Making soft-hearted lo-fi jungle for introverted extroverts, 20-year-old Nia Archives unveils her debut EP ‘Headz Gone West.’ Spanning 5-tracks including her hypnotic and escapist debut single ‘Sober Feels’ and recent EP title track ‘Headz Gone West’ that’s been supported by the likes of The Independent, i-D, DJ Mag, Complex, CLASH, Notion, and more, ‘Headz Gone West’ also includes three new unheard tracks ‘(Over) Thinking,’ ‘Don’t Kid Yourself,’ and ‘Crossroads,’ the latter of which she shares a new visual for.
A quintessentially British scene and moment in electronic music history, Nia is inspired by and identifies with the imperfect old-skool grit of rave tapes from the late 80s and early 90s; taking reference from and adding her own unique spin for recent visuals ‘Sober Feels’ as well as the new video for ‘Crossroads,’ a black and white scrapbook montage style visual directed by Delphino Productions that draws us further into Nia’s world.
Born in Leeds where her earliest memories of music are deeply rooted in her Jamaican heritage, after moving out at 16, she relocated to Manchester, where her way of getting to know people was through raves and house parties. Forming a close community of like-minded ravers, she felt emboldened to take the mic at house parties to sing and freestyle, soon dabbling in production with a downloaded crack version of Logic. Crafting cutting-edge lo-fi jungle with a refreshingly contemporary feel, ‘Headz Gone West’ was made mainly in the early hours of the morning in her cramped bedroom studio last August and muses the turbulence that Nia has experienced with her familial relationships.
Speaking on the EP, Nia jokes: “It’s kind of emotional, but because I’m making jungle it balances it out.”
The lo-fi title track muses insomnia with an instrumental that sounds like the first rays of sunshine breaking over a hungover day. ‘(Over) Thinking’ includes an indie-inspired jungle beat over lyrics that deplore Nia’s own tendency to overthink relationships and situations. ‘Crossroads’ began as a hip hop track and was one of the first tracks Nia ever produced. It’s an emotional song that ponders her relationship with her mum, who she hasn’t seen in five years. ‘Sober Feels’ is a pained ode to the comedown over a salsa-esque beat; ‘Don’t Kid Urself’ is more garage than jungle and is an empowering proclamation of worth to boys who don’t deserve her.
A proud young British black woman of Jamaican heritage, she is heavily influenced by soundsystem culture and carnival – the good vibes, energy, and uniting quality of which undeniably teems through her music. She’s inspired by artists and icons like Erykah Badu, Angela Davies, Lauryn Hill, Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, and more – all women who in their own way have represented and pushed forwards generations of black women.
Working with the likes of Redlight, Jakwob, IZCO, V Recordings, and more, and getting the nod from electronic tastemaker DJ Mag as one of their Cheeky Bubblers after the first single, the future is bright for this exciting new artist on the jungle and drum & bass scene.