Niykee Heaton Heats Up The House Of Blues In Houston, Texas: Live Review
2015 will be remembered as the year of the social media sensation. Shawn Mendes successfully used Vine as a launching pad for pop stardom, while Troye Sivan’s massive YouTube following translated into a top five EP. And let’s not forget Niykee Heaton. The Bad Intentions singer proved that you can break an artist via Instagram when her 20-date Bedroom Tour all but sold out within hours — a feat she accomplished without the support of a record label.
That independent spirit shapes every aspect of the 20-year-old’s tour, which kicked off on Friday night (November 13) at the House Of Blues in Houston, Texas. Niykee made her own costume (comprised of two pairs of pantyhose from Rite Aid and a $15 thrift shop sweater), booked the meet and greets, arranged the songs, determined the setlist and even designed the merchandise (a sexy nude poster). She pulls the strings and that authenticity resonates with fans.
The internet-breaking diva kicked off the show with gritty anthem “21 Grams” and proved, once and for all, that she can sing. Very well, in fact. While some aspects of the staging were a little shaky (minor issues with audio levels and lighting), Niykee was utterly convincing. She nailed new track “King” and brought out sexy dancers Sora and Panda for fan favorite “NBK.” The sold-out crowd knew every word, hand gesture and dance move, which is incredible when you consider that the song yet to escape the singer’s SoundCloud.
After a couple of upbeat bangers, Niykee brought out her trusty guitar and sat on the floor to perform ballads “Infinity” and “Lullaby.” She then moved on to a medley of rap covers including Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” and Chief Kief’s “Love Sosa.” Niykee first performed the latter in her bedroom three years ago (hence the name of the tour) and subsequently went viral. She then got to her feet to belt out “Ain’t No Us” and ballsy new tracks “Mask” and “Devil.”
The singer/songwriter soon had everyone swaying to the astoundingly good “Say Yeah,” before dragging yours truly on stage for “Bad Intentions.” Being serenaded by Niykee in front of several hundred people was a moment I’ll never forget. It was a little hard to concentrate after that semi-religious experience, but I vaguely remember the Chicago native nailing her “Finessin'” remix and finishing up with the one-two punch of “Cold War” and “I’m Ready.”
Pop’s wildest child is the complete package. Niykee has a distinctive voice, songwriting chops and a completely organic fan base. When a label figures out how to leverage those assets without interfering creatively, there will be no stopping her. Or she could just keep doing what she’s doing. It seems to be working out pretty well for her.
Niykee Heaton’s Bedroom Tour setlist:
1. “21 Grams”
7. Rap Covers Medley (“Love Sosa”/”Trap Queen”)
9. “Ain’t No Us”
11. “Say Yeah”
12. “Bad Intentions”
14. “Cold War”
15. “I’m Ready”