By Jessica Galang
While there’s no shortage of female pop stars in Hollywood, here’s one that’s actually (gasp) not reliant on autotune? Nikki Williams, a gorgeous 23-year-old redhead with powerful vocals to boot, is one artist to watch out for in 2013.
WHO SHE IS: Her VEVO only has two videos: “Kill Fuck Marry” and its accompanying acoustic version. The unedited acoustic version is why I can say, with confidence, that she does not need autotune at all. Her current single has electronica mixed in with a soft piano melody, so while the bass and electronica may appeal to the party music sound that’s currently popular on the radio, her lyrics and consistent tempo separate her from those club bangers.
WHY SHE’S ON OUR RADAR: Her provocatively named “Kill Fuck Marry” video came out early in November and has just under a million views. The song was written by Sia (who also wrote Rihanna’s current hit “Diamonds”) and Stargate (who wrote Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable”). The video also features the very sexy Austin Sanderson, who was one of Cosmo’s 50 Most Eligible Bachelors in November. The result is a poetic ballad about the desperation and intensity of passionate love, where two strong personalities want to rip each other’s hair out, and then make out a minute later. You know you’ve been there.
FILE NEXT TO: She’s got the down-to-earth vibe of Rita Ora, and her haunting vocals and Americana-inspired music video is reminiscent of Lana Del Rey (though Nikki is definitely the more powerful singer of the two).
HIGHLIGHTS: She’s originally from South Africa, and she moved to Nashville at the tender age of 16 to pursue a career in music. She was just recently signed to Def Jam records. Since she’s fairly new to the music scene (her Twitter only has 3839 followers right now, and her Facebook has just over 6500 likes), you can get a head start on her music and be able to tell your friends you liked her before she was mainstream.
Watch her perform “Kill Fuck Marry”