When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Aakash Kumar Jha: Your legal name?

Monique Nikkole: My Legal name is actually my stage name, believe it or not. Monique Nicole Banks-Barr.

Aakash Kumar Jha: How did you get your nickname.

Monique Nikkole: It’s my real name, I just changed up the spelling of my middle name, figured it would make it a bit more interesting. 

Aakash Kumar Jha: Where you from?

Monique Nikkole: I’m from Brooklyn NY

Aakash Kumar Jha: What are some of your childhood music experiences?

Monique Nikkole: I was always immersed in music. I sang  every minute of the day. I was always in some choir or in school band. I played the tenor sax back in the day as well. One of my favorite music experiences was singing with my father. He was an amazing singer. 

Aakash Kumar Jha: What lead you into a career in Music?

Monique Nikkole: I always had a burning desire to make my passion my paycheck. It was met with opposition from my parents though. Although my dad sang professionally, he didn’t want his baby girl to endure the pitfalls of the industry. After attaining my education and becoming a law professional I decided to jump in. I started as a manager and studio owner and decided in 2015 that I needed to step out front as a singer and songwriter. 

Aakash Kumar Jha: What artist do you currently listen too and why?

Monique Nikkole: Raheem Devaughn, Brian McKnight, Luther Vandros, Faith Evens, Blackstreet, Charlie Wilson, Usher, Summer Walker, HER, Snho Allegra, Tray Songs 

Aakash Kumar Jha: Who are your biggest influence/inspiration in music today or before?

Monique Nikkole: Stephanie Mills, Celine Dion, Gladys Knight, Patti Labelle, Jennifer Hudson, . Aretha Franklin Meli’sa Morgan and Whitney Houston

Aakash Kumar Jha: What do you consider your style of music?

Monique Nikkole: My style of music can not be put in a neat little box… because I’m a enigma. I’m a classic R&B artist that sings jazz and mixes R&B with hip hop as well. I’m a bit of a melting pot of musical expression. Which holds true to the musical environment that I was raised in. My art is a reflective of my experiences.  

Aakash Kumar Jha: What is your most recent release?

Monique Nikkole: My most recent release actually drops on January 29th, it’s called Red Bottoms And Lingerie Ft. Lil Flip.

Aakash Kumar Jha: Other then music what is some of your other passions?

Monique Nikkole: I love fitness and business. Fitness is a huge part of my life. A body I’m motion says in motion. As far as business, I have a passion for real estate and finding multiple revenue streams. 

Aakash Kumar Jha: What do you have coming up next??

Monique Nikkole: I have 2 video shoots coming up for the new single and once Covid subsides I’ll be back to perform everywhere consistently. I’m so looking forward to that!