Soul singer Niia headlined her first Los Angeles show this past Tuesday night at the Moroccan Lounge in partnership with KCRW.
The intimate room was packed with earnest fans hanging on the singer’s every move and measure. “Sing it girl” was repeatedly shouted across the room in between moments of the siren exhibiting her velvety vocals, impeccable pitch, and impressive vocal range. There’s no question: Niia is an undeniable talent.
The singer opened the show with “Hurt You First” followed by “Day and Night” and “Nobody,” the two lead singles off her debut full-length release, I. The title reveals a carefully crafted record that lays bare intimate moments of lust and empowerment, alongside vulnerable moments of heartache, and frustration.
Niia exemplifies this discontent on the silky R&B ballad, “Constantly Dissatisfied.” About halfway into her set at the Moroccan Lounge, Niia launched into the song and without any warning, was shortly after joined by another powerhouse soul singer – Gallant. The room fell silent as the pair played off each other and built upon one another’s energies. As they concluded the song, Gallant walked off stage, and Niia beaming declared, “I’m satisfied with that.”
The singer had another treat in-store for the crowd. She performed a late-90’s R&B mashup of Janet Jackson’s “I Get Lonely,” Ginuwine’s “Pony” and Usher’s “Nice and Slow.” It was fresh, nostalgic and perfectly arranged to fit Niia’s jazzy, soulful style. Niia, if you’re reading this, please record this mashup for everyone to enjoy. Thanks in advance.
Wrapping up the set, Niia performed “California” dedicated to her new place of residence. It’s a bittersweet ballad about a bittersweet love affair. “Riding up the coastline / Swimming in the moonlight / Nothing lasts forever / Yeah, even on the west side” she sings. As the song came to an end someone shouted “welcome home” as the crowd gave her a warm, rousing reception.
For the encore, Niia performed the ballad “All I Need” on the keys, the one time during the night that she played solo, before closing out with one track from her 2014 EP Generation Blue, “Body.”
Once again someone shouted “welcome home” and a big smile came across her face as she thanked everyone for being there. Niia is fully home indeed. With an ease and confidence performing, she’s at home on stage, with her music, her sense of self, and now the West coast. Thank you, Niia, for inviting us in.