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3×3: Nikole Potulsky on Portland, Patriarchy, and Punky Brewster

Jun 13, 2017

3x3: Nikole Potulsky on Portland, Patriarchy, and Punky Brewster

Artist: Nikole Potulsky
Hometown: I was born just outside of Detroit, spent my summers on the Coosa River of Alabama, my early teens in Italy, high school in the Ohio River Valley, and college in the Ozarks. Twelve years ago, I made my home in Portland, Oregon, and given this is the longest I’ve lived anywhere, I call Portland my hometown. 
Latest Album: You Want to Know About Me
Personal Nicknames: Most people call me Nik. 


#nikolepotulskymusic #youwanttoknowaboutme #queer #americana #pdxmusic #femme

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Who is the most surprising artist in current rotation in your iTunes/Spotify?

Public Enemy.

If you were a candle, what scent would you be?

I’d be a cruelty-free, soy-based wax candle scented with the essential oil of certified organic, wild-crafted verbena harvested by hereditary witches under a supermoon … because Portland. 

What literary character or story do you most relate to?

Punky Brewster, a hard luck kid who stood up to the establishment and insisted on radical self-expression. Yes, I know she’s not a literary character but, like my chosen protagonist, it’s challenging for me to follow the rules.



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What’s your favorite word?

Honestly, my favorite word is probably mama. Sappy, I know. I have two children and, while sometimes the list of requests that follow the word mama can get very long, it’s the sweetest name I’ve ever known. 

What’s your best physical attribute?

My nana taught me how to give the evil eye. Does that count?

Which is your favorite Revival — Creedence Clearwater, Dustbowl, Elephant, Jamestown, New Grass, Tent, or -ists?

I ain’t no senator’s son. 


#queersofinstagram #nikolepotulskymusic #octaviahunterphotography

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Banjo, mando, or dobro?

A year ago, I would have said mandolin, but then Jamie Stillway played dobro on my album. Every time I hear her lead riff on “Ferris Wheel,” I go on some kind of time travel trance that makes my heart swell up with nostalgia for people I don’t know and places I’ve never been. 

Are you more a thinking or feeling type?


Urban or rural?

Yes. In Portland, we smash the patriarchy and defy the binary. In Southern Illinois, we organize unions and drink with our grandparents at the Moose Lodge. It’s impossible to choose. 

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3x3: Nikole Potulsky on Portland, Patriarchy, and Punky Brewster