Viral sensation and Milton Keynes’ finest, Niko B, took Rough Trade by storm on March 2nd. Jodie Averis reviews.
Crammed into the tiny, intimate room holding the upstairs stage, we were all eagerly anticipating what the 21 year old could bring.
Niko B’s Nottingham show was the second date on his ‘Made in a Bedroom’ tour, and the name of this tour depicts exactly what kind of music he produces. There has been a recent resurgence in minimalistic music, such as a vocal sample over a simple trap beat, which has also been popularised by artists such as PinkPantheress. Niko B also does the same; spitting his conversational flow over a beat that sounds like it was made on GarageBand. There is a much-loved charm to this music that echoes certain Y2K nostalgia.
''Understandably, the crowd were expecting for him to tease us with his unreleased music, and he delivered''
Upon entering the stage, he immediately dives into International Baby, and the crowd starts jumping. One thing that was apparent was his joy; he also exudes a swagger and confidence that adds to his performance. ''Ain’t no party like a Niko B party,'' he declares whilst laughing, and he was right. Everyone in that Rough Trade room was dancing in unison as if we were all at the same house party on a Friday night in suburbia.
Seeing as Niko B has only really recently burst onto the scene, his released discography collection on Spotify is limited to six tracks. Understandably, the crowd were expecting for him to tease us with his unreleased music, and he delivered; a track called Canada Goose, which was a rapid delivery of his quintessential, ‘kitchen sink realism’ over a drum and bass beat, which made the crowd erupt into a frenzy despite having not heard it before. It was exactly what we have come to expect from a Niko B track, full of witty observations and word play.
After inviting his sweaty onlookers to ‘get silly’ with him on multiple occasions, Niko B also had a knack of laughing along and getting silly himself, including performing a cover of Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s, where I never envisioned I’d be shouting back ''OHHH, WHAT’S IN MILTON KEYNESSS''. In amongst that and playing Clash of Clans on stage, it is refreshing to see artists who don’t take themselves too seriously, which is ultimately the most inviting part of Niko B and his performances. He’s charming, likeable, and extremely relatable; just any other young lad who enjoys a good party.
''He will continue to soar because of his humorous social commentary and unique knack for putting on a show that we all want to see''
Quick Drive, Mary Berry and hit Who’s That, What’s That wrapped up Niko B’s short but sweet set, and there was a quick nod to the many ravers in the room when he dropped an explosive drum and bass remix of Mary Berry before exiting the stage. Rough Trade acted as the perfect host for this party, creating an atmosphere of intimacy and fun. Niko B’s rise to stardom may have began with being a viral hit, but he will continue to soar because of his humorous social commentary and unique knack for putting on a show that we all want to see; with our mates, in what feels like our own front room. He is certainly one to watch, and if you get the opportunity to catch him on tour or at a festival, grasp it with both hands. There ain’t no party like a Niko B party.
Edited by: Amrit Virdi