Name: Nikki Lynette
Social Media: @nikkiLynette
Artist Title: Multi-media Social Impact Artist
Nikki Lynette is a performer, writer and visual artist whose individual style is equal parts hip hop, alternative and pop. A Chicago native, she fuses mental health activism into her performances, creating a lane for her music that is uniquely her own. Her self-produced tunes have been featured in popular shows on Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, Fox and MTV, and have garnered national attention through digital and print features such as XXL, Bust and Vibe. After a hiatus from releasing new music, Lynette returned to the public eye with a confession—she had secretly been battling mental health issues. She began writing articles about depression, trauma, therapy and suicide for prominent sites like BlackDoctor, AFROPUNK and AllHipHop, as well as held her own among medical professionals in live chats and panel discussions with hundreds of thousands of viewers. Lynette’s latest musical releases have been featured in She’s Gotta Have It on Netflix and Work in Progress on Showtime.
Since 2018 she has been filming a mental health documentary entitled Happy Songs About Unhappy Things that is currently still in production. With her play about depression, GET OUT ALIVE, Nikki has made history as the first Black female playwright to be produced by American Music Theatre Project and the first AMTP work to debut at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She has opened for Pussy Riot, Lion Babe, Leikeli47, and Mykki Blanco In April 2021, Nikki was honored with an Ambassador of the Year Award by NAMI, the largest grassroots mental health organization in America.
Since I got diagnosed with mental health issues, the most shocking thing for me has been witnessing other people’s insensitivity to it. U can explain to folks, in depth, the challenges u navigate to keep your peace. U can explain why it’s hard to bond with others. U can humbly explain what u need and ask a person what they need. U can even ask someone’s consent to u opening up before u allow yourself to do it. And people will still be careless with u. And what’s wild is most of the time people get away with it, cuz the thing nobody seems to acknowledge is PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES HATE BEING A BURDEN TO OTHERS. 💯 Even I have fallen into that trap of sticking around and trying to self-soothe when a person u trusted starts being insensitive or treating u like u don’t matter. Everybody talks about the bad side of having mental health issues. But don’t forget... Your issues make u sensitive and compassionate. We all really do have the option of bringing the best OR the worst out of someone. People will stick around for the good in u and suck u dry while offering nothing of value in return, then be surprised by the intensity of your reaction to emotional harm. U don’t have to take it. At the end of the day, your happiness is YOUR responsibility. That means u can leave anything behind that isn’t good enough for u. I know that my mental illness isn't trying to kill me on purpose. My survival instincts are out of wack due to trauma. I own that, and I am always exercising self control. The version of me that you receive will always be in direct response to what I'm receiving from you.
When I first went into therapy and learned about my core wounds, I discovered that two major ones for me were the desire to feel loved and the desire to feel safe. This is when I was introduced to the concept of trauma from childhood carrying over into adulthood. And it fascinated me that I had ended up in an abusive relationship because of the fact that, in some ways, I had been navigating life as a little girl walking in the shoes of a grown ass woman.