NIKKA COSTA is an American performer who started her career as a child singer in the early 80’s.
She is the daughter of music producer Don Costa, who discovered singer Paul Anka, and is known for having conducted and arranged several successful numbers for Frank Sinatra including “Come Rain or Come Shine” [Harold Arlen] that’s included on Nikka’s new album.
March 24th saw the release of the first single “Nothing Compares 2 U” from the soul/blues singer’s long awaited album.
The disc titled “Nikka & Strings, Underneath and in Between” is due out 2nd June.
The new album sees Nikka immersed in a fresh set of wonderful songs backed by a lush string quartet.
Recorded in just one day, the new album was produced by Justin Stanley (Eric Clapton, Prince) and Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie) at Henson Studios, with Nikka & the Strings mixed at Clearmountain.
The album features a new co-written song with Justin Parker [Lana Del Rey] entitled “Arms Around You.”
We had a listen to the album “Nikka & Strings, Underneath and in Between” —
It starts with “Nothing Compares 2 U” [see below] that demonstrates the album’s exuberant production values and Nikka’s intimate interpretations of classic numbers.
The clubroom blues piece “Ain’t That Peculiar” is a daring and beautiful number with an incredible piano introduction.
This shows that Nikka is a remarkably dynamic vocalist who seems readily able to reverberate that curious childlike lilt when she needs to deliver a little honey… before exploding into super-bright surge-waves of vocal power when it comes to the fináles.
“Love to Love You Less” is a slice of swing-time seduction with stumbled rhythms and a package of glossy instrumentation. And the vocal phrasing — laced with edgy strings and a ribald horn — shows no sign of regret. Nikka possesses pent-up inner-strength and dynamic vocal phrasing.
“Arms Around You” is kind and forgiving with a voice that captures the rocking ‘n’ bopping atmosphere of a smoky club-lounge in New York’s West Village [reminding us, perhaps of Helen Reddy.] But the rasp and sourness combines well with the bawdy musical oomph that you’d expect, perhaps, from a seasoned Broadway belter.
This is a masterful recording of fierce blues and classic easy listening , with wonderful songs and dramatic performances offered up, fearlessly, by a tremendous entertainer.