NIKI NIKI

  • NIKI NIKI
  • 2019-07-04

French-born band, NIKI NIKI describe their music as ‘Ungenderness’ - self-coined as ‘androgynous-pop’. Their latest single is released alongside their debut EP Pretty Sunny Funny Walk, and we caught up with Mélodie Orru and Pierre Le Bourgeois to find out more.

We take our inspiration from what life has to offer and take from us. From inner scars to sunny songs.

First up, tell us bit about yourselves - who are NIKI NIKI, and what were you doing before making music together?
We are a new French band with two lead composers: Mélodie Orru and Pierre Le Bourgeois.

Mélodie: I am a singer and actor. Before NIKI NIKI, I was performing in several shows. More recently, I have performed in Jean-Paul Gaultier’s ‘Fashion Freak Show’, and I am also the French dubbing artist for many movies such as Jackie (Natalie Portman), and also for many cartoons.

Pierre and I make music together but we also have our own independent projects.

Pierre: I am a composer and multi-instrumentalist in contemporary dance, working with Philippe Decouflé, Ashley Chen, etc. I have also performed with many other French pop bands and artists such as Alain Bashung, Bertrand Belin, Nosfell… Live music is my life.

Mélodie & Pierre: We met and it was obvious we would be performing together, we are both so different but we complement one another (smiles)

Who did you take inspiration from?
We take our inspiration from what life has to offer and take from us. From inner scars to sunny songs.

Why the name ‘NIKI NIKI’? What do you stand for?
Mélodie: In January 2015, I went to Niki de Saint Phalle’s exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris. I discovered her performances with a gun and it touched me. I had the idea of creating a new band named NIKI NIKI, because in these troubled times music was like a resistance, fighting against obscurantism.

How would you describe your musical style?
Our music is sentimental pop, with a touch of weirdness.

If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would you love to work with?
We would dream to collaborate with Fever Ray, because she has no boundaries, she is free and she inspires us a lot.

Your debut EP is Pretty Sunny Funny Walk. When did you write it and where did you record it?
We wrote these songs in 2015. It was sometimes painful to transform the violence of this time into happiness and poetry, but it was necessary. It was because of these songs the band was born.

We recorded until autumn 2017, we loved working in different places, we were in Brittany, in a studio where we lived all together with the producer Apollo Noir.

It was a lonely house lost in the countryside. Recording must be a magic instant, you make music, you talk about music, you eat and you live together all the time. Art, and particularly music is a moment of rally.

How does Pretty Sunny Funny Walk represent you?
This walk is special for us. It is a travel from darkness to beauty. It represents an invitation to discover our music, it’s just four pieces of something bigger. We wanted minimalism with true emotions, finding an orchestral sound mixing electric sound and electronic sound.

Can you talk us through each song?
‘Pink Sorrows’ is the story of the end of an emotional tunnel, a proposal to dance on our scars.

‘Pretty Sunny Funny Walk’ is an electronic ballade, a true love story which fills the absence.

‘Ungenderness’ is a hymn to sexual freedom and non-binarity.

‘Til Sunday’ is a song about silence and a metaphoric travel through existence, how a relationship could evolve from the first cuddle until the last wrinkle.

What are your hopes for Pretty Sunny Funny Walk?
We hope being discovered by a new audience. Music is a bridge and this first EP is made to be owned by the public now, we hope they can transpose their own emotions and their experience into our songs. These songs are no longer our history.

What are your other plans for 2019, can we catch you on tour?
We’re planning to release our first album Absence in the UK and the US in the fall.

Our new video for the song ‘Ungenderness’ will be released this summer, directed by Mélodie, a real tribute to Robert Mapplethorpe, Ana Mendieta and Ren Hang, artists who particularly touch us with their respective paths and marginalities.

And we’ve already started working on new material, we are currently writing and working on new songs for next year, with a new third musician and a new producer. It is so exciting (laughs).

Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourselves one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
What is written on my tea label this morning: “Don’t try to impress others, try to impress yourself!” (laughs).

Watch the video for ‘Pretty Sunny Funny Walk’ on YouTube below. For news and tour dates go to nikiniki.fr.

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