Artist on Cover: NIKO. (@nikoneverleft).

Meet NIKO, a Filipino-American singer, songwriter and producer based in Honolulu, known for his song “Cartoon!” which has over 70K streams on Spotify. Since his debut single “Idrc” in June 2020, NIKO has garnered over 1,500 monthly listeners on Spotify.

On Friday, August 18th, NIKO unveiled his first single of the year, “Meant To Be”, a beautiful indie-pop song featuring Filipino singer, Angelica Violette.

Behind The Beat had the opportunity to sit down with NIKO to discuss the inspiration behind his new song, his sound and his plans for the future.


Congratulations on your first release of 2023! What inspired you to write “Meant To Be” and can you talk about the meaning behind it?

NIKO: Thank you so much for having me! I wanted to make a laid back song for the summer, and that’s what “Meant To Be” ended up being. This track shares a bittersweet summer love story, and centers on the idea that although two people felt like they were meant to be, it turns out that it wasn’t the case. The song touches on the idea of trying to move on while still wanting to go back to the way things were, which is a feeling I think a lot of people can relate to.

What was the production and writing process like for this song?

NIKO: I was actually sitting on this beat for a while, and I wasn’t originally planning on finishing the song. When I first started working on it, I immediately finished the melody and lyrics for the chorus, but I was really stuck on writing a verse. I didn’t pick this song back up until around April during Spring Break; I was sitting in the sand at Lanikai Beach in Kailua and I randomly thought about finishing that “one song”. If you listen to the verse, you can definitely tell I got some inspiration from being on the beach.

This song features Angelica Violette, how did this collaboration happen?

NIKO: Angelica Violette and I had collaborated previously on a song called “Messages” and it is still, to this day, one of my favorite songs that I have made. So when I was writing and recording “Meant To Be” and realized that I needed a feature, I knew that she’d fit really well with this song. Plus, a lot of friends and listeners had been asking me to do another song with her, so it was a no brainer.

Can you describe this song using a colour and why you chose that colour? (blue cause its sad, yellow = happy, etc.)

NIKO: I would definitely say a reddish-orange. Everytime I listen to this song, I immediately imagine sitting and watching a sunset by the beach. It’s definitely a chill, warm, and laid back kind of song.

Which emotions or feelings are you hoping to touch from your listeners?

NIKO: I think the message or subject of the song can be relatable to a lot of people, including myself, and can hopefully show that it’s normal to feel that feeling of wanting to go back to the way things used to be, especially when it comes to the emotions of a relationship. The song is kind of a “we’ve all been there before, it’s okay” type of song, which I hope a lot of listeners can couple with.


When you first began your career, you started creating music in the Rap genre. Now, you have a blend of Indie-Pop and R&B. How did you find your sound?

NIKO: So the main factor that, I guess, kind of dictates what genre I feel like making depends on what music I’m really listening to at that time. I started making music around my Freshman year of high school, and so a lot of that was making parodies of other rap songs, or just freestyling over YouTube beats with friends. But as my career has progressed, I’ve started listening to a lot of different music, and I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from artists like grentperez, ericdoa, and Weston Estate. I like being able to flip back and forth from genre to genre to make music that I think people will really like, and it definitely helps me from getting stuck or hitting some form of writer’s block.


Is there a genre or sound you want to experiment with in the future?

NIKO: Even though I have a lot of fun writing and producing Indie Pop/R&B type songs, I really want to start making Rap music again and maybe try a bit of Pluggnb. I learned a lot of new tricks and techniques with Indie Pop, and definitely have a new approach to the whole “song writing process” that I really want to try and implement with producing Rap music. But this definitely isn’t the last time I’ll be making Indie Pop/R&B type songs.

Without giving away too many details, what can the listeners expect from you for the rest of the year?

NIKO: For starters, I just released a new catalog of merch alongside this single. My friends and I worked really hard on making it the best it could be, and are really excited with a lot of the pieces we produced and are now ready to put up for sale; there are definitely some really good ones up right now. As for music, I’m gonna be taking some time to work on my production skills and really up the quality for my upcoming projects. I also have a lot of singles that I will be dropping in the upcoming months so there’s that. 

And, there is an album in the works.

What do you hope for the future regarding your music career?

NIKO: My mindset, I guess you could say, on why I started making music has never changed: make good music that people can listen to and genuinely enjoy. I hope that as my music career continues on, I can reach more and more people and be able to have that same privilege of showing them my music. As an artist, that’s the one goal you’re always chasing, and the one goal you will always enjoy chasing.

“Meant To Be” by NIKO, featuring Angelica Violette is now available on all digital streaming platforms so, make sure to listen here. Special thanks to NIKO for taking the time to do this interview with us.

Listen to “Meant To Be” by NIKO and Angelica Violette on Spotify:

Check out NIKO on Instagram: @nikoneverleft

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