Sweden’s rising r’n’b/pop icon Zikai earned praise from Complex and Wonderland
‘Stay This Way’ continues Zikai’s recent rich run of form, with her classy, graceful vocal gift delivering a typically colossal hook. This time it’s the focal point of a slow-burning reflection on longing to return to a time in your life that has passed. Its airy Afropop beats are further complemented by a killer feature in the shape of Kes Kross’s charismatic delivery. Watch the lyric video HERE.
Filmed in Stockholm, Zikai says, “I’ve missed playing live so much so I felt that I just had to get together with Jim Ouma in a corona friendly way and perform the song live but in little more Stripped down way. Earlier this year I met Sesina for the first time, a 19-year-old amazing guitarist and songwriter, she is the one who sits next to me!”
Zikai wrote the song with the track’s producers Jim Ouma (previously of NONONO, best known for their hit ‘Pumpin Blood’) as well as Kes Kross and Kinda Ingrosso.
Last year saw Zikai release her debut EP ‘Make You Mine’. Its sound touched upon Snoh Aalegra’s cinematic soul, Brandy’s throwback R&B, Mabel’s crossover appeal and Dua Lipa’s postmodern disco. There was a palpable African pop element too, sourced from her Ivorian father’s love of the influential Afropop favourites Magic System, plus the star quality of early 2000s MTV icons Rihanna and Omarion. It reserved a strong reaction, accumulating 8.3 million streams at Spotify and earning a Denniz Pop Award nomination for Rookie Artist / Band.
Her talents have also made her an in-demand collaborator. She featured on Mullally’s ‘Fire’, co-wrote ‘Hush’ for ‘Yellow Claw and Weird Genius, and joined SVEA for a new take on Rihanna’s ‘Don’t Stop The Music’.