A brief chat with the Fresh Beat Band’s Kiki
On Sunday, Nickelodeon TV faves the Fresh Beat Band will be singing their chirpy songs at the Fox Theatre in Detroit to a house packed with adoring mini-fans. They have a job on their hands to top the performance that
put in back in September but, with tunes like “Rock Star Jacket,” we think they’re up to the task. We spoke to Kiki, aka Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, to get the Fresh Beat low-down.
What had you done before joining the Fresh Beat Band?
I was living in New York. I’m also a songwriter for BMG right now, but at the time I was writing music and performing as a singer and an actress. Doing different kinds of gigs here and there. I got the Nickelodeon show because at the time I got a call from my agent saying that they were looking for people who could sing, dance and play a musical instrument. He thought it was perfect for me so I went to the audition. It was actually really fun. I went in with a guitar and a violin, and they had a piano set up. I played all these different instruments and it was fun. I got flown to LA for a screen test and got picked for the pilot. The show got picked up and the rest is history. We did three seasons of the show, so 60 episodes in total, and that’s how it happened.
Do you have any input on the songs?
In the live show and also in the actual shows, when we were filming we would go into the studios on Monday and we would record the music. Because it’s television, most of the time it had to be pre-recorded. Sometimes we would sing live, but for the most part for synching and things like that we were basically singing to ourselves. In the live show, we’ll all be singing. That’s fun, because the reactions of the parents afterwards is like, ‘Oh my God, you guys were really singing.’ I think they’re surprised by that and pleasantly so.
How much of the Kiki character is actually you?
I think it’s interesting how, no matter what part you play, you always bring to the character your essence. I think there’s a lot of myself that I was able to bring to play Kiki. It really put me in touch with my inner child again, and my ability to be so free. That joy is a big part of me. The character is really fun – she’s a vivacious girl. She loves music and performing, and she has a very positive outlook on life. I find that I have that in common with Kiki, which is good. It was a lot of fun to play her.
Do you have to smile all the time when you’re on a show like this?
It’s kind of hard. I think it’s in the contract. It’s really hard to fake joy. We all were actually having a great time. We were all super-lucky- we got to go to work with our friends and do what we love. It gives you a lot of reasons to be happy.
I guess you have to keep your nose clean…
There might have been something in the contract. I don’t remember exactly what it was but I didn’t really worry about what it was either because for the most part, I do like to have a pretty clean lifestyle. I’m not the girl that you’re gonna see getting out of the limo showing her underwear. I’m not the next Miley, so sorry to let you all down. I really enjoy empowering girls and being responsible. I love being creative, writing, and performing. My passion comes from there. I don’t feel the need to dabble in those other areas.
Have you been to Detroit before?
I have. The last time we went, we had a lot of fun. We were only there for a day, but the crowds were really great and excited about everything. We’re excited to be back.
What can we expect from this show?
You can expect to have so much fun. To be dancing in the aisles and see a couple of surprised. Enjoy the music and feel the love that we have for y’all. Have a great time, parents and kids included.
What is a rock star jacket?
It’s silver, bedazzled with a big star on it. I don’t think it’s one-size-fits-all, but I’m sure they’ll have your size.