FRESH: ‘Make You Mine’ EP – Zikai

Zikai releases her “Make You Mine” EP

With performances at Sweden’s Grammy and Oscar ceremonies to her name, Zikai is poised to take her domestic attention to an international stage. The 22-year-old has a flair for timeless songwriting matched by a voice rich with personality, poise and prowess. Her style is resolutely hers, but it echoes some of her key influences: Snoh Aalegra’s cinematic soul, Brandy’s throwback R&B, Mabel’s crossover appeal and Dua Lipa’s postmodern disco.

Zikai’s latest step towards a bigger discovery comes today with the release of the new single “Champagne For Breakfast” alongside her debut EP “Make You Mine”. Picture the scene: it’s date night and the only thing flowing faster than the drink is the conversation. It’s fun, it’s exciting and just maybe you’ve met the perfect person. But morning brings a rude awakening. The talk is laboured, the energy is down and the vibe has somehow evaporated. If only you could rewind to the buzz of the previous night’s first drink…

It’s a situation that many of those are who unlucky-in-love have experienced. And it’s one that Zikai visualises in the swaggeringly sassy “Champagne For Breakfast”. “It’s such a shame, you’d be the perfect guy if you just stayed the same,”she sings. And the solution? “But if all it takes is just one drink, I’ll bring you champagne for breakfast. I’ve had a lot of dates that are like that,” she laughs. “Especially when alcohol is involved. Everything seems so nice, and then you wake the next morning like… hmm, I don’t know!”.

Zikai wrote and recorded “Champagne For Breakfast” in sessions with the Grammy-winning Grades (Dua Lipa, H.E.R.) and Max Wolfgang (BTS, Ed Sheeran). “Champagne For Breakfast” opens the “Make You Mine” EP in style. Its seven tracks range from the booming energy of “Liquor Kisses” to the elegantly stripped-back “Do You Love Me Still?”, and it also features Zikia’s breakthrough track “Beach Day”, which hit five million streams at Spotify. The EP is a potent cocktail of contemporary production and live instrumentation, which brings her stories of the ups, downs and insecurities of relationships to life.

As she explains, “The songs come from love, my relationship to love, and my love for other people. That may not always be healthy, but you learn a lot about self-love. I’ve been in relationships as I wrote these songs, and love has been a big part of my life. I guess a bit too big for my own good!” The EP’s roots lay in Zikai’s childhood. Born and raised in Stockholm, her older siblings surrounded her with the hits of early 2000s MTV, from Rihanna to Omarion. But there was also a distinct African influence too, from her Ivorian father’s love of the influential Afropop group Magic System.

Zikai landed her first major label deal when she was fifteen, but realised that it was too early for her to step out as an artist in her own right and instead focused on songwriting. She wrote or co-wrote various hits in her homeland before collaborating with rising UK and US talents in the studio before dropping her debut track “Mountain Peak”. The “Make You Mine” EP is the first chapter in her journey.

For more about Zikai, check out her official FACEBOOK page

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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