Now Reading: A Track-by-Track Analysis of Niki’s ‘wanna take this downtown?’ EP


A Track-by-Track Analysis of Niki’s ‘wanna take this downtown?’ EP

May 23, 20194 min read

On May 16, 88rising’s Indonesian singer-songwriter Niki released her latest EP, entitled wanna take this downtown. The eleven-minute quartet is a mellifluous delight perfect for the summer, and more particularly, the relationships, flings and relatively inevitable heartbreaks brought by the heat.

Niki herself has said that her latest project wants to switch things up with the fluid amalgam of traditional pop and R&B. Despite all odds (pun-to-be-understood-later intended), the EP doesn’t fail to convey messages of personal growth and profundity. At 20, Niki is undeniably one of the brightest prodigies of the R&B scene, and this track-by-track analysis of her latest release aims to show you exactly why.

1. “lowkey”

As Niki’s first single of 2019, “lowkey” is an anthem for clandestine romances and the thrill of keeping them under wraps.  Accompanied by a bright and cheery visualizer, “lowkey” presents itself as a jubilant song anyone can jam to.  Through a whimsical and silky melody, Niki begs her lover to keep their intoxicating dalliance a secret to everyone except the two of them.

2. “urs”

Quite contrary to the light-heartedness and mellowness of its preceding track, “urs” is a song for a toxic relationship that sadly leaves Niki wanting more.  In “urs,” Niki croons for a love interest who’s slowly but surely falling out of love with her for another woman. She asks if “all the good nights / Are they hidden goodbyes in disguise?” Niki has never fallen short in creating lyrics you can’t help but sing along to, but she’s outdone herself in her EP’s second track.

3. “move!”

In her Billboard interview, Niki has specifically wanted her listeners to take note of “move!” and for good reason.  The energetic rhythm defies the “chill R&B” stereotype that has been bestowed unto her for forever. “move!” takes pride in its explosive chorus and happy-go-lucky lyrics.  With all these elements in mind, it’s no doubt that “move!” is worthy of being this summer’s anthem.

4. “odds”

wanna take this downtown? ends with a slightly more (passive-)aggressive tune about the adrenaline rush brought by a seemingly pointless chase for a love interest.  “odds” has flowy and bop-worthy melodies accompanied with evident percussion and snaps.  Niki sings about how fate is always in the way of her getting the person she wants, but despite all hurdles, she’s “never giving up against all odds.”

Overall, “wanna take this downtown?” may not be entirely game-changing or revolutionary to some, but I personally think that it doesn’t have to be for it to be considered a great piece of work.  Each track showcases Niki’s stellar vocals and heartfelt songwriting.  The entirety of the EP’s production is admirably clean and easy to digest.  Niki’s latest EP is a testament to her skill and craft, which is why it’s no surprise that she serves as an inspiration to Asian girls everywhere.  As a 20-year-old female Indonesian artist, her achievements and very existence show Asian youth that they, too, can succeed through their artistry.  And in a world that actively represses Asian voices, that’s pretty admirable and important.

Listen to “wanna take this downtown?” on Spotify here.

Photo via Niki’s Twitter.

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Ally De Leon

“There is so much to write and so much to make right” — Fifteen-year-old passionate about the written word, social issues, art, and culture.