Melbourne-born singer-songwriter Nikita has spent the last few years finely honing her craft—busking, performing at cafes, bars, pubs and at numerous outdoor festivals across Victoria. At thirteen she won the first of a succession of singing competitions and she hasn’t looked back since.
But Nikita’s real story begins before that when at seven she was sent off to see a speech therapist to help her overcome a voice problem. The therapist suggested singing to remedy her vocal cord issues and in the process, Nikita discovered that not only did she enjoy belting out a tune or two but she also possessed a powerful voice that defied her previous debilitating condition.
And it is quite a voice. Stonesis her debut single, a heart-stirring pop ballad whose lyric identifies with those who have dealt with all the complexities and vagaries of forbidden love. Nikita’s blistering vocal performance pulls no punches.
Despite sounding like a cross between Katy Perry, Sheryl Crow and Sia with a slight country-sounding tinge, Nikita’s imposing style is all her own. Stonesis a piano-driven track augmented by a combo of spare and subtle instrumentation and tastefully swathed in strings and restrained background vocals.
The production allows for the song to breathe and for Nikita’s towering vocal to affirm its dominant position. There is a vaguely melancholic characteristic to most of the melodic sections, from the verse to the subtle dramatics of the bridge but there is also an underlying current of hope running through the song, affirmed by the connotations of the lyric and the effective and persuasive sell by Nikita.
It is a superbly confident performance and an emotionally dynamic record that contains all the elements of surprise, expectation and familiarity you’d want in a rousing yet reflective pop tune.
Stones will no doubt attract a lot of radio attention and supply the justified impetus from which Nikita can sustain her blossoming musical career.
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