Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
There have been many new female pop-R&B artists signed in the past few years, but even those with the most potential, such as Tinashe and Kehlani, so far haven’t been able to truly cross over to the mainstream and become superstars. 21-year-old singer-songwriter Niykee Heaton is next in line to give it a go. Niykee (pronounced like Nicki, not Nike) was born in South Africa, but grew up near Chicago. She first became known via the hugely popular WorldStarHipHop website when she was 18 and still at high school. She stood out to me when I heard her sweet, sassy R&B track Bad Intentions in 2014. Her EP of the same name reached the Billboard album chart top 40, and her acoustic covers of hip-hop songs have been viewed by millions on YouTube, while provocative photos have made her a social media star. After originally releasing through Universal-distributed Awesomeness Music, Niykee is now officially signed to one of Universal’s frontline labels, Capitol Records. Last week she released her album, The Bedroom Tour Playlist, named after her 2015 headline tour, which shot straight to no.4 on the US iTunes chart. It includes a new remix of Bad Intentions featuring rap trio Migos.