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Hula Hooping, Singing and All Things Nikki Hunt

Nikki Hunt, lead singer and hula hooper of The Nikki Hunt Band

Anyone who lives in Hallowell or frequents the Hallowell scene has heard of this week’s Monday Maine Maven, Nikki Hunt. They know that not only does she sing, she also hula hoops. In fact, her name and hula hoop are almost synonymous—almost as if she invented the thing.

Ironically, the idea was originally brought up as a joke. Her band mate, Sonny True, suggested she bring it on as a floor show since he knew how much she enjoyed hooping for fun. Nikki says she was terrified the first time, so terrified that the hoop never even left the van, but now she says, “The hooping has picked up at shows and if I don’t bring it people ask where it is—it’s been such a hit.”

So how did her passion for performing begin? Nikki Hunt credits her Mom, who got her enrolled in dance lessons very young, and in fifth grade she started voice lessons. Hunt says, “I was frustrated with sports and found myself leaning toward the performing arts.” It was during this time she became heavily involved in the Hallowell and Waterville theater programs.

After high school, Hunt moved to New York City for college. She says that she loved it there, but she felt like she was spending too much time working on everything but her voice.  She eventually left the city and made her way back to Maine. Nikki says it was through this experience that she learned a very important thing about the entertainment industry: “You don’t have to live in New York City, Boston or Los Angeles to write original music and you don’t have to kill yourself, juggling multiple jobs and hundreds of bookings, to pay rent.”

Hunt says that in Maine, she has been able to start her career the way she wants to—in small steps and says, “I’d rather take my time and build a solid foundation than constantly be skating on thin ice.” A part of her plan has been to find ways to build and network with her fan base. “Social media is a phenomenon,” says Hunt. She credits the use of her original MySpace page as a way to branch out to her fans so they could hear her live recordings. This evolved to Facebook where she currently has more than 2,500 friends and fans.

We mentioned in our previous previous post, American Dream in Portland Maine that sending too many event invites via Facebook can be perceived as spamming fans. Nikki started her website for just this reason, “I try not to barrage Facebook friends with event invites,” she says. She adds, “I have a great advantage to communicate clearly with my fans using an email or simply by posting pictures, or a video from YouTube.” She adds that social networking sites can be addicting, so she tries to use them in moderation.

Hunt’s growing success has lead to more interest in who she is, which is why she decided to start an official blog which is set to launch in February. She believes it is important to reach out to fans and to relate to them on a more personal level than Facebook. Nikki hopes that the blog will do just that and help to inspire new material for her and her band mates.

To connect with Nikki, check her out on Facebook or on her website: www.nikkihunt.com

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