The daughter of famed arranger/producer Don Costa and goddaughter of her father's longtime client, Frank Sinatra, R&B vocalist Nikka Costa is no stranger to the music business. Born on June 4, 1972, she landed her first gig at age five, when she opened for the Hawaiian entertainer Don Ho. Two years later, a young Costa wowed 300,000 Police fans in Chile. The burgeoning singer was a natural talent, and her childhood gigs paved the way for future success. Costa went back and forth between Los Angeles and Europe, enjoying her youth while molding a sophisticated music career. She made her studio debut in 1981 with a recording of "(Out Here) On My Own," a song from the musical Fame, and watched as the 45-rpm record climbed to the top of the European charts. She released several albums throughout Europe, Israel, and Central and South America, most of them going platinum. Whirlwind success, however, was matched by her exciting life at home, as Costa spent time in her father's recording studio alongside luminaries like Quincy Jones, Sly Stone, and Sammy Davis, Jr. Costa's late teens were spent atop the German charts, and by the time she reached her mid-twenties, she called Australia home. She became a favorite down under, landing a deal with Mushroom Records and issuing Butterfly Rocket in the mid-'90s. The album help garner Costa a nomination for Best New Artist at the annual Australian Recording Industry Awards.
The new millennium sparked a new scene for Nikka Costa. Now a mature woman with a fiery spark of determination and passion, the red-headed siren's songwriting expanded into an alluring art, and her urban vocals sashayed with class and raw sexiness. She soon signed with the Aussie label Cheeba Sound, home to soon-to-be labelmate D'Angelo. The sultry single "Like a Feather" marked Costa's almost ignored debut in fall 2000 when the cut was used in a Tommy Hilfiger advert. Virgin Records took notice, however, and properly reintroduced Costa to the world in spring 2001 with the full-length release of Everybody Got Their Something. She returned in May of 2005 with Can'tneverdidnothin' and supported the album by touring with one of its guest stars, Lenny Kravitz. Pebble to a Pearl followed in 2008, furthering her synthesis of funk, soul, and contemporary R&B. Costa shifted directions in 2011, releasing an electropop-influenced EP called Pro Whoa. She stayed quiet over the next six years, choosing to concentrate on raising her children, then re-emerged in the summer of 2017 with Nikka & Strings, a collection of classic pop covers arranged for string quartet. ~ MacKenzie Wilson