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New Music: “Praise Him In My Pain” by Niyoki

Niyoki Pain

Niyoki (pronounced Nie-yo-kee), an African name meaning “serious minded and responsible,” was given to her by her mother, a retired foreign language teacher in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  At age five, Niyoki began performing with her parents and siblings in the White Family and remained with the group through high school. They recorded five albums, and toured the Midwest and Southeast on weekends and during the summer, opening for such established artists as Shirley Caesar, The Williams Brothers, The Highway QC’s, The Canton Spirituals, and The Truthettes.

Eventually, Niyoki and her three sisters left the family fold and formed an R&B group called Milenia. “A local promoter told us that we were tall and beautiful and that we should expand our talents,” explains Niyoki, who at 5’8” was the shortest member of the group. “We were at that rebellious stage…tired of our parents managing us.” While appearing in Minneapolis, Milenia was spotted by Prince. “You always hear about how tight harmonies can be with siblings. That’s one of the things Prince liked about us.”  They subsequently began singing backgrounds for Prince as well as opening his shows with a 30-minute set of their own.

After about 5 years, the White sisters left Prince. “It was a really confusing and frustrating time and it sent me into a world of depression,” Niyoki says. At wits end, she stopped singing for a period and took time to pray. “Gospel melodies kept coming up in my heart.”  Her debut project, My Everything was the answer to Niyoki’s prayers. The CD released on D2G Records, based out of Nashville, TN, has sold over 20,000 copies since its release in 2006 and the lead track, “He’s Here,” was named the 27th most-played gospel song of 2007 by the trade publication R&R (Radio and Records).  A couple years later she released her sophomore project entitled REST, which also made an indelible impression with fans of gospel music and brought new fans into the fold.  She released her chart topping hit “Joy” and “Never Gave Up” which radio continues to enjoy and play regularly.

In 2010, tragedy struck Niyoki when situations occurred in her marriage leading to her divorce from her business partner and co-owner of D2G Records.  “In a million years I would not have predicted that outcome.  I was devastated and ripped to the very core”.  Niyoki came home to her humble beginnings in Fort Wayne, IN with a two-year old son and had to rebuild a life which was so very different than what she had known and grown accustomed to.  “God divinely intervened in my situation when I was considering staying in Nashville”.  While on a lease-signing and tour at condo complex, a pastor from her hometown called and requested her services with the music department at his Baptist Church.  It was there at Union Baptist Church, where she started a praise team, cultivated and fine-tuned a magnificent choir and still presently works as the Ministry department head.

Niyoki initially frowned on that time of having to go back home but it has allowed her to heal, work tirelessly with a church for 5 years and to also identify a new gift.  During the last couple of years she has taught bible studies and now even travels the country for not only singing but speaking engagements.  Her testimony is one that everyone needs to hear and she has professed that she will shout aloud about the restoration that God has given her in what she thought was her darkest hour.

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Now newly married, Niyoki is flying high on heaven’s wings and found her way back into the studio.  She has nearly completed her 3rd project and linked back up with her previous gospel manager, Uncle G.  This time, however, it is not in a managerial capacity but she will be signed to his upcoming label Uncle G Records with the likes of two dynamic Sunday’s Best top ten contestants; Elder Goldwire and the chart-topping Alexis Spight.  Her upcoming single is slated to be released later this year in September 2014.  You do not want to miss seeing the new fire that is burning in her that she unleashes now in word and in song!  Presenting to some and introducing to others…….Niyoki!!!

Listen to “Praise Him In My Pain” Below:

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