It opened for Taylor Swift at the age of 15. Four years later, Complex hailed her as one of the “Best New Artists” of 2018. Now at 21, Indonesian singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Nicole Zefanya, better known as NIKI, crosses a new creative threshold with her first album, “Moonchild”. Gaining wide critical acclaim since his groundbreaking EP, “Zephyr”, NIKI has nurtured fans around the world with his expressive voice, personal songwriting and genre-blurring art, becoming a vibrant symbol and a supporter of a generation of Asian musical artists.
Moonchild, made up of 10 songs, is an ambitious concept album that traces NIKI’s journey as he tackles universal themes of identity and empowerment. A sound allegory, the EP illuminates the linear path of youthful exploration through three phases of the moon: crescent moon (innocence, curiosity, boarding), half moon / eclipse (loss of hope, disillusionment) and full moon (self-discovery, power) .
The album itself offers an exploration, infusing its triptych song structure with eclectic styles – R&B, pop, urban, punk, country – from essential piano ballads to lushly orchestrated anthems. In two full years, Moonchild brought together NIKI with collaborators such as producer / writer Jacob Ray, producer collective Bekon & the Donuts (Kendrick Lamar, SZA), and Montreal producer Pomo (Anderson .Paak, Mac Miller). Includes previously released singles such as “Switchblade”, “Selene” and “Lose”.
“Moonchild is this complete concept album where, from top to bottom, when you listen to it, each song relates to each other. It just turns into each other and tells this one line story about this character called Moonchild. I’ve always been a fan of fairy tales and storybooks. It is only very important to me when I have released a body of work that is an extended album in itself, which would be cohesive. That there is a theme and a reason. Fans can expect it to be just this sound and cinematic experience. Imagine watching a movie or reading a book but through music and listening. I tried as best I could with the music, the instruments, the production, the lyrics, the videos, the images and everything in between. There is just a lot to ingest. I hope the fans love it and that you guys resonate with at least one of the songs, ”NIKI said in an exclusive interview with Music Geek.
For the rest of the excerpts from the Indonesian star’s highly engaging interview for The Manila Times Entertainment, log onto www.manilatimes.net.
Special thanks to Anne Poblador of Amplified Entertainment for arranging this interview.
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