“While NIKI has gained an international following for her down-to-earth songs and social-media presence, the singer is taking things to another world with her debut album.” – Forbes
“NIKI’s Debut Album Moonchild Is a World of Her Own Creation.” – W Magazine
“NIKI’s sound is more established, leaning on the quippy lyrical intimacy of an artist like Julia Michaels and a Billie Eilish-esque soprano waver.” – Teen Vogue
Indonesian vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, NIKI releases “Selene”, the second single off her forthcoming debut full-length album Moonchild, via 88rising, distributed by 12Tone Music. Listen to it HERE. Written and produced by NIKI and Jacob Ray with additional production by Montreal producer Pomo (Anderson .Paak, Mac Miller), “Selene” introduces listeners to NIKI’s soulful and funky side.
Thematically, “Selene” represents the Goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology, Moonchild’s more sensual alter ego that intensely overcomes her in this chapter of the Moonchild saga. The song builds upon NIKI’s story from “Switchblade,” bringing listeners further into the first phase of the album. Passionate adlibs and live horns set “Selene” apart from the rest of the album as an up-tempo song that will make listeners want to dance.
Speaking on “Selene”, NIKI explains “It’s about pure sensuality and femininity. I wanted to create a song specifically about the Goddess of the Moon who possesses Moonchild for a brief moment of naiveté and recklessness.”
The ten-song Moonchild, is an ambitious concept album that traces NIKI’s own journey while tackling universal themes of identity and empowerment. A sonic allegory, Moonchild illuminates the linear path of youthful exploration through three lunar phases: crescent moon (innocence, curiosity, embarking), half-moon/eclipse (loss of hope, disillusionment) and full moon (self-discovery, strength). The album itself offers an exploration, infusing its triptych song structure with eclectic styles – R&B, pop, urban, punk, country – from stripped-down piano ballads to lushly orchestrated anthems. A full two years in the making, Moonchild has brought NIKI together with such collaborators as producer/writer Jacob Ray, the producer collective Bekon & the Donuts (Kendrick Lamar, SZA), and Montreal producer Pomo (Anderson .Paak, Mac Miller), who is credited with additional production on “Selene”.
At fifteen she opened for Taylor Swift. Four years later Complex hailed her as one of 2018’s “Best New Artists.” Now, at 21, Indonesian vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Nicole Zefanya, better known as NIKI, crosses a new creative threshold with her first full-length album, Moonchild. Earning wide critical acclaim since her breakthrough EP, Zephyr, NIKI has cultivated fans around the globe with her expressive voice, personal songwriting and genre-blurring artistry, becoming a vibrant symbol of – and an advocate for – a generation of Asian musical artists.
Claiming her place on the charts, from Spotify (e.g., Top Hits Indonesia, Trending Tracks, Teen Hits) to Apple Music (e.g. Today’s Chill, Best of the Week), NIKI has steadily garnered a loyal throng of fans, reflected in 740+ million Spotify streams, over 1.1 million Instagram followers, as well as 214+ thousand YouTube subscribers. With her Indonesian heritage essential to her story, she feels “a social responsibility representing Asian artists, especially as a role model for girls.” For aspiring Asian and Asian American talents aiming to break cultural norms and overcome music industry under-representation, NIKI proves that the highest dreams are indeed within reach.
Stream/download “Selene” here.
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