GET TO KNOW: Nickita
Aside from being a fully formed and confident artist in her own right, emerging singer and songwriter Nickita is also the founder of fundraising organisation When Push Comes to Shove, which spreads awareness of the choices available to people to make informed decisions about the birth of their child.
So while we wanted to talk about her latest single 'Breathe Again', we found it equally important to learn more about her incredible work.
Hi Nickita, how are you today?
Apart from being sleep deprived from having a new baby, I am awesome thank you.
For those that haven’t heard of you yet, how would you best describe your sound and who have been your biggest influences so far?
I suppose my sound is a pop/r&b vibe. I have always been influenced by Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey, but most recently Bruno Mars and Sia have been artists that really inspire my work. I love their writing style & performance.
You are also from London, can you tell us how the music scene there has influenced your sound?
I have been influenced by the music I heard in the clubs during my teens and early 20’s. I was lucky to perform at some top London venues such as 100 club & the Dublin castle. I heard other awesome artists performing at this venues and have always loved seeing new trends and styles of music from these artists,
You have just released your new single ‘Breathe Again’. Can you tell us how that record came about? What is the story behind it?
As well as a singer/ songwriter I am also an experienced birth practitioner of 12 years. I had my first baby 13 years ago and had such a traumatic experience within the conveyor belt system of unnecessary intervention and a medicalised birth. I have found that trauma has become normal during birth & women expect birth to be dangerous and the worst pain imaginable. This is simply not the case. After years of experience helping women navigate a service that is ‘with system’ rather than ‘with woman’ I have come to understand why the maternity system is the way that it is. Women who are educated in birth physiology & those with carer continuity will have the best outcomes. Sadly women are taught that birth is a medical procedure and language that is commonly used in the maternity system such as ‘failure to progress’ only induces fear that women bodies will fail them. Well in my experience, I have seen beautiful home birth after beautiful home birth. No trauma, only empowerment. Women need to be empowered not to be scaremongered and coerced into unnecessary medical intervention. I have since had the most incredible birth at home in under 3 hours. No pain, just an intense experience. I trusted my body and knew I could do it. Women need to be able to make informed decisions about their birth. For this to happen they need as much information as they can. I have created an organisation called ‘When push comes to shove’ to help women navigate the system and understand their choices. This is why I wrote ‘Breathe Again’. I hope that we can spread the message of empowerment to the masses. For years we have been shouting inside an echo chamber and preaching to the converted. We can only change the broken maternity system if women make a stand. Women should be able to give birth how ever they like. Whether that means they want a planned c-section or an unassisted free birth at home, that is THEIR choice. As long as they have all the necessary information to make an informed decision, then choices should be entirely down to them.
Having continuity of carer will go a long way to have better outcomes in birth. We at when push comes to shove a raising money for an access fund. Women who can not afford a Doula or an independent midwife will be able to do so through our fund.
And was there a particular style you were looking for when you wrote it?
I had James Arthur ‘Impossible’ in my head while writing it. I wanted an anthemic sound to the song.
You also founded the organisation When Push Comes To Shove. Can you tell us what that involves and what made you start it?
We want to educated the nation about birth. Next month we start our education programme for girl guides to get a badge in childbirth education. We are then going into schools to include childbirth in PHSE lessons. Education must start with kids. By the time this generation grow up and start having babies, they won’t be afraid of their bodies and will know their rights within the system. With any luck the system will have changed by then! WPCTS are also fundraising for an access fund as I mentioned earlier. We help women every day who have negative and traumatic experiences. We educate them on their rights and their options. Myself and Carly (co founder) are both Birth practitioners and are still attending births all the time. We offer continuity throughout pregnancy which dramatically increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. We are also very fortunate to have Beverley Beech as our ambassador. She has worked for over 40 years helping thousands of women with their choices in birth. She is the former chair of ‘AIMS’ and has been instrumental in educating women about their options. Her book ‘Am I allowed’ has helped countless women over the years.
The coronavirus outbreak has obviously affected everyone’s plans, but what else have you got in store for the year ahead?
I am currently finishing writing my album which will be released in early spring. All proceeds from my music will go back into When Push comes to shove, so we can continue to empower women during the most incredible time of their lives. I am interviewing midwives, doctors, authors doulas & celebrities for our YouTube channel so women can watch positive birth stories and have a plethora of information to refer to when making decisions about their births. We are also making a feature length film about the current broken maternity system. We hope to start filming in the spring.
And finally, what is the biggest ambition you have as an artist?
I hope that any music I release will start to generate enough money to build my own freestanding birth centre. I would like it to be run by independent midwives so we can help women have the births they want who otherwise would not fit hospital guidelines for a natural birth
Nickita's new single 'Breathe Again' is out now. Check out the video for it below.