Check out our interview with LA-based singer, songwriter, and sinister-pop performance artist, ONICKS (they/them), who is paying homage to Britney Spears with their first release of 2023, “Toxic.” An iconic song that’s already very dark and sexy, ONICKS was determined to recreate it with their own vision. ONICKS elaborates; “I studied many iconic hits from the 80’s in order to get my accent as authentic as possible. My producer Jakaval (Jordie Arrieta) created the PERFECT ONICKS meets the 80’s track. We made sure to use some of Britney’s signature musical accents throughout, while also recreating this song to be even darker than the original, in true ONICKS fashion.”
Following the success of their previous singles “No Problems” and “Illuminati,” which is now sitting at almost 2.5M streams; “Toxic” came to fruition when Streamy Award Winner Brandon Rogers asked ONICKS to create a cover for his new YouTube series, “Bryce.” In addition, Brandon will be co-starring, directing and producing the upcoming music video for “Toxic” for the first time in his career.
Follow ONICKS @iamonicks
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Sinister, Popstar, Supervillain
We’re sure you have been asked this million times, but how did you get into the music industry?
I actually began my musical journey in middle school. I was a trumpet player in the school band but ultimately, I knew that I wanted to create music on my own.
How has this changed your life?
Where do I begin? When I began my solo career as a recording artist, I knew that I wanted a platform. I represent so many communities that need a hero and it has always been my mission to make other humans feel like they’re not alone. I know what it feels like to have no one to look up to. No one who’s like me, and so as my career progresses and my fan base (I call them Legends) expands, I finally get to put that mission into action. Music saves lives. Period.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Dramatic, Villainous, hypnotic
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
Originally I was heavily influenced by artists such as Prince, Rihanna, Britney Spears, and several others but it wasn’t until I discovered some darker artists that I truly began to develop into the Onicks that exists today. Artists like Lana Del Rey and her deep layers of trauma and sadness truly struck deeply with me. I studied her lyrics as if they were my religion and she really changed things for me.
Tell us about your new single “Toxic?”
THIS SONG SLAPS! I really wanted to stay true to myself, my unique sound, and the 80’s. I altered my singing accent to really sell the 80’s glamour vibe and it really worked! I believe that it feels like a brand new song outside of Britney’s ICONIC original. When Brandon Rogers (YouTuber) asked me to create this song for one of his new series, I audibly screamed. How did I not think of this before?! I’m just so happy with how it came out.
And about the success of your previous hits “No Problems” and “Illuminati?”
“Illuminati” was the first song I have ever created in which I sang about all of the wild things I want in life. All of the things I imagine having once I achieve all of my goals. I was so nervous to make that complete pivot. Before then, my music was mostly about trauma, past history with drugs, exes…I am so very glad I released that epic song. It completely changed my career. I started gaining diehard fans and everything changed including my entire brand/persona. “No Problems” is a follow up to “Illuminati”. If “Illuminati” is “here’s what I want”, “No Problems” is “and here’s I’m going to take it!” This was my first collab and I just adore Marqui Jordan. We really created such a catchy and hypnotizing song together!
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Talking to my fans every single day.
If you weren’t famous, what would you be up to right now?
Ready for this? I originally wanted to become a plastic surgeon! I was obsessed and I still find it so fascinating.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
I would say, patience is your most valuable weapon. My lack of patience when I was younger led me to make some really unfortunate decisions that set me back on many occasions. I have no regrets but I wish I would have slowed down to think a bit more.
If you were a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
“ONICKS: Memoirs of a Super Villain” – I have always had this Super Villain character in my mind and one day I told myself…”Just do it. Commit”. The rest is history and I believe that as an artist, I have the freedom and the responsibility to help transport other people to different worlds. Mine just happens to be very specific.
What’s next for ONICKS in 2023?
I hear there’s an EP coming….
How would you explain your fashion style?
Chic, transforming, luxurious, villainous.
What is your own definition of happiness?
To me, happiness is something that changes constantly. I can define it in a thousand different ways but I think it’s important to recognize that. Anything can make you happy. You don’t need to reach a certain point to experience it but you do have to allow yourself to feel it.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Marilyn Monroe. I feel this cosmic connection to her because I’ve been through some of the things she went through. That sadness behind her eyes while she was such an icon. It’s fascinating to me.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Well that’s easy…Ruling the world of course.
What is your favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
“Momma Knows Best” – Jessie J
Quote: “If you have a gun, you can rob a bank. But if you have a bank you can rob anyone.”
Movie: Jurassic Park
Tv Series: Breaking Bad
Food: Mac n Cheese
Travel Destination: Costa Rica