Musician Nikki Shotz Finds Community in Athens Scene

Nikki Shotz is a musician, employee at Turnipblood Entertainment and a teacher assistant for the music business program at the University of Georgia.

Q: What do you think sets the Athens music culture apart from that of other areas?

The Athens music culture is more of a community. Everyone is here to build each other up and not compete. You see your friends doing well, and you’re like, oh I want to do as good as them, but also if someone has a gig at Roadhouse one night, and you have a gig at Boar’s Head Lounge, you’re not like, that sucks. You’re like, I hate that I have to miss out, I hope they have a fun time.

Q: Do you think the connections you’ve made here have improved your journey as a musician or even your quality of life in general?

One thousand percent. It’s fun, the community collaboration between artists and friends, and being able to bounce your ideas off of other friends. It’s fun, you can just like hop on stage with them, too.

Q: How big of a part did the Athens music scene play in you choosing to attend UGA?

At the time, I honestly didn’t know how big of a music scene Athens was. It didn’t play a role in why I initially went here that much, but it definitely has played a role in why I’ve stuck around post-graduation. If it wasn’t for being in a band right now, I would probably be in either Atlanta or Colorado and would have looked for a job other than a TA or working up at Turnipblood.

Q: Do you have a favorite band right now, either local or a big one?

So local bands, my favorites are Cam and His Dam Jam Band and Wim Tapley. Also, love the energy at Jameson Tank’s shows. 

Q: As a Georgia native, was playing in the Georgia Theatre ever a goal of yours?

Oh yeah. I remember freshman year I was like, that is such a cool venue, I’ve got to play there one day. Then, with my first band, Florida Man, that was our third gig ever, which just happened randomly. We ended up selling out the rooftop, and they moved us downstairs. I remember when I figured that out, I went into a split because I was so excited. That was insane.

Q: Lastly, do you have any advice for those wanting to pursue music in the Classic City?

Just get out there and be social. The most important thing with the music industry is just going out and meeting people. You can be an incredible singer, you can be an incredible drummer, or you could suck at it, but still someone might need a drummer. It’s like, you’re never gonna get that opportunity if you don’t tell people that you do it.

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