Take Prince and add dash of Janis Joplin, and you get Nikka Costa, a music veteran who returns with the first of many planned EPs, Pro *Whoa!, a collection of edgier rock and soul which may surprise fans with its harder sound.
Born in 1972, the daughter of famed arranger/producer Don Costa grew up surrounded by artists (Her godfather: Frank Sinatra) and gradually developed her own voice. By 1981 she released her first single, a cover of Irene Cara's "(Out Here) On My Own," which became a hit on the European charts. She subsequently released successful albums in Europe, Israel, Central and South America; by her mid-twenties she relocated to Australia and enjoyed more critical acclaim. Years later, now a seasoned veteran, she decided to break into the American market, signing with the Australian label Cheeba Records. Her 2000 single, "Like A Feather," was largely ignored until it appeared in a Tommy Hilfiger ad campaign. Virgin Records took notice, and by 2001 the label had reintroduced her with a memorable music video and a full-length album, Everybody Got Their Something. The album enjoyed moderate success, reaching number 120 on the Billboard Album Charts and 63 on the R&B Album Charts. While she released two more albums, in America she remained known chiefly for her sultry dance moves and strategically placed scarf in the "Like A Feather" video.
Now on her own label, Gofunkyourself Records, Costa displays a flair for experimentation on Pro *Whoa! Fans expecting the straight-up funk of "Like A Feather" may be surprised by her edgier sound, particularly evident on the title track. Rapping throughout most of the song, she tells of her vast experience in the music business. "I'm a 100lb fighter with a heavyweight past," she spits out, and she proves it by furiously rapping about how she began when she was "singin' in my diapers," and later smoked crack as an adult. But, over a feedback-laded guitar, she assures listeners that they'll now "Fight for tickets to my show then tweet the people ya know/You'll say you can't believe you never seen me live before." The tune's frenetic pace underscores that these days she is, in fact, "the baddest of bitches."