“I enjoy connecting with people through language, so I can assimilate their mentality and have them consider me as one of their own. I want to discover and learn as much as possible about each culture.”
~ Rimi Nique
Name: Rimi or Rimi Nique (artist name)
Professional Title: Singer, songwriter, performing artist
Notable Achievements/Passions: Competitor on The Voice (Thailand) & India’s Raw Star, Best Pop Artist Award at Radio City Freedom Awards in India. Singer & Lyricist to Disney India movie “ABCD 2”
Education: Bachelor in Economics and Environmental Studies
Relationship Status: Single
What I wanted to be as a child: “Pop star or Doctor.”
My Definition of Success is: “Doing what you love and being able to make a career out of it. Success is happiness – pure happiness of the mind.”
Rimi is a Thai citizen of Indian descent. Born and raised in Bangkok, she studied at an international school. Her family has been in Thailand for several generations. After graduating high school, she went to university in Washington state in the USA. Rimi’s diverse cultural upbringing allows her to relate to everyone she encounters. Rimi muses about her self-described multiculturalism:
“I was always an explorer as a kid. I thought there was much more to life than only what I saw with my eyes. I was curious about the world and I felt that I never truly belonged to just one culture – I felt like a citizen of the world, even as a child. At an earlier age I had a bit of an identity crisis, as I didn’t really know who I was in a cultural sense. Am I Thai? Punjabi? American? At first I thought this was a bad thing, until I realized it is a gift. Nowadays, I feel so wonderful about my identity and not being exclusively attached to just one nationality, and I feel free to assign myself to any that I feel is right at the present moment.”
Rimi studied Spanish in high school and Mandarin in college, and garnered her passion for mastering languages in order to communicate with people from all over the globe. She is always trying to pick up words and expressions in as many languages as possible.
“I enjoy connecting with people through language, so I can assimilate their mentality and have them consider me as one of their own. I want to discover and learn as much as possible about each culture. I love people and I am always curious about everyone – what makes them happy or sad, what inspires them, and how they find happiness. I also like to bond with each culture through music. To be able to sing in as many languages as possible is my constant and never-ending goal in life”.
You could drop Rimi off anywhere in the world and she’ll make it her home. She finds it amusing and endearing to get ethnically mistaken for a person of different nationalities. While dancing at the Puerto Rican Day parade in NYC last year, some people confused her for being one of their own. The Uber driver was convinced that she was from his native Mexico. Everywhere Rimi goes, people ask whether her nationality is Dominican, Persian, Israeli, or part-African. Rimi loves this “chameleon” quality about herself and adds,
“Although I have Indian roots, even my parents say that they don’t know what I am, because I’m so worldly and versatile. I feel Thai in my mannerisms with the happy attitude, and my culinary preferences. I connect to my Indian heritage through musical melodies and lyrics, customs from my family, and by the religion (Sikhism) in my spirituality. I am American in the way I talk and think. And even though I have no South American blood, I am constantly drawn to Latin music and dancing. I can move like a Latina when I dance and I am very passionate and affectionate.”
Unquestionably, this adaptable characteristic has served Rimi well in her work and life. She looks for opportunities at every turn, and is not afraid to explore new territories and take chances on new people. Her curiosity for the music industry is what opened up the door to the most exhilarating and rewarding passion that she is now happily pursuing as a career.
Why Rimi is a Winner:
By senior year in college, Rimi realized that her interest in music trumped over economics, which was her primary major. She was part of the college choir, started a band, and signed up to be part of an acapella ensemble. “My friends were making fun of me, suggesting I should switch my major. I loved music and believed that I was a good singer. So I started experimenting with writing songs and lyrics, and trying to be an actual artist”.
She took the risk to become a musician, by deciding not to go straight into the workforce out of college, and made the commitment to try a career as a solo singing artist. That was the first step towards her dream. Fearless!
Rimi started to actively pursue music, and that seemed to attract performance opportunities, with several singing competitions that suddenly turned up. The first one was “The Voice” Thailand, which kick-started her career. Her passion for singing and music opened her eyes to a whole new industry that she had no knowledge about. At that point in her life she was still experimenting and trying it out for fun. Rimi hadn’t yet realized that this is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She accumulated a large fan base of Thai-Indian fans, who cheered her on, as no one else in the community had previously attempted to step into the spotlight as a singer. Rimi describes,
“In my culture and family this kind of work is not considered as a solid career – only a hobby, and the idea of making a living out of it was unheard of in my community. But I was drawn to it and wanted to explore this opportunity. As I was appearing on TV during the competition, thousands of Indian kids reached out to me with messages saying that I was inspiring them to follow their own passions.”
The outpouring of encouragement Rimi received from the Thai-Indian community assisted in her motivation to keep moving forward. Curiosity was her impetus to pursue the life of a singer, which became her reality. Rimi craved to see what more could be accomplished and how far she could take her career.
The second risk on the path towards her goal was traveling to India to compete in another singing competition – India’s Raw Star. The experience reaffirmed Rimi’s love for music and further expanded her perspective about the entertainment industry. During the finale of the show, even though she didn’t win, a music director from Disney India approached her to compile and possibly sing the title song for their upcoming movie. Rimi agreed and went on to write the English and Spanish lyrics for the song, and recorded a trial tape. The producers loved it and Rimi was on the official “ABCD 2” movie soundtrack! This was Rimi’s first big break, which happened very fast, considering it usually takes at least 8 years of working in the industry to achieve this feat. Instead of going back home to Thailand, Rimi decided to stay in India because of the curiosity of “what might happen next.” “I didn’t know what India would have in store for me, but something lured me to it. I felt like a higher power was keeping me there for a reason”, she told me.
Her mind was set on becoming a solo artist and her success proved to herself, her family and friends that being a singer isa valid career choice. Living and working in India turned out to be challenging for Rimi at first. Although she was confident in her talent, Rimi had to start from the bottom, perfecting the craft, learning the ropes of the industry, working long hours in the recording studios, making connections, and facing countless rejections and failures.
India’s music and the Bollywood industries tested her limits. She received plenty of criticism and negative feedback from some prominent producers. Over time, and learning about the industry, Rimi pursued forward with unshakeable self-belief.
“I went through a lot of introspection, meditation, and talking it out with my parents to understand how to handle tough comments. I listened to the feedback and applied it if I agreed, and disregarded it if I didn’t. I started to trust my instinct and gut feeling more, which helped me with my confidence.”
Along with these constant challenges, Rimi found it difficult to live in a country that felt so unfamiliar. She was forced to learn everything about India, including the language, the mentality, and the culture. Despite many new elements that made her feel utterly overwhelmed, she strove to rekindle her Indian heritage by facing the struggles head on. “I’m an adaptable person but I found it tough to relate to the people when I first moved to India – even though I am of Indian descent, as my country and culture that I’m used to is Thailand”.
Transcending this feeling came with time and the longer she lived there, the more Rimi began to assimilate to the surroundings. There certainly were desperate times when she wanted to quit and go back home. Her parents provided the emotional support she needed and encouraged her to stick with her passion, despite the hardships. Returning home for visits periodically allowed Rimi to find renewed energy to face the grind again. Rimi describes this as the most challenging time of her life, but she fought to think positively. Eventually, the routine became familiar and Rimi finally felt at ease.
The entertainment industry is competitive and cut-throat. It’s easy to get discouraged because it takes an increasingly long time to break through in order to be recognized, and the rejections can be brutal. Rimi’s curiosity helped her learn from failures. She wanted to understand why she was rejected at certain castings, and listened to the advice of those who turned her down. If an opportunity was denied, she either decided to let it go, believing it wasn’t meant to be, or took it as a chance to improve and learn from the experience.
Currently, Rimi is based in Mumbai, India and travels to Los Angeles often, working with international artists and producers, recording new tracks and videos, and performing live at events all over the world. Within the next 5 years, Rimi sees herself touring the world as a performer and international artist, writing, and releasing albums and singles. She visualizes singing on a reputable, international stage with thousands of fans, alongside the most talented and recognized artists in the industry.