Di Vito “Nik H.” Nicoletti
Hi Radmila! It’s a great pleasure to have you as our guest on Vocespettacolo.com. Lets’ start from the first question... when did you start singing?
When I was growing up, I always heard my mother singing songs she composed herself around the house, which sparked my own interest in music. However, her style of voice and mine were very different, and I wasn’t comfortable to just improvise like she was. That led me to begin my formal vocal training at age 14.
And designing clothes?
Since I was little, I was always very picky about what I was going to wear; even at a very young age I made it very clear to my mom what I was going to wear and what I wasn’t! I liked to take my mom’s scarves and tie and pin them on myself like fancy dresses. I also always wanted to be dressed similarly to her; whenever she would wear pink, so would I. When it comes to my design skills, I learned to sketch outfits from observing my mom working as a visual artist; she is a painter. Her mother (my grandmother) was a seamstress by trade and the skill was passed down through the family to me, which allowed me to create the designs I was sketching.
Had you ever seen anyone combining their music with their fashion designs in the same show?
I personally have not attended or heard of one.
What is the most important thing for you regarding any clothing?
Accessorizing and matching styles and colors. I approach my music and fashion in a similar way; to me, an outfit is like a score of music. It needs to have an overall aesthetic, theme(s), and motifs. For example, if I am wearing pointed toe shoes with stiletto heels that are very angular, then I will continue that geometric idea by pairing them with a similarly angular purse, instead of a round one. To me this is like a repeating motif in a piece of music.
What fashion advice would you give to women?
I would like to tell women to not be afraid to be unique and express themselves through their clothing. Clothing is like a language, it gives you an opportunity to connect with people who find what you’re wearing is interesting, or have similar style and interests to you. At the end of the day, people will always be judging us no matter what we do or wear, so you should wear something that shows who you are truthfully. If I had only $100, and walked into Forever 21, I wouldn’t just buy basic items to mix and match; I would buy items that catch my eye and are unique, that show who I am as a person.
You only design high end very dressy clothes. Would you ever consider designing casual clothing?
I actually don’t just design my couture line; I dress a lot of pop/hip-hop musicians for performances in casual avant-garde clothing. I also design all of my own clothes, not just the gowns. I will create casual looks for my clients if requested; however, even when an outfit is more “casual”, I put my own spin on it. If I design a pair of jeans, they’re not just basic denim; they will have aspects such as cut-outs, zippers, or embellishments that make them unique and true to my style as a designer.
What designer is your inspiration?
Some of the designers I respect include Oscar De La Renta, Gianni Versace, and Naeem Khan. I admire them because they stayed true to themselves and their artistic visions. Instead of following trends, they created them.
What celebrity would you like seeing wearing your clothes? The type of person I envision wearing my clothing is somebody who is a leader, who is bold, and who appreciates fashion as an art form. I love dressing artists of all kinds, including musicians, visual artists, and actors. I am especially interested in costume design for movies, and would love to do more work with that.
Where and when was your first concert?
My first performance was a private recital in London when I was 16 years old. That was my first experience performing for an audience, and it was very difficult for me to get up on stage because I was so worried about everything that could go wrong, everything from “what if I forget the words to the song?” to “What if I slip and fall on my face in front of everyone?”. Now I understand that there’s so many aspects to a live performance that you have absolutely no control over, so there is no point in worrying about them. All you can do is be as personally prepared as possible, and go up on stage and enjoy yourself. The real skill to performing is making it past any mishaps without the audience even noticing!
What singer would you like to do a duet with?
I would like to do a duet with someone whose music is very different from mine, such as Pitbull, J-Lo, or Enrique Iglesias. Coming from a classical background where there are a lot of rules and structure, it is beautiful to watch a different kind of joy and freedom on stage, where the singers can be more experimental and fluid. Even though our styles may be different, music is a universal language that connects all of us, and I think our collaboration could create something unique. I could see us combining my more operatic and orchestral sound with their electronic tracks and pop styles.
If you had to choose between being a designer or a singer, what would you choose?
I will never make a choice between the two because they are both interconnected art forms.
You are writing a novel. What is it about?
The biggest takeaway from my book is that what happens to us as children can affect us for the rest of our lives. We can be scarred on the outside, but we can also be scarred on the inside. The novel is based upon the lives of four main characters with very different backgrounds; all of their storylines eventually intertwine and converge by the end of the book. The book shows how seemingly small and insignificant actions can change the course of your life.
Are you working on your next album?
The composition of the album is complete, along with the instrumental recordings. The recording of the piano and my vocals is in the works.
When is it gonna come out?
The approximate release date for my new album, book, and corresponding fashion collection is May 10.
You recently released your album “Wonderland” at Carnegie Hall. Are you planning on giving more concerts? Yes, I have a few planned this fall in Miami and LA; I’ll be performing songs from Wonderland as well as previewing a few from my upcoming album. After the release of my upcoming album, I will be performing it in large release shows in Miami and LA as well.
What is your nationality?
I am Russian-American.
Where do you currently live?
I live between New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
What is something about you that stands out?
I think that the way that I dress stands out; I could wear a gown all day, and sometimes I do!
Tell us something not everyone knows about you?
Although it may not seem like it, I am actually quite a bit of a tomboy. Growing up I was always a bit of an outsider at school, and I wasn’t afraid to stand up to all the boys. I also liked to spend my time imagining and trying to build cars.
Name three locations that are on your bucket list and why each has made your list?
I would like to spend 6 months to a year in the South of France, the countryside in Tuscany, and Brazil. I have been to the South of France and Italy before, but I would like to spend an extended amount of time there to learn the local culture and language. I have never been to Brazil, so I would like to go and observe their layers of culture.
What are your five- and 10-year goals?
I am actually already at the five-year point in my plan; I have been writing my book for the past five years, and it will be released along with the accompanying album and fashion collection in May 2020. Then my ten-year goal (the next five years) is to have my book turned into a movie that I will star in, that my music is the soundtrack for, and that I do the costuming for.
Tell us what a day being you is like?
At the moment, every day I spend about four hours devoted to fashion, and four hours towards music studies and composition. I work on my book two to three hours about four times a week. I workout six days a week, and I’ve actually been learning to box! I also supplement my workouts with tennis, swimming and basketball to change it up.
What do you think are the most important traits for a person to have?
I believe kindness is the most important, as well as being forgiving and understanding, because not everyone is at the same place in life. To understand that, and be accepting and not hold grudges shows a level of maturity I think.
Tell us a bit about where you come from and what cultural things you grew up with that most don’t?
My mom is Russian, and she has always been very fiercely protective of me. I still call her every night before we go to sleep so we can check in on each other. She taught me how to read and write in Russian, and we still speak it together.
What is your biggest goal? What is your plan on reaching it?
My biggest goal is to open an education and performance space for kids where they can create freely. I will give them all the resources and educational tools they need, but won’t limit their creativity, which I think can happen in a traditional school setting too often.
Do you think that Social Media is helping the world or hurting it?
Social Media can be a wonderful tool, it just depends on how we decide to use it; like any advancement, it has good sides and bad.
Thanks a lot Radmila you’ve been very kind. Voce Spettacolo wishes you all the best in your career and life.
Radmila Lolly is the sole designer of the couture fashion house “Radmila Lolly” and a singer of alternative classic music. She creates a unique combination of her music with her fashion creations. Radmila most recently released her album “Wonderland” and complementary couture collection during a night of opera and fashion at Carnegie Hall. The collection has since been featured at Barneys Madison Avenue Trunk Show, alongside designers such as Zac Posen, Naeem Khan, J. Mendel, as well as at the Daytime Emmy’s Ceremony. It has been featured by Vogue Italia, Harper’s Baazar, and more. A number of celebrities have worn Radmila Lolly collection such as Gayle King, Bebe Rexha, Mya, Miss Universe 2018, Miss USA 2018, Miss USA 2017, to name a few.
But not only Radmila sings and designs, this talented artist has upcoming ventures that include a novel that corresponds to her next self-composed album and high couture collection.
Lolly’s mom is a Russian painter, which is where Radmila learned her design sketching skills from; growing up she thought that she would be an artist too, and had Sunday art sessions. Her grandmother was a seamstress and passed that knowledge along to her mother, which she taught to Radmila; she started by making her Barbies and dolls clothes, by the time she was 18, she was sewing and designing her own clothes. The combination of the art and sewing knowledge enable Radmila to create her haute couture.
The largest influence on her designs are her musical exploits. For Lolly, her two artistic mediums inspire and feed off each other; the textures of her designs are innately linked to the textures of her music.
Lolly formally appeared on the music scene with a triumphant debut album “IV Stories at the Standard Hotel Op.6” with the avant-garde, electro-acoustic “Scorchio” string quartet which she premiered during an exclusive gala concert at Carnegie Hall, which was attended by the likes of Grammy-winner, Maxwell. Radmila followed-up the album with an eclectic mix of singles which showcases her range and captures her voice in all its decadent glory. Her musical explorations include electronic & contemporary genres.
You have also heard her music as the soundtrack for the movie “Honor Up” directed by Damon Dash and with executive producer Kanye West; Works with Mar Vista Studios. The singer will be working on more soundtracks this upcoming year. Her upcoming album is the soundtrack to her upcoming novel and audiobook.
All of the above, are a good explanation of her 319K Instagram followers. Follow her @Radmilalolly to keep up with her work and life!