Nicole “NIKI” Zefanya was only 15 when she opened Taylor Swift’s “The Red Tour”. Now, the Indonesian singing sensation is 23 with a sold-out tour of her own. NIKI is set to kick off “The Nicole Tour”—her first solo headline tour—in September 2022, and took to Instagram to thank her over 2 million strong fan base for making an “age-old dream come true”.
Stardom appeared to have been predestined for the singer who signed with the Sean Miyashiro-led 88rising label in 2017. In the years prior she had been uploading covers along with original music to her YouTube channel, leading up to the release of the singles I Like U and See U Never, forerunners to Zephyr, her debut EP.
Zephyr is the perfect mixture of old-school R&B and a smooth pop flavor with songs like Say My Name and Newsflash! setting the tone for sensual and relatable lyrics that get you in the mood for love in one instance and place you on the brink of tears in the next, in a way that keeps you hanging on every word sung.
The artiste once feared underrated soon stood on top of the world, holding within her hands Moonchild, her debut album. The project was released in September 2020, categorized into three parts which 12Tone Music described as the three lunar phases.
These phases painted a vivid picture of the introspection NIKI was undertaking; the magnifying lens she had over her identity as she maneuvered various stages of self-exploration. The stage of innocence, curiosity, and embarking, was symbolized by the crescent moon; loss of hope and disillusionment, denoted by the half-moon/eclipse, and self-discovery and strength, represented by the full moon. A compilation of 10 songs, Moonchild blends alternative R&B with electro pop—a shift in musical sound that NIKI admits she was hesitant to take but at peace when she did.
NIKI was also among the stellar lineup of performers selected as part of the 88rising set at Coachella 2022. Dominating the venue with her incredible stage presence and guitar skills, she made history as the first Indonesian female singer to perform at the festival.
Now, not only is she gearing up for her sold-out tour but she’s taking in the success of her newest single, Before, released on June 2nd. And in the meantime, fans are anticipating her sophomore album which she announced will carry the self-named title, Nicole.
NIKI shared on Instagram that the first half of the album which is slated to be released in August 2022, “will feature both new & archived songs no one’s ever heard before, and the latter half will feature [my] personal favorite originals that used to live on nzee24 (& that many of you shockingly still remember!).”