The 19-year-old singer behind recent hits such as "Wapo Traketero" and "Años Luz" begins her recording career with an album loaded with pop, R&B and urban sounds that establishes her as one of the new voices in Argentina.
With her debut album, Recuerdos, Nicki Nicole brings a breath of fresh air to trap music thanks to the addition of soul and R&B flavor.
The artist, real name Nicole Cucco, was blessed with collaborations from Duki and Cazzu, two of the top artists in the new Argentine movement. The singer-songwriter from Rosario has already broken several records, including earning a spot for her first four singles on the Billboard Argentina Hot 100.
Since the release of "Wapo Traketero" on YouTube in April, her name has been popular with record companies and producers, with a "Girl Next Door" quality that can inspire young people and talent to make her an overnight success.
As the year continued, she released three more singles. Her collaboration with Argentine producer BZRP for his Music Session #13 — named by fans as "Cuando Te Veo" — reached No. 3 on the Billboard Argentina Hot 100 chart. Her videos for "F—ing Diablo" and "Años Luz" have racked up millions of views.
Here's a track-by-track breakdown of Nicki Nicole's debut album, Recuerdos:
The album starts with a mid-tempo song, with synthesizers and keyboards by its producer Mauro De Tommaso. It shows a slightly more accelerated flow than she's displayed in her previous songs. Built on a pop beat with pauses and rhythm changes, clicks and voices that make walls of sound, it sounds destined for rotation on the radio.
The second track brings the first collaboration — this one with Cazzu. "Como hago pa'quererte, pa'besarte? Como hago pa'quedarme? "How do I do to love you, to kiss you? How do I do to stay?]" they ask together, having shared the stage at the Teatro Opera, where "La Jefa" Cazzu sold out three nights. With their different tones of voice, they complement each other in a trappy mid-tempo rhythm.
Nicki reveals the rest of her identity: the inclusion of a saxophone, with a solo included, and a foundation of R&B bass and drums — unusual in the urban world — naturally expands the color palette and flow. "Otra vez me arriesgaré I'll take a risk again]," she sings, giving life to a possible motif in her career.
In the middle of the album, the dembow and Latin flavors appear, without changing her personality. "No importa lo que ocurrirá What will happen doesn't matter]" she repeats in combination of filtered voices. Another possibility for a single.
In this track, she reopens the range of resources, presenting her most danceable and '80s style song. The bass line stands out, allowing her to flirt with the Anglo pop that artists such as Dua Lipa and Zara Larsson put on the charts. Video alert!
The most visible trap was waiting until track 6, featuring Duki, of course. The fusion with "El Duketo" generates an interesting blend and texture — at times feeling Arabic — thanks to a beat where the voices work rhythmically. The collaboration works for both, and makes the listener want to hit the repeat button.
The title track, which is about the house where she lived in the Echesortu neighborhood of Rosario until she was 13, has a sound that can already be considered her signature. "Tu mirada no me habla como al principio Your gaze doesn't speak to me like in the beginning]," she laments, showing one of her best melodies over layers of orchestral keyboards. A modern and classic beat stands out at the same time for what seems like a ballad that is not quite a ballad.
Cheerful and catchy. The "italo tecno" piano that rattles and jumps in a handful of chords takes us to the early '90s when Lisa Stansfield and Swing Out Sister spearheaded the trend. "Me gusta que me quieran I like being loved]," she confesses.
The closer, produced by Bizarrap, summarizes her essence: "Buscando el final, la historia de hoy, yo te la cuento Looking for the end, I'll tell you today's story]." With the absence of autotune, the album concludes in a quiet and minimal way. "A Dios le rezo I pray to God]," she croons.