Combining a fusion of R&B and Pop Miami-born singer-songwriter Nia Ray otherwise known as the Purple-Haired Princess has been busy building on the success of her debut single ‘Lowkey’ released earlier this year. With influences ranging from Alicia Keyes to Aaliyah, the rising pop princess is scheduled to release her debut E.P “What’s Love Anyways” on October 21st
“What’s Love Anyways” is a collection of R&B splashed club hits with the songstress taking us on the journey of a 20 something’s experiences with love, from the sudden butterflies at the beginning to the inevitable breakup. Kicking off with the infectious “Sober”, Ray has created a groove orientated polished pop song with a catchy chorus set to a dance-inspired beat. This up-tempo track encompasses all the good vibes of the beginning of a relationship with flawless vocal lines and a smooth production that’s bound to hook you in. “Too Far Gone” has a softer tone compared to its predecessor with a thinner sound allowing Nia Ray’s vocals to take centre stage. The simplistic approach of combining layers of vocal harmonies with barely there synths and a strong backbeat provides the perfect backbone for Nia’s lyrics and melodic coos. The momentum of the E.P starts to build around “Need More” and “Heat” as the sound seamlessly transitions to a fuller tone and texture. With irresistible beats and abrupt transitions in the melodies these tracks add a more dynamic edge to the E.P. Nia’s versatility as a vocalist shines through with “Nervous” combining her raw vocals with a downtempo melody, her vocals add an emotionally evocative tone to the track. The almost stripped back sound radiates with heartbreak and disappointment with a minimal but effective take on production. “WLA” ends the E.P on a slightly more upbeat vibe with waves of synths and a running vocal line that adds an air of tension to the track.
Nia Ray’s debut is not exactly a sugar gum pop E.P with a honeyed view on love, her lyrics give an honest vulnerable view of her experiences. For fans of the 90s, R&B, “What’s Love Anyways” is the perfect combination of up-tempo melodies and pop hooks, easily injecting the genre with some fresh energy.