INTERVIEW: Parisians NIKI NIKI talk through life in the capital and their new EP

Parisians NIKI NIKI defy sociocultural binaries with ‘Ungenderness’, with which they release their debut EP ‘Pretty Sunny Funny Walk

Aptly self-coined as ‘androgynous-pop’, with the new single, we’re transported with sinkhole-deep kicks and erratic guitar parts, to a post-punk podium.

From supporting Ibeyi, Joan As Police Woman, Christophe and many more with the band, lead-vocalist Mélodie Orru also performs a few shows as singer at the famous Jean-Paul Gaultier ‘Freak Fashion Show’ at Les Folies Bergères in Paris. We spoke to them about the new EP and life in the French capital.

Hey NIKI NIKI – welcome to BBM. What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you this year?

Hello BBM! Talking to you right now!! (laughs)

Probably for our lead-singer, Mélodie Orru, being chosen by Jean-Paul Gaultier for the “Fashion Freak Show” at the Folies Bergeres in Paris. And also releasing our new video for “Pretty Sunny Funny Walk” and the EP!

For those who haven’t heard your music yet, how would you best describe your sound?

It’s always special to describe with words what you could feel among the notes and silence. (smiles)

It’s a sound that joins the past and the future, a weird sentimental pop which turns sadness into strength!

What’s everyday life like in Paris?

We compose in our home studio in the 20e arrondissement, we eat some incredible food in cheap restaurants in Belleville (our favourite spot), we run from rendez-vous to rendez-vous in the crazy town, and we cook food for our friends with too much spice. Mélodie is an addict, she always has hot sauce in her bag, same as Beyoncé. (laughs)

How did the project NIKI NIKI materialise?

In 2015, times were difficult in Paris. Composing music was the first resistance we chose, a wind of freedom in a strange atmosphere. We needed to create in this climate of destruction. We decided to be a band.

Where do you all tend to write your music, do you think it influences your style at all?

We write during travels, in movement or in our home studio, it depends of the songs. Yes, it influences our music for sure! The place where the melody is born gives the DNA, but by composing you also create a new world, you push the walls to create new landscapes.

When was the last time you each had a proper holiday and where did you go?

We went to Roma together in May! It was incredible, this town is an open-air museum. The Pantheon was the most amazing!! From the First century, perfectly cylindrical with a central opening to the sky! We saw the earth turning with the circle of light moving on the ground, it was crazy.

Each of you, who would be your dream collab?

It would be a dream to collaborate with Fever Ray, with Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead, with Geoff Barrow from Portishead. Dreams come true sometimes…

Each of you, name a record you couldn’t live without?

Strange Days by The Doors, Rubber Soul by The Beatles and Big Science by Laurie Anderson.

You can stream ‘Pretty Sunny Funny Walk’ below.

Photo Credit: Camille McOuat