NIKOWOODYEAR’s been steadily rising and growing his audience, sitting at 54k monthly spotify listeners after dropping his ‘PROJECT NEON*’ album three weeks ago but the Charlotte native is still quite the hidden gem for the immense talent he possesses. Niko’s music has been a part of my daily rotation since December of last year and the release of this album has only kept him there. It’s still so early in his career considering he only started making music in 2021, but the progress he has made is definitely shown on this project.
There’s flashes of artists like Travis Scott, Lancey Foux and Pi’erre Bourne in his music but Niko’s not the kind of artist you can put into a box. He does have a really impressive singing voice and he proves his penchant for phenomenal melody manufacturing on every single song. He’s already involved with a lot of creative avenues outside of making music, including fashion, graphic design, and photography. He is also affiliated with Plaqueboymax (who produced 30M.!), and his streamer group, 5$TAR, whom he maintains a strong friendship with. They gave Niko a platform to promote his music early on and continue to be some of his biggest supporters and frequent collaborators.
This album incorporates a lot of elements from different genres/subgenres, providing something for everyone while displaying Niko’s versatility as an artist. However, there are some clear standouts in my opinion that everyone should check out. “PATIENCE.!” is my personal favorite with a bit of an R&B style beat and some catchy vocal performances by both Niko and the feature Street2x. “AREA CODES.!” is another where Niko just slides through the beat from start to finish showing off some heavenly adlibs over a catchy chorus. Last but not least, 30M.! was the standout single and is one of the most catchy and melodic tracks on the entire project. Some other favorites were “TRIAL & ERROR.!”, “ENERGY INTERLUDE.!”, and NAVIGATION.! ft BuffetboyJohn.
Niko plans to drop a deluxe version of the album sometime in March to continue building the momentum. In the future, he eventually wants to lean more into an indie/alt influence.