NIKI “wanna take this downtown?” EP Review

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Nicole Zefanya, or Niki, is a 20-year old R&B singer, songwriter, and record producer born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. Niki began her musical career by posting covers and original songs online gaining over 40,000 subscribers. In 2017, she moved to Nashville to sign with the record label 88rising, expanding her popularity. Since then, she has released the single, “I Like U” which caused her popularity skyrocket in the R&B industry as well as collaborations with popular artists such as Rich Brian, Joji, and Keith Ape—all of whom are also under the 88rising label.

Personally, I think that everyone under 88rising is very talented, whether it be with writing lyrics or experimenting to make new and diverse sounds on their tracks. Due to that impression, I had high expectations for Niki’s new EP.

On May 17, 2019, Niki released her ‘wanna take this downtown?’ EP after not releasing music since her last album, ‘Zephyr’ in May of 2018. The long awaited EP consists of four songs: “lowkey”, “urs”, “move!’, and “odds”.

One of the most popular songs on the EP is track three, “move!”. This song would be the perfect song to blast during the summer time. It’s very up-beat an catchy and would be a suitable song for anyone who is a fan of R&B or chill pop.

The track “move!” talks about the excitement of loving someone and focuses on the good parts of love. I think that this is an enjoyable song because the feeling of butterflies you get when you develop feelings for someone is something that the majority of Niki’s audience, teenagers and young-adults, can relate to.

“I honestly feel like ‘move’ just kind of elevates me from that. It’s just so energetic. Literally the chorus combusts with an explosion of energy. It takes me by surprise too, because I never thought I’d have a song that has that much gumption.” said Niki.

The first track on the album, “lowkey”, is the most popular song from her new EP. If you are typically into ‘chill R&B’ or a mellow sound, I think that this song would be something you would enjoy.

“I feel like there’s still a general tendency for women to be branded as the crazy ones, or the clingy ones, the over-obsessive ones, or the ones to catch feelings first, or whatever. And what I love about this song is that is subtly dispels that in a really coquette-ish way.” said Niki.

Over several interviews with Niki, she has emphasized listening to this album in order. When listening to the meanings of the songs rather than just appreciating the beat, or how it sounds, one could recognize that it’s the common story of heartbreak.

This EP successfully grabs the attention of the youth due to the relatable topics of love and heartbreak that are expressed in the songs as well as a very chill and modern R&B sound. I think that all four tracks presented on this EP sound great and are definitely worth listening to.

The cover of NIKI’s new EP, titled ‘wanna take this downtown?’.