Tuesday, December 16, 2008

YOU SHOULD KNOW (#2): Nikki Flores

Nikki Flores

Where do I begin?

Nikki Flores is an American pop artist born in 1988, along the lines of JoJo, Paula DeAnda or possibly even Mandy Moore (in her more recent stages). She’s the type that writes her own music, and has killer pipes to back up her thoughtful, inventive lyrics. She’s signed to Epic Records (at least last I knew) and released her first single back in ’05. Her debut album kept getting pushed back due to label politics (::cough:: Keri Hilson ::cough:: ::cough::) which is really the biggest shame. Her only real iTunes release was a “duet” EP with Josh Hoge, which the two covered High School Musical’s “Breaking Free” (yes, really…and it wasn’t half bad). The EP also featured one of her songs, “Could You Ever”. However, she did get some exposure when she was featured on the brief MTV series centered on country/pop “star” Cheyenne Kimball. It was after hearing this song that I’ve been interested in hearing more from her.

If you visit and friend her on MySpace (myspace.com/nikkiflores), she often posts blogs and new music on occasion. She also comments fans (!) which is rare from an artist signed to a major label. It is clear she is in control of her fan relations, which is always nice.

Undoubtedly, her best known song is “Strike”, which was featured on the soundtrack to the JoJo film, Aquamarine. But I can tell you that “Strike” is much different than the work she is currently working on. It’s not to say that it’s not good, but it’s much more run-of-the-mill urban/latin pop than the piano/lyric-driven stuff that Ms. Flores is working on right now.

My overall fave is the soulful “Face In the Crowd”, but “Have What I Had” comes in a close second, which I could totally hear JoJo covering. “Could You Ever” shows she could easily fit into the urban/pop fomat with finesse, but is underscored by a driving piano beat. “Insecure”, “Selfish” and “It’s OK” are both piano driven ballads at its absolute best – small and focused, not all crazy and grandiose like if Beyonce were to cover it.

One of her other most popular songs is “Suffocate”, which was at one point was slated to be a single, mostly because it was produced by Timbaland protégé Danja (Britney’s “Gimme More”), but for people who are expecting something more like Danja/Timbo’s usual work, I suggest “Painkiller”, or one of her newer offerings, “Overcast”, which (heavily) features rapper Don Won. However, she doesn’t compromise her laid back sound that is centered first and foremost around her lyrics. They are relatable and soulful, without being trite and stale.

You can download a fanmade compliation of songs (all of them are older tracks…who knows if they will be included in her eventual release) thanks to the good folks at PopNation. However, this does not include some of her newer works. So below are three of my favorites that you will not find on that compliation. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the intro post; she's one I'll be keeping my eye on. Would it be possible to reupload the Sendspace links? I'd love to download the tracks you've linked to, but unfortunately the links no longer work. :(

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