Music Spotlight: NYIKO
LA-based singer, songwriter, record producer + label owner NYIKO released their latest EP Crush last month, and we’ve been captivated by the nostalgic synths, vibrant production + lush vocals ever since. The 6-track EP is a collab with Boston-based electronic artist The White Electric, and the duo created powerfully evocative love songs that are sure to be your newest music obsessions. We chatted with NYIKO all about the EP + what’s next.
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on your recent release—tell us all about Crush!
NYIKO: Thank you! For me, Crush is a reflection on the intimate and shared experiences of falling in love. It’s an investigation into attraction and desire.
AM: How does it compare to your previous work, such as You Know I Loved It?
N: My previous EP, You Know I Loved It, which was more of a double a-side with remixes, centered around a tragic event that ended a long-term relationship. It explored depression, expectations and suicide. Writing those songs helped me process and move past a traumatic experience. From a production standpoint, those tracks were recorded with a full band in a studio while I was still living in Vermont. Crush is distinct from You Know in a number of ways. The subject matter centers on a much more hopeful and positive note—starting new relationships as opposed to ending them. The production is all electronic-based, I’m more confident now as a vocalist, and the end result feels more mature. While there are still some darker moments throughout the EP, it feels much lighter overall.
AM: For first time listeners, how do you like to describe your sound?
N: The sound of ‘NYIKO’ is vibrant and wistful, nostalgic and emotive—a companion to the radiant glow of sunset and the engulfing darkness of night. There are nods to British post-punk and new wave, as well as contemporary synth-pop and future bass. Every song is rooted in real emotion and a genuine experience.
in my heart, I’ll always be an emo kid.
AM: Are there any consistent themes you typically pursue through your music?
N: For better or worse, most of my songs are about love and relationships. That wasn’t always the case. In my childhood, I would write rap songs exploring the common themes of hip hop in the early 2000s, but when I started learning and writing with the piano, my interests shifted. I’ve certainly written a few non-love songs, but I always come back to it. I think that in my heart, I’ll always be an emo kid.
AM: What other musicians are you currently listening to?
N: Having a history in college radio and being a music lover my entire life, I’ve always kept up with new music. That said, I listen to a blend of contemporary and classic artists. My heavy rotation lately has been Wild Pink, Yumi Zouma, Sade, The Japanese House, Blood Orange, and The Smiths.
AM: We’re based in LA, too, so we love to ask our fellow LA artists: Does the city play a role in your work?
N: It plays a big role. It’s been the place I wanted to live since I was a kid. It’s a city of constant aspiration and collaboration. The memories and relationships I’ve made here are an endless stream of inspiration.
AM: Where is one place that you feel completely in touch with your creative self and your music?
N: My bedroom.
AM: What can we expect to hear from you next?
N: I’m writing and producing constantly so I have close to a hundred unreleased songs at various stages. That said, I just finished a full length, and it’s totally different than the Crush EP. We’re currently looking for the proper home for it. In the meantime, you can catch me live with a full band all around Los Angeles. So, come out and sing along if you’re in town.
// listen to Crush:
// Listen to more NYIKO on Spotify.