Album: Black Sheep (2020)


  • Nikki Yanofsky will be your bubbles when the champagne's flat. At least, that's what she promises on the '90s R&B throwback "Bubbles." The track from her third studio album, Black Sheep, is particularly special to the singer because it was the last song ever written by Rod Temperton, the prolific songwriter behind Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and "Rock With You." Temperton died of cancer in 2016 at age 66.
  • Temperton was a mentor to Yanofsky, who started her professional music career when she debuted at the Montreal International Jazz Festival at age 12. As a friend, he helped shape her character; as a songwriter, he helped shape her career. "He taught me about prosody (how the lyrics should clothe the melody like a tailored suit), that every instrument should have their own part that complements each other, and to have fun with my personality and lyrics," she explained in a 2020 Songfacts interview. "He taught me to come at writing like a 9 to 5 job - although you decide on your own hours [laughs]. Every day you walk into your 'office,' close the door and see what you come up with without any distractions."

    "When I was in my teens, I was attached to my phone. He made a little sign for me on the table outside his studio with a small tray below it. It said 'Wobbles, leave phone here.' (He called me Wobbles because whenever I'd get a text, my head would sort of wobble with excitement). To this day, I can't help but get annoyed when I'm in a session and someone can't put their phone down for more than five minutes. It makes a huge difference in the flow of a session."


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