Alrighty, welcome back to Music Mondays? Music Rec Mondays? I still don’t know what to call my segment for you all, but anyways, thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this. It means a lot to me, and I hope your day so far is going well.
This week, we are going to focus on an Asian Women Artist in the music industry. To start the AW Artist Spotlight (AW = Asian Woman for short), I would like to introduce Nicole Zefanya or rather known as NIKI.
NIKI is an R&B singer-songwriter from Jakarta, Indonesia. At 21 years old, she grew her music career in the past few years, now making her an artist one must know. Originally NIKI started her music career by singing songs on YouTube. For college, NIKI moved to Nashville, Tennessee, with a music scholarship. Now, NIKI is in Los Angeles, California, where she signed under the label 88rising, an artist collective that represents hip-hop and R&B acts from Asia and the United States.
Soon NIKI gained over a million followers on Instagram and amassed over 160 million streams from her growing music career, placing her in the spotlight. In the beginning, NIKI released singles, such as See U Never, her first song collaboration with 88rising in 2017. In 2018, NIKI released her first EP, Zephyr, a perfect EP for the summer. Right after, NIKI released another EP, wanna take this downtown? in 2019, which included the hit song lowkey, which surpassed over 70 million plays on Spotify (and my personal favourite rendition of this song is the acoustic version she performed live On The 8th Floor of Power 106.) And recently, one of her 2019 singles, Indigo, was used as a promotional TikTok for Bernie Sanders (maybe by his social media team?)
As well, NIKI contributed to two collaborative projects by 88rising, Head in the Clouds (HTC) and Head in the Clouds II (HTCII) in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Both albums feature artists from 88rising and guest artists as well. 88rising also created the Head in the Clouds Festival in August 2019, to showcase 88rising artists. The HTC festival displays the success of 88rising as an Asian artist-focused collective, making it a label to know. To make this even better, NIKI was the only female headliner for the festival, and she rocked her performance with pride as an Asian female artist.
A few days ago, NIKI released Switchblade, the first single from her upcoming album, Moonchild. NIKI wrote the song about feeling confident, super-optimistic and thinking that nothing will get in the way of one’s journey. She also connects that journey to her own experience as an artist. Switchblade reflects how optimistic, yet naive she was moving from Indonesia to the United States. Overall, this single is an anthem that recognizes to take risks and make time for oneself in the work and the world. As a result, NIKI is using Moonchild to represent her coming of age story. And as of now, we can only be excited for what she will bring when the full album is released!
If you like what NIKI has done so far, you should check out her older songs and stream Switchblade too! You can find NIKI on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.
Thank you again for taking the time out of your day to hear me give out music recommendations! You can find us on Instagram (@overachievermagazine) or our Twitter (@overachieverM). Let us know if you want a certain music recommendation, or send a message if you were happy learning about NIKI!
And that is all for today! Take care, all the best!
Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.
Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.
We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.
You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!
We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.