INTERVIEW: NIKKITA DELIVERS DREAMY HYBRID TRACK 'IN THE SKY' WITH EFFORTLESS SONGWRITING AND EDM PRODUCTION
'In The Sky' is the brand new single from Perth based Indie Pop artist Nikkita. The track combines elements of EDM with her soulful songwriting and an intricate, uplifting style of music that seems to feature a raw sense of honesty.
Nikkita has been writing songs on her guitar since she was 10, but it was a while before she found the confidence to perform. A chance encounter at a party in Sydney saw her finally take to the stage at an open mic near her house where she found the support of a handful of dedicated performers and started performing regularly.
From there she joined her first band, Wifey, where she learned to play bass and performed backing vocals for their EP 'Other People’s Money'. After beginning to recording her own music, Nikkita put some time into studying music production and finally hit her stride where she eventually recorded 'In The Sky' with producer Izaac Wilson (DZ Deathrays, Tia Gostelow, Chillinit, Huskii) at the beautiful Grove Studios.
Since her debut single 'Looking Up' in early 2022, emerging seemingly from nowhere, Nikkita has found a dedicated fan base among Twitch gamers, amassing 12,000 streams on Spotify.
“At its heart it’s a song about dissociating, though I don’t think I knew the term for it at the time. I wrote it while I was walking down the street struggling to feel connected to my body. I remember staring at the trees trying to make the world around me feel like it was real. I’ve always found the sensation a bit distressing, like a signal that my mental health is deteriorating again. But I guess I’m the kind of person to try and find the bright side to any situation so that’s where the chorus comes from - me trying to tell myself that with everything going on in the world maybe I really am better off in the sky.”
The story behind this track is quite relatable to me and I'm sure quite a lot of people out there. How has sharing this perspective resonated with those around you?
I think with the rise of Instagram and TikTok there has been a lot more open dialogue about mental health challenges and the different ways they can manifest in each of us. When I first started writing this song three years ago I actually didn’t know I was writing about the experience of dissociating. I’d never heard of the term. It wasn’t until I got into the production process last year that I reevaluated what I’d written and realised I was describing something that was surprisingly such a common experience among people. A lot of people have reached out and said the song feels so relatable, but so uplifting. It’s been nice to create something that people can both identify with, and find a sense of optimism in. I love that I can sing about mental health and somehow leave people feeling a bit happier than they were.
Tell us a little bit more about the production process and how the combination of soulful songwriting and EDM came together so beautifully.
At my core I’m a songwriter first, and I do my best work when I’m writing about something I’m experiencing on a deep level. My songs always start with the vocal first, I’ll come up with something while I’m walking around outside and then I’ll sit at my computer and try to build the production around it. The first version of this song I produced entirely myself, I even got it mixed, but it didn't really hit as hard as I wanted it to. So I collaborated with Izaac Wilson who’s my co-producer and he really fleshed out those big bass sounds and the drums. Then I added heaps of SFX in and some more synths. Then Izaac added even more. That’s why there are so many layers to this, it really went back and forth between us a few times. Izaac’s a legend though, he really gets my vision for my music.
You have been playing music since you were 10, what did that experience look like and was the hybrid sound something you always aspired to?
Up until a couple of years ago I strictly played my songs on acoustic guitar. It was only once I started learning music production that I really put any thought into what my songs could sound like. I remember on the walk to one of my lessons the song High by Peking Duk came on and it instantly took me back to that feeling of being in a big festival crowd. And I decided then that I wanted to make music that was big and energising, but also intimate and vulnerable. I wanted people like me to feel understood and also uplifted. So while my songs might feel like there’s a lot going on sonically, at the heart they’re songs about the way I see and feel my way through life.
What is coming up for Nikkita, can we expect any more new releases or a body of work soon?
Oh definitely! I have so many songs written. I’m just hoping I get quicker at releasing them as I get quicker at producing. I hope to have 1-2 more singles out by the end of the year. Then I’ll look to release and tour an EP early next year. Stay tuned!