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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Pop New Wave





L.A. based producer and vocalist NYIKO returns to our page with another taste of his latest single “One U Luv.“ Only this time he reveals a brand new video to accompany the dream-pop anthem. We love when artists take risks with the filming process and in NYIKO’s case the video was all shot in one take which is pretty hard to pull off. Director Warner Shaw totally nailed the overall vibe which is a bit surreal and totally dreamy. Here is a bit more on the track directly from NYIKO’s lips:

“It’s not quite a love song and it’s not quite a break-up song. Real life relationships are rarely that simple. It’s about that space in-between love and loss, when two people are passionately intimate, but there are factors that are pulling them in opposite directions.”

Check out the video after the jump! - International House of Sound


It was barely a month ago that NYIKO was on here for his new single, One U Luv, but the Los Angeles-based artist just gave it the visual treatment.

Directed by Warner Shaw, the black and white video was shot in one take as NYIKO saunters and drifts through a graveyard. An array of balloons and clothing is seized by him with an effortless flair alongside the brooding dream-pop soundscape. Watch it right here. - Oh Es Tee


The final days of 2017 are upon us and thank goodness! As we count down to the kick-off of 2018, we here at Sidewalk Hustle are stoked to premiere a new video from a rad act you gotta look out for in the coming year. He’s a Los Angeles producer/singer by the name of NYIKO and the song is an uplifting track titled “Bad @ Luv.”

The 80s new wave tinged track was released back in September via Trailing Twelve Records as a surprise single. Made from a collection of bedroom demos, NYIKO brought the track to new heights with Kyler Hurley who engineered and mixed the track which was then mixed some more and mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound. Filmed by Will Trowbridge, the self-directed music video features NYIKO dancing around and crooning as balloons fill-up a vacant living room with colour.

As NYIKO told us…

For me “Bad @ Luv” is about the freedom that comes from letting go of the stories we tell ourselves. It’s about letting go of the expectations we form about who we are and who we are supposed to be. When we make the choice to look at ourselves with love and acceptance, there is endless possibility.

Check out the video for “Bad @ Luv” below. - Sidewalk Hustle


We have an instant classic on our hands here. It comes from producer and visual artist Nyiko Beguin, a.k.a NYIKO, who’s based right here in L.A. And today we’ve got the exclusive premiere of his latest single “In The Middle,“ produced by The White Electric. It kicks off with a simple synth chord progression that leads into a soulful bass groove followed by mesmerizing vocals. It’s a stunning mix of synth pop, a bit of house and elements of disco that have a hazy ambient filter.

There’s a sophistication in the track that gets better and better with each replay of the song. We’re especially loving the vocal melodies because they really shine on their own, but once they’re paired with the groove we get that extra oomph that makes it a total standout for us. It clocks in at just under four minutes of pure aural bliss that are best used for nighttime consumption. It’ll also seamlessly transition from your bedroom to the dance floor, but the sweet spot is definitely the latter. Dive in after the jump!

You can grab the track here! - International House of Sound


Last month, we ran two features with NYIKO, including the premiere of Tyler Daniel Bean’s reworking of his song “Drag Me Down,” as well as a Tracklisted with Nyiko Beguin, featuring songs that have inspired his approach to writing and production. Today, we’re premiering the entire You Know I Loved It EP, available now via Trailing Twelve Records.

You Know I Loved It is heavy on the synth-pop, featuring a dark lyrical twist focusing on themes of infidelity and intimacy. The EP’s title track, as well as “Drag Me Down,” both get the remix treatment, from Suplington and Sasquatch, respectively. Those remixes, as well as Tyler Daniel Bean’s version of “Drag Me Down,” aren’t included on the 7″, but can be heard on the cassette and the digital.

“For the one who hurt me the most — without you, this would not have been. Thank You” is printed on the back of the sleeve, focusing on the theme of the EP.

You Know I Loved It is available on a transparent red 7″, hand-numbered out of 500, featuring a full-color insert with lyrics. Side A features “You Know I Loved It,” while Side B has “Drag Me Down.” It’s also available as a cassette, which features all of the songs streaming below. The red tint cassette is limited to 50 copies with a full-color, four-panel insert. - Modern Vinyl

"MEB EXCLUSIVE: Nyiko – “Drag Me Down”"

In his quest to tackle the heavy side of lost love on the 7-inch, You Know I Loved It, Nyiko has sought to weave the power of songs and visuals together. After the release of the “You Know I Loved It” music video in June, Nyiko Beguin wanted to engage with nostalgia and loss head-on with the video for the B-side, “Drag Me Down”. Mind Equals Blown is here with the exclusive premiere of the “Drag Me Down” music video.

Like “You Know I Loved It”, Beguin combined analog video technology, a small team and dense source material to produce “Drag Me Down”. In this video, Beguin said that he focused less on constructing a concrete plot, emphasizing the themes of the track and its associated emotions.

“This video is about the feeling of depression or kind of a looming anxiety, and a feeling of isolation that is inherent to depression,” he said. “It is trying to represent that in a way that I think is pretty clear, but also just aesthetically pleasing, visually pleasing.”

The video features shots of Beguin isolated in different areas of his home, with a dark specter looming around him. Lyrics from the song pop up across the screen throughout, with dark trees and landscapes of Southern California passing across the screen. He said that the black, ghost-like specter is a visual representation of depression.

“With depression, it’s not something that you can necessarily see with someone,” Beguin said. “This specter…it’s this presence of something else that maybe not everyone else can see, but you are always feeling.”

Beguin’s small crew of one illustrator and two graphic designers used Hi8 cassette to film the video. Beguin said that the restrictions of analog taping pushed him to be more intentional in producing the video.

“We used this format of the Hi8 cassette tape just as a way to make it feel like it’s from the past, but that it’s also filmed in present day. So it has this almost semi-nostalgic element to it, you can’t really place where it is or when it was filmed,” he said. “With these types of formats, you need to be a lot more thoughtful about what you’re capturing, as opposed to digital. I find that exciting, and it makes me think about the framing of what we’re doing a lot more. For all of these shots, it was like one or two takes.”

Click play below to check out the new video: - Mind Equals Blown

"Hot Takes with NYIKO"

It isn’t common to go to house shows that move from cathartic, emotional rock bands to solo performers with laptops and synths. This scene was a familiar one for New England native Nyiko Beguin as he navigated through the sea of punk and hardcore bands in Burlington, Vt. While his style was different, Beguin grew close to the scene and its figureheads, including “heavy indie” stalwart Tyler Daniel Bean.

After playing synth on Bean’s latest full length, On Days Soon to Pass (read my review here), Beguin, otherwise known as NYIKO, is ready to move back to the solo grind. His upcoming 7”, You Know I Loved It, will be released on May 12, consisting of two new songs, and three covers/remixes of those songs.

Beguin says that he embraces synth pop to discuss heavy themes and stories. He works with close friends and collaborators from around the world to dive even further. One of the covers on the 7” is by Tyler Daniel Bean himself, and is streaming on Modern Vinyl. With his first release in three years coming up, I got a chance to chat with Beguin and dive into some hot takes.

Tell me about your roots in the Burlington scene.

I went to school there, and that’s where I kind of started on the project of going by NYIKO, as opposed to my previous musical projects. That’s kind of really where the sound that you’re hearing on this latest release began.

How did you get involved with Tyler Daniel Bean?

Tyler and I met at a house show. We kind of kept running into each other at house shows that we would both be playing at. We were playing different types of music, but our friendship kind of just slowly coalesced, and then really took off when I hired his girlfriend for a photoshoot a few years after we had originally met. Now we’re really close friends.

You moved to Los Angeles. How does the Los Angeles scene differ from Burlington?

The Los Angeles music scene is certainly more diverse and significantly larger. I think what’s interesting is that even though it is larger, every single scene has a network and a support, whereas in Burlington, even though there is somewhat of a diverse music scene, there are only a few of those scenes that really have people come out to shows. Where in Burlington you might have an artist come through that sells maybe half a room, they’ll come to L.A. and that show will sell out weeks or months in advance. So, I think that’s really the biggest difference, is that there is just more support for all the different little pockets of music in L.A.

Moving into the release, what themes do you draw upon with You Know I Loved It?

Well, definitely intimacy, relationships, kind of the feeling of the ghost of relationships when they’re over, how they have kind of a tremor effect to an extent. Definitely some themes of mental illness, suicidal thoughts, and compassion and empathy, just trying to be all parts in a relationship and realizing that sometimes that’s not the best way to go about things.

How do you draw upon these themes differently on this release than on previous releases?

This is the first release of my work since a tragedy in my own personal life, so really I was able to draw from that. Whereas music that came up before was, again, still about relationships and heartache, and the beauty of relationships, this release is really specifically about one event.

What role do the remixes and collaboration on the release play?

All the collaborations are either by close friends or collaborators, or people that I really admire and respect musically and personally. But, really what I hope to do whenever I put out remixes or covers within an original release is to kind of give several different aesthetics on one theme. Several different sonic renditions that still feel cohesive to an extent. When I was a DJ in college radio, and still when I DJ events now, there’s something about pairing eclecticism with kind of a single thread, and keeping that diverse soundscape cohesive, so that’s what I aim to do with this release as well.

How do your collaborators assist in your songwriting process?

Specifically with this release, Sasquatch, who did a remix of “You Know I Loved It”, he was kind of part of the very first stages of the demo of the original. He kind of gave some thoughts on it that were really helpful, and so he was pretty close to the song from the output. Tyler, just from playing his band and him playing in mine, we kind of would go back and forth about ideas with the songs from when they started. So, he’s also been pretty close to those songs as well. This was kind of a way for Tyler and I to continue collaborating even though we’re now in completely separate coasts.

How do you balance your work life with your career as a musician?

Through really strict work ethic and kind of social balance. So, basically committing and scheduling out the time every week on a routine basis of when I work on my music. Usually, I spend an entire day, usually Sunday every weekend, and then one to three nights every week working on music. I’m very precious with my time in that regard.

Anything else?

My hot take, this is an actual hot take. I would say just in regard to this release, and in general: love is tough, be true to yourself no matter what.

You Know I Loved It will be released on May 12. It is available for digital, vinyl and cassette pre-order on Bandcamp. - Mind Equals Blown


On May 12, NYIKO is releasing the You Know I Love It EP on 7″ and cassette. Per the band’s frontman, Nyiko Beguin, it “blends synth-pop, new wave, and r&b, generally with high energy.” Beguin played synth on Tyler Daniel Bean’s recent full length, On Days Soon To Pass, and Bean reworked one of the songs on the EP, “Drag Me Down,” alongside other reworkings by Suplington and Sasquatch that fill out the collection.

In advance of You Know I Love It’s release next month, we have an exclusive premiere of Tyler Daniel Bean’s cover of “Drag Me Down,” which you can hear below. We also spoke with Beguin about the recording and creation of the EP.

Modern Vinyl: The EP is fantastic, by the way. What led you to choose the folks who did the remixes and covers?

Nyiko Beguin: Thanks! I’m really happy to hear you liked it. Overall, it was an organic process. Sasquatch and I have been collaborating for a few years. We put out an EP last year — NYIKOxSasquatch, Stay Here — and he helped with some of the early ideation for You Know I Loved It. He’s done some incredible remix work for me and other artists in the past, so it was a natural choice to have him on this release.

Suplington and Sasquatch are actually labelmates on Youngbloods Records, based out of NYC/LA. I loved Suplington’s 2014 release, Tokyo Reflections, and thought that he could provide an experimental take on “Drag Me Down.” I reached out to his label and they put me touch. With me living in LA, and Suplington in the UK, we did everything over email. We’ve actually never met face to face, which is kind of strange, but I guess that’s how these things can go these days.

MV: The EP is dance-y, but so sad, which kind of makes the Tyler Daniel Bean connection make a lot of sense (at least the latter half of that statement). How’d you come to know Tyler and work with him?

NB: I’ve known Tyler since 2010 when I was living in Burlington, Vermont. We met at a house show we were both playing at. I remember Tyler was propped up on the kitchen countertop, playing acoustic and singing some especially heart-wrenching lyrics.

We actually didn’t become close friends until a few years later, when I hired his girlfriend for a photo shoot. After that, we started working on music together. He played guitar in my band for a year or so and I played synth on his latest record, On Days Soon to Pass. Since moving to LA, it’s been difficult to collaborate, so asking him to record a version of “Drag Me Down” felt like a logical way to accomplish that. When he sent over the demo, I was blown away. I actually shed a few tears. I think it was a combination of the beautiful arrangement he put together, along with missing him. He’s been there for me through some tough stuff.

MV: What was the process of recording the EP — did you know you’d want reinterpretations from the start?

NB: Writing and performing music has always been a form of therapy for me. This project was undoubtedly the most directly aligned with that notion. I wrote and recorded the demos in my bedroom in Vermont in late fall 2014. I was lucky enough to have the angelic Alexandria Hall (tooth ache., Beth Head) record vocals on “You Know I Loved It.” Once I heard her voice on it, I knew we had to figure out a way to press it on vinyl.

After rehearsing with the band — Dan Smith on drums, Ian Senesac on bass, and me on synth — we brought them into the studio in summer 2015. The two songs were engineered by Chris Shar (formerly Man Man, Santigold, Pours) and Bronwen Dearing at Studio Barr Von Burdge in Burlington, VT. It was then mixed by Kyler Hurley in LA and mastered by Steve Kitch in the UK. Working with that crew was a real treat. They are truly skilled and delightful people.

In terms of having the reinterpretations for the record — that’s a tough one. When I’m working on new material, all of my energy and focus is on making my best or at least my most sincere version of that idea or feeling. I’d say it’s almost never “how can I make sure this song works well for a remix?” That’s not to diminish the value of a great remix or cover, it’s just not something I’m concerned about during the writing process. I love remixes, covers, reworks. It’s a terrific way to collaborate and to hear your work through another filter. Honestly I find sometimes a remix or cover can be more effective than the original. Who knows, that might even be the case for this EP…

MV: How’d you come to this style of music?

NB: For a while now, I’ve felt like somewhat of a musical chameleon. In high school I bounced around writing and performing pop-punk, grindcore, indie folk, and hip-hop. Then in college, I played for a 4-piece folk rock band and put out my first electro-pop release as NYIKO.

I’ve always had a passion for music exploration and that has a direct impact on my approach to songwriting. As a result, I have an eclectic output, but the goal of every release is to have some sense of cohesion.

Back when I was DJing college radio, it behooved me to stay on top of the latest bands. I also found myself spending countless hours in the station’s archives and hanging out with other DJs, discovering artists old and new.

“You Know I Loved It/Drag Me Down” is a continuation of that exploration. Thematically, the two songs are similar, but stylistically distinct. When I wrote “You Know I Loved It” and “Drag Me Down,” I was listening to a lot of Madonna’s self-titled, Phil Collin’s No Jacket Required, and Twin Shadow’s Confess. There’s no doubt that those records had an influence on this release.

You Know I Loved It is available for pre-order on vinyl and cassette via Bandcamp. - Modern Vinyl


Nyiko Beguin is the driving force behind Nyiko; a synthpop project that infuses elements of indie-pop and classic ‘Laurel Canyon’ style song-writing in to an electro soundscape to give the listener tracks like Drag Me Down that match an up-tempo feel with starkly confessional lyrics.

Drag Me Down is the b-side of Nyiko’s recently released EP You Know I Loved It which is currently available in digital, vinyl and cassette forms via Nyiko’s Bandcamp page and Trailing Twelve Records. - Electronic North


NYIKO (born Nyiko Beguin) is an American record producer and multi-genre artist based in Los Angeles, California. While his latest release You Know I Loved It deals with heavy themes of depression and heartbreak, he does it in a very upbeat way which almost belies the darker edges of the lyrical content. The track reminds me of Prefab Sprout or a more muscular version of The Postal Service. Fairly heavyweight comparisons there, but You Know I Loved It is a strong enough track to take being mentioned in the same breath as such worthy musical antecedents. - Electronic North

"LA Based Nyiko Drops Brand New Music Vid For "Stay Here""

LA based synth pop master Nyiko has dropped his brand new music video for "Stay Here". The vid has a serene, etheral beauty to it with a split screen shot of a couple texting each other about their daily lives and wanting to see Nyiko in concert later on that evening at The Cobra Lounge in LA. The vid is extremely intelligent in its offerings, and gives an in the moment feel of a couple looking to enjoy each other's company and plan to let some steam out at a local show. Nyiko was first featured here on the site several months ago, and I commented on how he had this strong sexual energy that permeated strongly throughout his music, and that said energy translated well in a visual way. This video is a little different, and offers up a more in depth perspective inside Nyiko and you begin to weed out different facets of his personality that come out strongly within his music. An extremely talented and original artist that is definitely worthy of checking out.

For more on Nyiko, 'Like' him on Facebook over here, visit his official homepage at this junction right here, and preorder the digital release of "Stay Here" directly via this link here. - Music Box Pete

"NYIKO, Always Always"

By day, Nyiko Beguin is a credit analyst at a Burlington bank. By night, he is NYIKO, a multifaceted artist with a gentle voice whose recent mixed-media release, Always Always, has been a year and a half in the making. While taking a break from the stage, NYIKO wrote and carefully produced these five stylistically diverse songs. The EP was then shared with visual artists, and the work it inspired became the 40-page art book that accompanies the vinyl release.

The songs that make up the musical half of Always Always represent the union of influences NYIKO has had since he started writing hip-hop songs in elementary school. Each tune is in touch with its times yet suggests a catchy classic. The result is a delectable smorgasbord of songwriting and production aesthetics, which is held together by NYIKO's voice.

The singer's intonations are part Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) and part Avey Tare (Animal Collective). Or maybe they're part Wesley Miles (Ra Ra Riot) and part Chaz Bundick (Toro y Moi). In any case, what he delivers on Always Always is an honest, and a trained, vocal performance. NYIKO matches the color, style and emotion of each of his five unique songs, so that the pure pop of the EP's opening title track, for example, doesn't feel out of place next to the New Wave of "Island I Would."

The presence of live drums (Dan Smith) and electric guitar (John Flanagan) on "One Way" lends the song an organic sound that recalls the Cure. NYIKO channels Robert Smith here lyrically as well, crooning melancholic romance with the song's final lines, "I could be anything you need, pushing down the sun for the night."

At a walking tempo, "Say What You Mean" has an oddly soulful and groovy feel hidden within its spacey synth sounds and its reverberated cry to "dance 'til the night becomes your dream."

An uplifting, dancey tune, "Once One," looks back on a spent relationship and brings Always Always to a liberating close. Finding comfort in closure, the singer advises to "keep singing your song."

NYIKO meets the challenge of liberally changing styles within a single release by doing so with subtlety. His voice goes through nuanced changes that allow for movement between genres while retaining his artistic identity. Always Always is the kind of electro-pop that should be on the radio. Step down, Bieber.

Always Always by NYIKO is available at nyiko.com. Catch him live at oak45 in Winooski on Friday, May 2, as part of this year's Waking Windows 4 festival. - Seven Days


What do Paul Simon and Coolio have in common? More than you’d expect, really — they both released albums in 1997, they’re both more attractive than Art Garfunkel and they’ve both heavily influenced Nyiko Beguin, the Burlington-based pop artist about to release his second record, Always Always.

Nyiko, who drops his last name for professional purposes, has taken a yearlong hiatus from performing to produce the new record, but he’s jumping back into the game — and raising money to release Always Always on vinyl.

Nyiko, who will turn 23 next week, has been around the Burlington music scene three years — but music has been part of his life as long as he can remember. Growing up in the rough-and-tumble neighborhoods of Hancock, N.H., Nyiko found a love of hip-hop at an early age.

“I was fascinated by hop-hop culture,” Nyiko says. “The first album I bought was Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise. I was young and impressionable, and it represented what I thought was cool.”

The impressionable kid penned his first lyrics in elementary school.

“When I was seven years old I wrote my first rap verse,” Nyiko recalls. “It was two bars.”

Nyiko’s influences have grown and varied over the years — from Paul Simon (the first record he ever heard was Graceland) to Ben Folds, Aesop Rock to Hall & Oates.

“I would consider myself to be a music aficionado,” Nyiko says. “I have been collecting and listening to all types of music since I was very young, and I truly believe that everything that I have ever heard has influenced me in one way or another.”

These influences have been both positive and negative, he stresses — some artists he wants to replicate, others help him understand what he doesn’t want to sound like.

“All of my influences represented a turning point in the music I was creating,” Nyiko says. “Aesop Rock — after I heard him I completely changed how I approached rap. Ben Folds — that’s who made me want to learn piano. It’s indie rock, but he did it different than Elton John did. Hall & Oates — I think their whole discography is great, such an evolution of their sound from 70s funk/easy listening to 80s glimmering pop jams to their more folky sound now.”

As a high school student, Nyiko began playing with classmate Ethan McBrien in the summer of 2008 while the pair were camp counselors in Dublin, N.H. The duo, called Whales & Wolves, blossomed into a four-piece outfit when Nyiko and McBrien both attended the University of Vermont, with Peter LaPlante playing drums and McCrae Hathaway on bass. The group played for two years around Burlington — including an opening act at Higher Ground, and released an album, Up To The Ground.

“Since then, we have all spread out,” Nyiko says. “McCrae moved to Maine; he is playing with another band now, Whale Oil. Ethan moved back to New Hampshire to play with his long-time band, Youngest Son. Peter and I are still in Burlington, but we are both working full-time and getting the band back together isn’t exactly a priority.”

While playing with Whales and Wolves, Nyiko worked on solo projects, too. He shifted away from the alternative rock sound of the quartet in favor of a more electronic, pop-oriented sound.

“It certainly has electronic elements, but I try to incorporate live and organic sounds whenever I think it makes sense,” Nyiko says. “If I had to put a genre on it, I would say it’s electronic folk pop. Since I started making music, I’ve recorded songs that could be characterized as hip-hop, pop-punk, grind-core, piano-based singer-songwriter, folk, and folk rock.”

Nyiko released his first solo album, Colchester, in 2010. He and UVM classmate Will Trowbridge collaborated to make a music video for “Off The Ground.”

“Colchester was written during my first year in college,” Nyiko says. “I was still in a relationship with my girlfriend from high school — we were living in different places and having different experiences, so a lot of Colchester is about distance and not being able to be completely present.”

Nyiko is an artist, actor, musician, relentless promoter and, to pay the bills, a credit analyst at a local bank. His paint-on-VHS tape exhibition Caught On Tapes was showcased at UVM’s Davis Center in 2011, and he’s starred in several short films. But he has put performing live on hold to focus on this record.

“Since the start of this project, I’ve been taking a performing hiatus,” Nyiko says. “Performing takes a whole different set of skills — it’s more interactive. I did a one-off cover of a Daft Punk song in the spring, and that was my first performance in a year. Acting is still an interest, but I’ve put it on the back burner.”

Now that production is wrapping up on Always Always, the itch to be onstage has returned.

“I want to get back to it — I want to be touring somewhat in support of the EP.”

Always Always, a five-track release, is a departure from Colchester both thematically and lyrically.

“For me, Always Always really represents a lot of where my music has come from,” Nyiko says. “I don’t think any two songs on the EP are in the same genre, and that’s what I think is really interesting about this EP. These songs were written over the course of two years, so I was in some very different head spaces throughout that time.”

Nyiko wrote the songs for Always Always 18 months ago. He meticulously composed all the parts for the tracks, playing piano and using a MIDI keyboard to create guitar and drum sounds. But, coming to the realization that there ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, Nyiko hired a band to record the instrument parts he had written last summer. Dan Smith sat in on drums, and John Flanagan laid down the guitar tracks. The album was recorded at Signal Kitchen Studios in Burlington and produced by Nyiko and Dave DeCristo.

“I’ve spent the months since then listening, note-taking, scrutinizing, and re-working the songs,” Nyiko says. “With the help of a great sound engineer, incredibly talented musician friends, and many critical ears, I believe this is my best sounding release to date.”

Nyiko graduated from the University of Vermont in 2012, where he was probably the only student who double majored in Finance and Art. The combination of creative chops and business savvy enables him to approach both sides of the business. It’s as if he’s his own manager, and a shrewd one at that.

Nyiko performs at the University of Vermont's Springfest in 2010.
Nyiko performs at the University of Vermont’s Springfest in 2010.

“I’ve always been fascinated with both of those worlds — business and art,” Nyiko says. “That combination has helped me enormously; because of the business side I can see everything from a financial standpoint — what it’s gonna take to make a project successful, the marketing, putting everything together.”

Nyiko is about to launch a Kickstarter campaign to release Always Always on vinyl. He’s trying to raise $10,000, to cover tracking, mixing, mastering and pressing the vinyl copies.

He’ll also be publishing an art book featuring more than 15 artists from around the country, in a variety of mediums — photography, acrylic, oil and mixed-media.

“Their artwork is representative of their experiences listening to the album, and I have compiled the pieces in a book that I hope to publish,” Nyiko says.

Nyiko said none of the Kickstarter donations will go directly to him, and will all go towards offsetting the cost of producing the record and art book.

“Kickstarter is intriguing because you have the ability to not only raise funds, but while doing so get exposure,” Nyiko says. “Even if it’s not successful — everyone knows what your project is.”

Nyiko is holding a launch party for Always Always and the Kickstarter campaign Nov. 1 at Burlington City Arts. Jonny Wanser’s Mixtape Party and DJ Sasquatch will be playing sets.

Nyiko holds a special reverence for vinyl records, and wanted the best format to present his most impressive work do date.

“I wanted the most polished, best sounding thing possible,” Nyiko says. “I wanted the best way to present a grand audio/sonic experience.”

For Nyiko, the sheer space for art on a 12”x12” album sleeve was just too good an opportunity to pass up. The album artwork and design are by Jasmine Parsia.

“I wanted to explore the physical presentation, the artwork,” Nyiko says. “An album is way more than a digital file that only exists in the clouds.”

Nyiko is a collector of vinyl himself — amassing a collection of more than 400 records.

“I’ve been collecting vinyl since high school starting when I inherited my parents’ collection, and then my brother’s when he moved to California,” Nyiko says. “I started going to flea markets, and I’m into buying albums that bands release on vinyl.”

On the success of the Always Always hangs the prospect of a dream realized — the opportunity to take his act on the road and be a full-time musician.

“Ever since I was a kid writing rap songs I had the dream of performing,” Nyiko says. “If I had a following in this part of the country/world, I would first consider touring.”

Ever the realist, Nyiko acknowledges the balance of being a working professional and burgeoning musician.

“I work full time and I’ve got to be realistic about expectations — I can’t do both. The goal is to music full time.”

Ideally, he’d like to get a permanent band together to support the new album. But if that doesn’t pan out, he’ll still be out doing what he loves.

“Even without a band, I’ll still tour no matter what,” Nyiko says.

Despite the challenges of breaking into the industry and the countless hours spent in the studio fine-tuning every track, Nyiko’s love of music hasn’t waned since the day in 1997 he bought his first Coolio record.

“For me, [music] is the ability to evoke a feeling, a time, a place, with sound,” he says. “I think the best songs are the ones that remind you of somewhere or someone. They can make everything else that is happening fade into the background. Those are the kind of songs that I try to make.”

Check out Nyiko’s site, www.nyiko.com

Check out photographer Lauren Mazzotta at http://www.laurenmazzotta.com/ - thread magazine


Nyiko Beguin might be local indie music’s answer to famed pop zoologist Jack Hanna. As one half of local duo Whales and Wolves, last year he delivered a promising, if flawed, exposition of indie folk on that band’s debut record, Green and Grey. But it seems the Burlington-based songwriter also has an affinity for chameleons: He fluidly changes colors to suit both his mood and sonic surroundings. His debut solo effort, Colchester, finds Beguin shifting shapes from rootsy chamber-folk singer to gloomy, glo-fi pop impresario. The results suggest an instinctually gifted young artist slowly but surely becoming comfortable in his own skin.

“Blankets and Sheets” opens the album with a flush of trebly synth cascading over blooming, low-end sustains, propelled by light but explosive percussion. In contrast to the snazzy audiotechnics behind him, Beguin croons in a melancholy baritone, with just the slightest trace of a faux British lilt. Smiths-ian vocal styling aside, the song itself is a shades-drawn, bedroom-pop charmer. And honestly, if we’re subtracting points for aping Morrissey, nearly all of modern indie-pop would suffer.

“Off the Ground” is next and exudes a similar retro-hip synth aesthetic. Here, Beguin’s electro machinations are slightly ragged, just a hair out of sync. The effect, seemingly intentional, is initially jarring but ultimately pleasant and humanizing — there is a man in this machine after all.

“Sparks of Spring” is an album standout, balancing confessional lyrical heft with the finer compositional elements teased on Green and Grey.

Following a rather dull instrumental interlude, the album closes on three hit-or-miss tracks. “White Lilies” imparts a vaguely African rhythm as airy, contrapuntal vocals flit breezily through the speakers. “I Could Sleep For Days” is an ambitious, if Dirty Projectors-derivative, head bobber. The awkward “We Can Disappear” closes the album on a low note, as Beguin falls victim to overly crude writing. However, even that song’s flaws do little to detract from an otherwise fine and tantalizing effort.

A cynic might accuse Beguin of jumping on the resurgent popularity of new-wave-influenced synth-pop in more-hipster-than-thou indie circles. And that might even be true. But strip away the Casiotone bells and MIDI whistles, and Colchester presents an often-striking little collection of material that is simply built upon solid, occasionally excellent songwriting. Keep an eye on this kid.

Catch Nyiko Beguin solo this Friday at Radio Bean, and with Whales and Wolves on Tuesday, opening for worldly indie-pop phenoms Fool’s Gold at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge. Colchester is available for free download at www.nyiko.com. - Seven Days

"New Tunes: "Island I Would," NYIKO"

The last we heard from local songwriter Nyiko Beguin he was fronting a promising indie-folk outfit called Whales & Wolves. That band's 2012 release, Up to the Ground, though rough around the edges, was a solid step forward from its 2009 debut, Green and Gray. The record showcased ambitious, if somewhat schizophrenic, arrangements and hinted at a talented songwriter in the making.

Recently, Beguin has been working as a solo artist. He's currently chipping away at a new EP, Always Always, slated for release next year — provided his crowdfunding campaign hits its mark. The five-song EP will be released on vinyl and is accompanied by an art book featuring compositions by some 15 national artists.

Beguin has made the first single from that EP, "Island I Would" available for public consumption. Bathed in dreamy synth that explodes into dramatic hooks, the dynamic, danceable cut suggests Beguin has come into his own. (Bonus points for the crafty use of steel drum. Nice touch.)

Check out that single below. To hear more from Beguin, you can drop by the BCA Center on Friday, November 1, when he plays a Kickstarter launch party with Mixtape Party and Sasquatch BTV. - Seven Days

"Burlington, VT Based NYIKO Releases Summer Filled Nostalgia Clip For "One Way""

Burlington, VT based NYIKO has just released his wonderful music vid for the song "One Way". The clip takes us on a look back of all the sights and wonders of the summer with barbecques, beer drinking, a beautiful girl, and even NYIKO sporting some chest hair for your enjoyment as well. This video was definitely worth watching, and what I enjoyed most about it was at how well it was produced. It had a very glossy, produced feel but it was made within a certain budget that definitely grabs your attention, and allows you to look at the surrounding exteriors featured in the vid that are joyous and amazing when you first look at them. There is definitely something to be appreciated from this vid, and you'll definitely be entranced by all of the wonderful imagery featured prominently throughout this great clip, and the music melds in nicely with everything abound to create a full featured enjoyment that excites all the senses. - MusicBoxPete

"Wolf in a Music Video Volume II"

Why? There’s love, there’s maturity, there’s a sense of honesty and approachability that makes this track one of a kind, a true stand out gem. “Drag me down” has a style that blends a certain charm from the 80’s but makes it modern and simply his. Nyiko shows the world that he is setting his path to ensure they all listen to his flavor of indie pop. - Wolf in a Suit

"More about mental health from Chusap and NYIKO"

Mental health seems to be a favoured cause these day. Hey, even the Royals are at it. And that’s a good thing – goodness knows the death of my son tested mine. Which makes Chusap calling his (?) track Nutter disappointing. It’s made all the more disappointing as it’s a really cool and slinky techno tune accompanied by a spoken vocal about the mental health hotline that still made me laugh – “If you have low self esteem it doesn’t matter which button you press, we don’t care.” .

It concludes “Any callers who are of a sound mind must hang up now.” But you should carry on listening.

If you weren’t amused, here’s some gentle deep house to wash things away from NYIKO. You Know I Loved It (Sasquatch Remix) is almost not a house tune with the vocal chanting and the bits of what sounds akin to banjo. It has an inventiveness that too many deep house tunes don’t achieve. - Acid Ted

"“Drag Me Down” by NYIKO – A Song Review"

Bells are pealed, not pianos. The start of “Drag Me Down” is an exception. A chord is struck and the piano strings are allowed to vibrate with decreasing volume, until the chord is struck again. The approach is effective in immediately setting an expectation of solemn subject matter. The vocals enter with “The light was always on when I woke up; but not today, I didn’t understand.” The lyrics of the song from NYIKO are built around a relationship that needs to end, despite some reluctance.

“Drag Me Down” is joyless subject matter wrapped in a melody that is almost high-spirited at times. For example, the instrumental support is playful during a segment that begins at 1:24. The counterbalance adds to the interest in the song.

NYIKO is Nyiko Beguin (“nee-koh” “bay-gan”), a recording artist, producer, and visual artist in Los Angeles. According to the Facebook page of NYIKO, the live band includes Dan Smith, Ian Senesac, and Tyler Daniel Bean. - Indie Obsessive

"7" Vinyl /Review: "You Know I Loved It" by Nyiko"

There's a giant world of music out there and it's always fun to learn more about genres that aren't really well represented in my personal library.

Years ago, my cousins and I were sitting in their living room watching the Twisted Sister concert video on VHS and Dee Snider talked quite about where they were going to film this video, because there was quite a lot going on.

It seemed to him that the right venue was staggeringly important. As a reviewer, I'd just think that getting a full and rowdy house was all that mattered, but hey, what do I know right?

Though the sisters are from New York, they couldn't do this concert in their hometown because New Wave had taken over New York City. Now, back then New Wave was an unknown unknown. I didn't know that it existed and that I didn't know what it was.

Years later, it's become a known unknown to me. Sure, there've been a couple New Wave albums, always well past the New Wave era to reach my ears.

But what IS it?

Well, Nyiko is trying to give me a short lesson in the art.

Upon first listen, this feels like pop from my early days. There's actual instrumentation. There's a delicious lack of synthed out drum beats or synth anything. (Please note: synths only bother me when it's trying to copy an instrument instead of having the real one.)

There's a bit of that 80's wet drum sound, but only as a seasoning.

Keyboards play laser like melodies. The upper baritone vocals combine perfectly with the rest of the music. The backbeat is to die for. It only takes a chorus or two before the foot starts tapping. In fact, my fingers are typing in time with the music. It's kind of a weird sensation.

If you're the kind of person who has an inclination to dance, this just might be your summer jam of 2017.

Side A is a song about love that's over. It's nothing that's going to save the world but there are times, like now, when we need entertainment to just remind us how to feel normal. Now's a very good time to normalize our internal feelings.

Side B continues in the melancholic vein, but minus the guitar.

Like the first track, this one has an incredible, almost melodic, drum beat. The rhythm section again is out in full force. There's a groovy piano/keyboard melody that locks right in.

Both tracks are melancholic. They're dedicated to the one that hurt Nyiko the most. It's pain you can dance to.

What's better than that really?

The disc itself is a gorgeous translucent red. That's probably my favorite color for alternate vinyl. It sounds wonderful. The record comes in a sleeve with a lyric sheet, and no download code. Right now, I'm hoping my words have been strong enough that many of you are screaming, NO DOWNLOAD CODE?!

Click the order link below. When you get it from Bandcamp, it comes with a download. Boom.

NOTE: I've been informed that the 7" Vinyl copies DO come with a download code, but it was just considered redundant to send it to me.

So there you go. - Glacially Musical




NYIKO (“nee-koh”) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, label owner, visual artist, and actor based out of Los Angeles, California. They have released several solo and collaborative projects in the genres of synth-pop, new wave, post-punk, and hip-hop. After receiving accolades across the blogosphere, NYIKO’s collaboration with producer The White Electric, “In the Middle,” was signed to a co-publishing deal with Sony/ATV and Heard Well. Follow up release "One U Luv" shifts focus to their brand of sun-bleached post-punk , which was featured on Spotify's Fresh Finds Six Strings playlist. NYIKO was featured in MTV News and AV Club for their viral commercial work with ‘Disney Raps’ – a Disney-made web series focusing on hip hop tributes to their classic films and shows.

NYIKO has performed alongside artists including Beach Fossils, Alvvays, Vacationer, Pure Bathing Culture, and more.

They are the founder of Defydentity, an event based collective created with the intention of empowering bold self-expression and empathy across all factors of identity. In 2018 they produced and curated a two-night event showcasing 16 artists and benefiting three non-profit organizations.

Band Members