Photo: Naomi Christie
Los Angeles-based NIKI has been expanding her charismatic sound that’s widely shaped by the Internet’s versatility as she prepares for her next full-length album, Moonchild (due out later this year). Born in Jakarta, NIKI posted videos of herself singing acoustic songs as a teenager, which eventually led to her earning the honor of being 88rising’s first female artist. Her rich blend of classic R&B and modern pop is exactly what sets her apart from other musicians today, and she’s proving her worth with her sweet new EP, wanna take this downtown?
NIKI’s saccharine vocals in wanna take this downtown? are, without a doubt, out of this world. Her lullaby-esque soundscape is showcased throughout the entire EP, beginning with the loveable “lowkey.” Emphasizing the pros of keeping a budding relationship under wraps, “lowkey” features charming synths and instrumentals that set the wholehearted tone for wanna take this downtown? The relatable “urs” sees NIKI struggling with a seemingly one-sided relationship that leaves her feeling desperate and unfulfilled.
Then we hear a drastic shift in not only shattering electronics, but also in NIKI’s lyrical progression towards an uncontrollable attraction that leaves behind the toxic relationship in “urs.” In the electronics-drenched “move!,” NIKI gushes over someone who makes her feel an overwhelming adrenaline like she’s never experienced before. To close off wanna take this downtown?, NIKI sheds light on the realistic cycle of getting back together with someone who makes your life unbearably complicated, but you just can’t resist.
On wanna take this downtown?, NIKI shared,
“This is the type of music and songwriting I’ve always admired but never felt like I could personally make, because I limited myself to a certain genre and what others expected of me. So honestly making this EP was so liberating. It truly expanded my own definition of not only who I am but also who I can be as an artist and that really, there are no rules. Make whatever inspires you. Genres are arbitrary; if it’s meaningful to you, then there’s its value.”
Preview NIKI’s forthcoming album, Moonchild, with wanna take this downtown? below: