12 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Niykee Heaton’s debut mixtape distills the hip-hop covers and intimate live shows that fueled her rise into a heady brew. Heaton’s whispery growl adds bite to the swirling romantic uncertainty of “Dream Team,” while the handclaps and strumming that power “Lullaby” coax a reluctant lover with deceptively laidback vibes. The sparse, longing “Bad Intentions” (here assisted by Atlanta rappers Migos) ably sums up Heaton’s trap-pop aesthetic and mischievous attitude. But her songwriting throws out enough curveballs to keep listeners guessing—and wanting more.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Niykee Heaton’s debut mixtape distills the hip-hop covers and intimate live shows that fueled her rise into a heady brew. Heaton’s whispery growl adds bite to the swirling romantic uncertainty of “Dream Team,” while the handclaps and strumming that power “Lullaby” coax a reluctant lover with deceptively laidback vibes. The sparse, longing “Bad Intentions” (here assisted by Atlanta rappers Migos) ably sums up Heaton’s trap-pop aesthetic and mischievous attitude. But her songwriting throws out enough curveballs to keep listeners guessing—and wanting more.

TITLE TIME

About Niykee Heaton

An artist whose output alternates between acoustic pop ballads and bleary slow jams inspired by contemporary rap and R&B, Niykee Heaton was discovered through her YouTube channel. In 2011, while still enrolled in high school, the suburban Chicago native began uploading clips of performances recorded in her bedroom -- covers of R&B, rap, and pop hits, along with occasional originals, for which she accompanied herself on acoustic guitar. Near the end of the following year, a version of Chief Keef's "Love Sosa" was featured on the website WorldStarHipHop -- the day before the singer turned 18 -- and she subsequently caught the attention of Steve Rifkind and Russell Simmons, who signed her to their Capitol affiliate All Def label. Bad Intentions, a six-track EP of alternately sleek and strummy pop-R&B hybrids, was released in September 2014. Late the following year, she performed a series of concerts in Canada and the U.S., dubbed The Bedroom Tour. In March 2016, Capitol proper issued The Bedroom Tour Playlist. Pushed as a mixtape, it featured remixed and remastered material that Heaton had previously made available through her active self-promotion via social media. The mixtape debuted at number 39 on the Billboard 200. ~ Andy Kellman

HOMETOWN
South Africa
GENRE
Pop
BORN
December 4, 1991

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