A storyteller in her own right, NikNak aka Nicole J Ray is devoted to developing her unique practice as a sound artist, composer, producer, sound engineer, radio presenter, DJ, and Turntablist by incorporating real-world sounds and vocalized emotions into her compositions, translating her experiences (both personal and professional) into immersive live & improvised performances. She is also a strong advocate for diverse representation in the music industry, especially within the DJ and music production realms, and musician wellbeing/mental health.

Having graduated with a degree in Music Technology and Innovation from DMU in 2013, Nicole has also studied an MA in Electronic and Computer Music at the University of Leeds. She has taught students at MAP (Music and Arts Production), The DJ School and Lifeforce Productions. Previously she has worked with Pedestrian, Dreaming In Colour Productions and 2FunkyArts in Leicester, and believes that music should be continually pushed to further people’s imaginations, both as audience members and performers. Nicole is based in the UK, where you’ll find her digging for either vinyl or comic books, gigging in and around Leeds, experimenting and sharing her music tastes to diverse audiences, or delivering engaging sessions with students to develop their DJ skills, and running events within Leeds such as “Dub Sirens” and “Melanin”.

Currently, Nicole can be found presenting the weekly arts and culture show “Backstage” on BBC Radio Leeds. She is also affiliated with House of Verse in Leicester, Girls That Gig, Equaliser, and SlutDrop in Leeds, has completed artistic residencies by Brighter Sound and collaborated with Shiva Feshareki and Anna Meredith, and is a participant in the Huddersfield Professional Development Programme for Female Composers of Electronic Music at the University of Huddersfield (2019).


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