American soul singer Nikka Costa returns with the eagerly awaited new album Nikka & Strings, Underneath and in Between due out on June 2nd via Metropolis Recordings. The album sees the celebrated soul, funk, and blues singer dipping her toes into a refreshing collection of songs backed by a luscious string quartet. Nikka is back in full swing with a collection of heartfelt songs that gives the listener more intimate and personal insight into her unique musical style than ever before. Today she released the video for her stunning rendition of her former mentor Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” premiered by Billboard.
“It’s so succinct and so well-written and people can relate to it so well,” Nikka told Billboard of the song. “We started playing it before Prince passed away. I was really excited for him to hear it, but unfortunately he passed before we recorded it – and then when recording day came, all of that emotion was attached to it, so it took it to another level.”
Nikka & Strings finds Costa addressing her past in both the choices of repertoire and the intricate arrangements they’ve been given. Recorded in a single day with minimal overdubbing, the 11 song effort is an emotional and poignant collection of heartfelt songs performed with vulnerability, passion, and honesty. The songs are a testament to her special way of combining soul, blues, and funk into her own signature style. Nikka & Strings is Costa’s return to recording after an extended break where she focused her attentions on raising her two children with her husband, producer Justin Stanley.
The daughter of famed produced Don Costa, Nikka grew up with the sound of orchestras surrounding her. The elder Costa arranged some of the best known recordings by Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., but her own career went in a far different direction. She broke onto the scene with the soulful sound of her 2001 album Everybody’s Got There Something, featuring the hit single “Like A Feather”, which has since marked her place as the forerunner among the new breed of soul singers. She’s toured with Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Coldplay, and Beck as well as recorded with Mark Ronson and was nominated for an MTV Music Award. Known for her dynamic and energetic live performances, Nikka’s voice and stage presence has often been compared to Janis Joplin, Chaka Khan, and Sly Stone.
Nikka & Strings was recorded at Henson Studios in Los Angeles and produced by Justin Stanley (Eric Clapton, Prince, Beck) and Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Rolling Stones). The album is now available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon.
01) Nothing Compares 2 U
02) Ain’t That Peculiar
03) Love To Love You Less
04) Come Rain or Come Shine
05) Cry To Me
06) Arms Around You
08) Lover You Should Have Come Over
09) Silver Tongue
10) Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying
11) Stormy Weather