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Nia Archives' "Luv Like" is an exploration of self-image cloaked in jungle rhythms

03 February 2022, 12:00 | Written by James Ellis

On “Luv Like”, Nia Archives doubts the affections of a partner who claims to love her while doubling down on her combination of pairing nimble vocals with heavier instrumentals.

It would appear that 2022 is about to be Nia Archives’ year. Having spent the last 12 months playing the likes of Fabric and Boiler Room, January has seen her continue a skyward trajectory as she builds towards her new EP, Forbidden Feelingz. Revealing a wider range than many of her contemporaries, her mission statement is founded on representation and unity as she taps into her Jamaican roots with a production style influenced by UKG, soul, R&B, and jazz.

On "Luv Like", Nia proves that she's worth every bit of hype as she connects jungle sounds and joyous instrumentation for an understated yet addictive listen. In less capable hands, Nia’s supple vocals might become lost in against the noise, but her ability to glide over traditionally fractious sounds is well-documented and transports the song into a surprisingly relaxing place. Against constant breakbeats, she juxtaposes the mellow carnival vibes with personal lyricism. It’s a deep dive into second-guessing the love she receives; picking apart her flaws and wondering if they see what she does.

She’s well aware of the songs contradiction; “although at first listen this track sounds like a typical love song, for me, when creating it, I was writing about my personal struggle with body dysmorphia. Throughout the track I am pondering how someone could love someone through their highs and lows, loving freely flaws and all.”

Nia’s vulnerability is a cathartic experience for both artist and listener. For her, the song is about “learning to accept love whilst ultimately dealing with a warped perception of self and distorted self-image.”

While tapping into a universal experience, Nia dances it all away. Arriving with a hazy camcorder-style video that sees the singer dancing through her favourite locations in Manchester, Delphino Productions comments how the objective was to capture "vibes and energy."

“Nia was our tour guide; she was taking us to places that had a special sentimental value to her. We wanted to capture the softness and roughness of this feeling through the shots we took and editing decisions we made. This is our 4th project with Nia...we're building a legacy.”

A compelling artist in all senses, her latest offering suggests that her self-described “melting pot” sound is certainly worth listening to.

"Luv Like" is out now with the new EP Forbidden Feelingz set to release on 10 March. Find Nia Archives on Instagram.
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