com

Publicity, U.S.A: devious planet Pati deVries: Pati@deviousplanet.com

Publicity, Europe: hemifran
Peter Holmstedt: peter.holmstedt@telia.com

Film/TV Licensing: The Talent House
Staci Slater: thetalenthouse@aol.com

Label: Blackbird Record Label
Manda Mosher:  Manda@blackbirdrecordlabel.com


Please visit Nikki's About page:


Latest Album: World is Waiting: 


PRESS QUOTES & REVIEWS: World is Waiting (album) 
U.S. release Oct 16, 2020; Europe release May 1, 2021

"A soulful voice that mixes Bonnie Raitt and Dinah Washington... plays guitar with the restraint and depth of feeling of the 60's and 70's soul guitar slingers like Curtis Mayfield."
Rock 'n' Reel Magazine, UK (Sept, 2021 issue with Joe Bonamassa on the cover)

"Nikki demonstrates a remarkable sense of melody..."
Late for the Sky, Italy (6/21/2021)


“… not polished like most artists in this genre, making it quite interesting to check out.” (7.7 out of 10 rating) 
Strutter’zine, The Netherlands (2021, no link)

"...an album that is not long, but always lucid and straightforward, immediate and catchy, from the opening of "That's How You Lose Her" to "Take Back What I Said" which leaves the listener with the awareness of being in front of a name that deserves attention and consideration."
Planet Country, Italy (6/11/2021)

"This is really good. Tough and soft all in one; melodic even though it's bluesy and rockin'. She also has a voice that can handle the tougher genres."
Hifi & Musik, Sweden (review by Bengt Eriksson, 6/11/21, only in print magazine; no link available) 

"You rarely find such a delightful, musical gem as NIKKI O’NEILL’s new album... In addition to the powerful, fresh and gripping vocals, O’Neill always focuses on the melody — in addition there are incredibly confident lyrics and first-class musicians. In the end, this results in a wonderfully relaxed overall package of substance and the best entertainment."
Country Jukebox, Germany (Spotlight column, 5/19/21)

"The ballad "A Place At The Table" fits very well… the band also presents it very well. Right from the start, the title track of the record breathes a bit of that old Memphis sound... The guitar solo is cool, in the style of the old heroes of the Memphis studios."
Musik An Sich, Germany (5/17, 2021)

"She has an expressive voice rich with nuances, and is also an excellent guitarist. Here, she gives us seven well-crafted, melodic songs within the genre that’s called Americana. Seven songs that undeniably make you want to hear more." 
Jefferson Blues Magazine, Sweden (Issue #206, Dec, 2020)

"Although everything here is first-rate, the title track gives the album a powerful centerpiece... The Staple Singers are evoked in both the lyrics, the gospel-like vocal harmonies, and in Nikki O'Neill's guitar playing with its authoritative, clear-cut notes, and a touch that’s in the spirit of Pops Staples.” 
Lira Musikmagasin, Rootsy Music, Sweden (11/20/2020)

“Nikki’s soul and r&b influences mark her out as unusual for an Americana artist... Impressive.”
Blues from the South, UK (Nov 2020 issue)

“A very poetic and hook filled affair, O’Neill knows her way around a thoughtful song you won’t forget anytime soon, and anyone with an ear for Americana would be wise to spend some quality time with World Is Waiting.”
Take Effect, 8 out of 10 rating (10/22/2020)

“... tight backing band, lots of stimulating guitar riffs and acoustic strings, and Nikki's soulful timbre are a constant... What a beautiful and relaxed album is ‘World Is Waiting’…!”
Keys and Chords, Belgium (10/17/2020)

”Nikki O’Neill gives us one of the brightest and most pleasant listening experiences of the year...”
Americana Highways (10/16/2020)

"Nikki O'Neill's new record is one that deserves attention... a unique mix of rhythm and blues, gospel, Americana and blues"
Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands (10/16/2020) 

"Her clear and powerful voice evokes memories of singers like Bobbie Gentry... it's a great record"
Slim Chance is Back, The Netherlands (10/16/2020)

"She makes every minute matter on this album"
Guitar Girl Magazine (10/15/2020)

“O’Neill shows her strength as a singer and songwriter. The album may have been delayed by COVID-19, but it is worth the wait”
Glide Magazine (10/13/2020)

"A solid mix of blues, soul, spunk and sass... new album shines with bone virtuosity and variety”
American Songwriter, 4 out of 5 stars (10/12/2020)

"A Place at the Table’ is a beautiful ballad, which seems to fit her like a glove, regarding the vocals... in ‘You’re the Only One Who Gets Me,’ she winks briefly at Tony Joe White, and in ‘Take Back What I Said,’ the final song, Nikki is just as emotional and soulful.” 
Rootstime, Belgium (10/1/2020, translated excerpt)

“She says that “You’re the Only One That Gets Me,” but we think everyone will want to get more from this amazing performer.”
LAMusicCritic.com (9/21/2020)


Review Quotes: Love Will Lead You Home (EP, 2017)

“The musical winds (on these six tracks) blow in a 1960’s-70’s soul-rock direction. Very appealing, and beautifully performed. This is a name to remember.”  
-Jefferson Blues Magazine (Sweden)  

"Raw and rootsy... certainly with a huge soul influence, with a conscience and a positive message, and some neat hooks."  
-Blues in the South (UK) 

“The soulful tune (“That's What Love Can Do”) ... caps the EP on an emotional note: celebratory for those who can relate and inspiring for the rest of us.”  
- The Daily Country 


Sample tracks

To request a review copy of “World is Waiting,” go to Inquiries at the bottom of this page.

To read the song lyrics, click the Info button next to each track at the Store page.

Press links


10/21/20 - Ditty TV airs “You’re the Only One Who Gets Me” on The Curve Oct 21 at 10 pm Central + Oct 22 at 10 am Central



10/12/2020 - American Songwriter (video premiere, 4 of 5 star review, interview)


10/1/2020 - Vents Magazine (song premiere)


9/15/2020 - Imperfect Fifth (video premiere)


8/31/2020 - Americana Highways (song premiere)


5/23/2018 - Guitar Heroine - by Bliss Bowen, The Argonaut (Los Angeles local newspaper) 



10/23/2020 - The Power of Music and “World is Waiting” - Americana Highways


10/16/2020 - Nikki talks about "World is Waiting" - in Guitar Girl Magazine

7/27/2020 - How Risks Shape Life - in Shoutout LA

4/15/2020 - Guitar Girl Magazine: Tone Talk

Nov 2019 - Interview - in Guitar Player Magazine

4/23/2019 - A Multicultural Life - in Voyage LA 

2/26/2018 - On Songwriting - in The Daily Country

3/28/2018 - Review of ‘‘When Do I Tell Him’’ - Blues in the South (UK, April 2018 issue)

Nikki impressed me last year with her fine EP release, and here is a new track she has just released as a digital single. It showcases her soulful voice on a pleading ballad with subtle shades of New Orleans in its sparse but very effective arrangement. Let’s hope for more, but in the meantime, do check this out – just a few clicks will do it – and you won’t regret it!

Norman Darwen, British Blues Journalist

9/25/2017 - Jefferson Blues Magazine (Sweden, issue #4, 2017)

Nikki O'Neill has roots in Stockholm and is nowadays based in Los Angeles, where she works as a vocalist, guitar player and writer for Guitar Player magazine. 

From what I can hear, the prerequisites are there for her to succeed with her efforts on the other side of the Atlantic. Nikki sings well, plays guitar well and writes her own material. 

The six tracks were recorded between October 2016 and January 2017 in Ted Wulfer's 663 Sound Studio in Los Angeles.

The musical winds (on these tracks) blow in a 1960’s-70’s soul-rock direction. It's very appealing, and beautifully performed. This is a name to remember.

Ingemar Karlsson
Chief Reviewer, Jefferson Blues Magazine (Sweden)

6/26/2017 - Blues in the South

 Los Angeles based singer/ guitarist/ songwriter/ contributor to Guitar Player magazine describes this six track EP as “a soul-rock and gospel album” and it has also been referred to as a combination of Chrissie Hynde, Mavis Staples and Al Green (and John Lennon and Otis Redding have also been pressed into service in the past). Both of these specifications capture the spirit of Nikki’s music rather neatly. It is raw and rootsy, Americana rather than blues maybe but certainly with a huge soul influence, with a conscience and a positive message, and some neat hooks.

‘In The Waking Moments Of The Day’ has a slight jazz tinge whilst the guitar work on ‘Love Will Lead You Home’ definitely has a strong influence from Curtis Mayfield. ‘I Will Cross Over’ has a lovely soul feel on a bouncy rhythm, with the backing vocals adding a classic gospel feel to a memorable and catchy number, with Nikki’s exuberant vocal subtly taking her higher. I enjoyed this release a lot – let’s hope we hear more from this talented lady soon (please).

Norman Darwen,
Reviewer, Blues in the South (UK)



Sample video