Nikki & Rich are Nikki Leonti, a California-born pastor's daughter who grew up singing in church, and Rich Velonskis, a Queens, NY-born established hip-hop/R&B producer and former DJ who got his start spinning in New York City clubs as a teenager. These two seemingly opposite characters first met in 2007. After leaving a successful career as a Gospel artist, Nikki then based in Nashville, worked as a background singer for Carrie Underwood while pursuing a career in singing and songwriting. Rich was in Los Angeles producing tracks for Robin Thicke, Game, TI, Mel-B, Hayes, Vi, Missy Elliot, Mario, Eve and Ludacris, under his moniker Rich Skillz. (A track he produced on Ludacris' No. 1 album Release Therapy earned Rich a "Best Rap Album" Grammy.) 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 have been finishing up their debut studio album entitled "Everything". The album promises to be a collection of everything from hip-hop influenced tracks to huge soul ballads remeniscent of 60's style live instrumentation. Nikki's enormous deep rooted soulful vocals over Rich's giant production come together to form an explosive and refreshing sound.
Nikki & Rich's music has appeared in multiple films and TV including The Killers, Just Wright, HBO's Entourage, 90210, Vh1's Basketball Wives, The Sims 3, Romantically Challenged, How to Make it in America, Hellcats and One Tree Hill. The group has performed live on the Ellen Show and most recently the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Named one of New York Post's most anticipated artists, they are geared up to release their debut album in the Spring of 2011.