Atlanta born MC and singer Nikkiya is the latest female solo sensation that America has to offer. Growing up in a strictly Christian family within the harsh confines of inner-city living and then delving into a rebellious adolescent bout of drugs, partying and general street life culture, her eventful past has now firmly cultivated a brash and well meaning sincerity in Nikkiya and that has determinedly flowed through into her exciting music. Nikkiya quotes her music as "hardcore and vulnerable" allowing her to "push outside the box" and tell her story. Such blunt honesty and truth is absolutely what this sector of the industry desperately needs whilst vacuous and mind numbingly dull commercial urban music so heavily dominates national charts. By working with MC Lyte and Enimem's inspired new protege Yelawolf, the trio have been in the recording studio honing Nikkiya's debut EP "Speakher" before unleashing her vociferous and red-hot tunes onto the public and all the signs suggest she is definitely the real deal.
"Cheater" is a thumping slab of emotive hardship and anguish, detailing the story of a jilted girl seeking well-deserved revenge on her unfaithful man. The lyrics are bold, fearless and almost menacing, "I know about the lover he has been screwing and pursuing...put that cheater in the trunk...I think he's gotta learn a lesson". This firework of a tune starts off with a dizzying combination of anxious instrumental jabbing and skittish whimpers spliced apart and shoved eagerly together with a cataclysmically frenetic and walloping back beat. The metallic clunking is almost grotesque and maddening, reminiscent of prison doors slamming shut; yet these titanic thumps mould the overall song into a restrained composition that generates an efficacious urban anthem full of energy. Stitching together elements of hip-hop, soul, R'n'B and subtle electro means this song and indeed Nikkiya's musical experimentation are highly unique. She holds down traits similar to the UK's own Ms Dynamite and echoes the actions of a more aggressive and alternative Nicki Minaj prior to her mass commercialism over this last year. "Cheater" carries on with the same bashful energy that starts the song off. Bouncing beats, jagged clonks and verses oozing aggression and attitude fuel the song with juvenile verve. Nikkiya is one talented lady and with a stomping track like "Cheater" in her back pocket, the urban streets will never be the same again.
Check out the interesting and edgy music video below and show the girl some beautiful Facebook love.
SISSY AND THE BLISTERS - "LET HER GO"
James, Jack, Ed and Nick are three Englishmen and an Australian who all got together last year to form this Guilford four-piece. Since then they have been making increasingly larger ripples during their short existence having already garnered the support and backing of radio heavyweights like Steve Lamacq, and quite rightly so. This raucous band mix masculine energy with composed sophistication that sits charmingly amongst the UK indie scene. Sissy And The Blisters clearly have knowledge on how to carve out the fine grains that make successful and absorbing indie-rock; their songs come with lashings of bustling movement, sleek instrumentals and delightfully greasy underground club drama. Their sound is an amalgamation of various bands; think along the lines of a more mellow early-career Horrors, restrained Courteeners, passive Dirty Pretty Things and the grace of The Last Shadow Puppets. From that you get Sissy And The Blisters.
"Let Her Go" is the first 'proper' single from the Guilford-based lads; this effort has already been getting positive acknowledgements from the behemoth that is NME, so surely it won't be long before this band start filtering through the radio waves. The track starts off with stereotypical indie vibrancy tumbling straight into a frantic and excitable drumming that encourages the song along. The humdrum of collective noise between tautened skin and organ happy movements keeps at a respectable pace; typical of any well-honed indie-rock band. The vocals of James Geard are undeniably typical and ossified like any front man within this genre; tailored, with a middle-class London waft of cultural intellect, yet at the same time rather lackadaisical and subdued, complimenting the song sufficiently overall. Lyrically "Let Her Go" is somewhat confusing; the words are there and carry the song zealously onwards, but they feel dysfunctional; something about a cage, something about letting her go. It is rather hypnotic, casting an air of amnesia-induced disorder; however, the lyrics, the vocal output and the backing instruments surprisingly fuse together well. The chorus builds into a vagabond racket of industrious chants, cheerful guitaring and sturdy drumming, ploughing forth with boyish irreverence and fashioned drainpipe charm. This super little track carries on with sustained momentum till the last note. Energetic and boisterous; it is tracks like this that should earn this band an NME award or two in the near future.
View the music video below and 'Like' the Facebook page for these awesome guys.