Nikolas was born in July 19, 1992 in Tula, Russia and adopted at the age of 4 by adoptive parents, Robin & Paul Knapp along with his brother, Thomas, and sister, Heather. With a new baby sister entering the world was going to be a great addition to the family. During middle school, he ended up going to a Christian-based Children's home named Connie Maxwell Children's Home in Greenwood, SC due to a unfunctional front within the family home. Nikolas resided at Connie Maxwell for about 2 years with help of the program to get him ready for life in the fast lane. Sources like going to church, being able to hold a job, and being able to make new friendships there along with continuing his education at a public school helped Nikolas create a positive impact on the people around him and within the community. He was living through lots of struggle and change during his childhood years in the state of South Carolina until the BIG MOVE to Nebraska due to a job his mother was offered there. Bigger struggles approached Nikolas while residing in North Platte, Nebraska knowing he was not accustomed to the colder weather and overall active state in where he was.
Troubles of finding new friends was an ongoing process and understanding the main importance of life he needed to have with him mentally. He dealt with the law in his ending years of high school leaving him with no choice but to go a few selected children homes to fix and resolve his indecent unlawful actions he showed. He went through the therapy and classes that was maintained in order to have him allowed in a public community before his graduation from High School in North Platte. Nikolas did meet a great friend that created a quick bond of great friendship with a guy named, Russ Bennett. Nikolas successfully graduated high school on May of 2011 from North Platte High School. Since 2011, Nikolas continued his poetic writing as a real passion. Time passed as people around him began reading these lyrics he wrote and posted on Facebook just for show. Others asked if there was any music involved.
“I just liked the feeling of being able to write a simple song that was original and simple”, he told friends about his passion of writing,
“I had no answer on what I wanted to be or do in life after high school or college. I remember attempting to sing and post many different cover songs from artists that truly inspired me to write my thoughts and feelings in song form. Those artists were Jason Derulo and Justin Bieber. At first, I felt good trying to sing cover songs and post them on YouTube for friends to listen to, but never thought of wanting to be an actual artist that made money. I just didn't know how things like that began and where it would go. I tried my best singing my own lyrics but again didn't know how to measure those words with a beat per say. I do remember writing a song called “Dream Big” because I felt that I wanted to be a positive writer and I kept repeating the words 'dream big' to myself trying to continue the song I was writing. Knowing I felt that maybe I can try to rap the lyrics I had so far so I went through all of my written songs and began rapping or singing some of them which I was still confused as to how to rap or sing with these lyrics.” 2013 was truly the beginning mark from 'just writing' to 'adding audio' to his lyrics he continued to write. He wanted to start a new life in California where it was warmer and knowing his dad lived there, he seeked assistance with his mom of ways to move over to his dad's location to live with him in California. During this first attempt, the time in California did not work for Nikolas at the time leaving him no choice but to move back home in North Platte, NE.
Nikolas felt he wanted to keep making music and writing even though he didn't know what he was going for with it. Between 2013 and 2015 was nothing but songs of hip hop with his OWN lyrics in them. One thing for sure that he still never understood was why everybody was disliking the style he was releasing locally. The lyrics were on point, for sure, but the beat and the verbal tone to 'stay on beat' was the issue which just never reached his mind yet....so, ignoring the hateful comments, Nikolas continued to tell himself and visualize himself as a 'famous local celebrity' even though he was not out of fairness. He met a Phoenix-based artist, Jay Sky, that gave input on Nick's music to help improve the way he recorded and needed to sound with his next song and so forth. Jay Sky was very solid on his work he created as well with a great fan base and running his own brand Sky Lyfe Ent.
May 2015 is when everything began rotating through his mind including the start up as a hip hop artist; not just any hip hop artist, but an Inspirational Hip Hop artist. Nikolas moved himself (with the help of Russ) to Phoenix, AZ where he had no money with him and no plans of housing and a job so he had only one place to go: Homelessness. Previously, Nikolas had a contact run-in with Gadsen Records based out of Tempe, AZ in which began his mindset to head to Phoenix to get to them. Soon after as the team over there saw he was setting himself at the homeless shelter in downtown Phoenix in Arizona, they took Nikolas under their wing and allowed his stay at the label of Gadsen Records. Gadsen Records, however, created a historic bond with Nikolas and shared their memory onto the Artists Up Next website http://artistsupnext.com/ which shows the story of their recollection and meeting with Nikolas on the home page:
ARTISTS UP NEXT IS CHANGING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY "Mid-2013, I met this kid named Nikolas. He wanted to be a rapper. He lived in the middle of nowhere in some random city in Nebraska. If you talked to this kid though, you would think he lived on the 30th floor of some New York City high-rise building and toured the world doing music in front of sold-out crowds. The kid's energy was out of this world, every time I checked online he was putting up some inspirational video or putting out music at a fiery pace. Though the music wasn't really that good, lol, and he was small and sort of goofy dude, I couldn't help but want to help this kid out. Being in the music business there's millions of people who would do anything to get a chance to be heard and be seen. Meeting this kid made me want to do more to help everyone in a way that I haven't done before. Having worked on tours in the past, I knew a little bit about radio promotion and corporate sponsorship. After years of studying and reaching out to potential business partners we finally created ArtistsUpNext.com to help out everybody who wants to be heard and truly wants to go to the next level. So if you're the next Nikolas or guy in a random city who just wants to be heard, take advantage of the opportunity presented with ArtistsUpNext.com and take the next step in your career." -Cyrus Igono [Gadsen Records, Owner]
After finding a job and a place to live, Nikolas began his new independent life in Arizona. Nikolas was introduced with a professional studio called Loft Life Recording LLC that was ran by a professional sound engineer and producer, Jay Reyes in Tempe, AZ. Jay was very determined on helping Nikolas improve upon his first official song made through a professional recording studio (not on a laptop alone). Later on, he was introduced to an independent hip-hop label known as Nasty Recordz. They offered him a five (5) year contract including the main frame of starting Artist Management work which later never began allowing Nikolas to opt-out and continue work and paying rent at his place of housing. “I felt like nothing was even being started with the artist management and I felt I wasn't improving on anything with what I currently had in music so I didn't enjoy what I thought I would be going into. Also the attitude of the label talking bad about other previous artists and such. The staff was too unprofessional and very competitive in a dangerous way with no safety net.” Future struggles in the state of Arizona caused Nikolas to quit his job in Tempe and visit his hometown back in Nebraska to continue his work with Jay Reyes in Las Vegas, Nevada which took a very unfortunate turnaround towards homelessness. “I had to think on my feet fast so the first contact according to my location was my dad that lived in California in the valley. I explained my entire situation to him including the part that I had no other direcction to head but I wanted to remain in a warm state (literally). My dad took me in and I found a roommate and also a job offically in January 2016 to keep a roof over my head.” Continuing the music portion, Nikolas was able to release a few more studio singles that essentially led up to a better sound and quality from a local studio, ASB SoundWorks. “Lots of love and memories throughout all of these years made me fall behind in which I never even caught a glimpse of. When I feel a struggle I don't notice it until I am directly being informed of 'who I am' or 'why I am acting so self-involved'. I had no idea I was showing a self-infliction that made a huge portion of the people around me to ignore me and not listen to what I had to say lyrically. I never saw that all I was focused on was ME ME ME. I truly felt I lost my purpose as a human which made me want to step out of bounds and think about all that has happened in 2 years and nothing was advancing at all. I wrote tons of feelings and questions to myself trying to figure out why I was acting the way I was.”
LISTEN TO HIS FIRST ALBUM SINGLE, "Will You Marry Me?" on Spotify