Singer and songwriter Nikita Kering’s silky smooth vocals, and passionate moments where she hits high notes and sings with intense emotion. This is what listeners are treated to as the 21-year-old serenades them with her popular song, Ex.
“A minute of love, a minute of hate/ Making mistakes, shying away/ I woulda held you closer if I could,” she sings as the track begins.
She sings on: “Cause I ain't tryna be your ex/ So don't call me if you ain't/ Tryna vibe on my wave/I'm on top of my game.”
The song is about a troubled couple struggling to be together due to one of them not wanting to commit to the relationship.
And now with the release of the remix of the track, there is a whole new twist to it, and it has that early 2000s RnB feel with a touch of modern day swagger.
Joining in on the song is the celebrated rapper Khaligraph Jones, who is known for his clever and witty lyricism. The celebrated artistes took to the stage for an exclusive listening party on August 18 as they launched this highly anticipated remix, and it was everything the Coke Studio music show promises.
The idea is that our favourite artistes bring together their unique styles and cultures, “reimagining them into new experiences.”
It was announced that the two would be on the line-up of the musical show last month, as news that the new season would be starting hit the headlines.
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“Thought this was something we could talk about/ But it seems you already made a decision to let it go/ baby girl/ there is a lot that’s been happening/ this is my mistake..” Khaligraph raps on the song, wooing his hypothetical partner with gentle words and a sense of introspection.
“I don’t want you to be my ex/I want to make love/give it a chance and let’s see where this thing could take us,” the rapper continues.
Nikita described working with Khaligraph as a great experience, saying that he is just “a big teddy bear” and “so respectful.”
“Khaligraph was amazing, he made the process so easy and I have nothing but love for him,” Nikita said, adding, “platonic love!”
Khaligraph said: “The actual song is a big song, and when I was given an opportunity to be part of it, I was excited.”
When asked if there are more projects expected between the two in future, both artistes hinted that this was just the beginning of their ‘rap meets vocals’ style collaborations, confirming their professional chemistry and potential that lies in working together.
“We are always having such conversations, we are working on something, but I won’t say too much right now, let’s keep it confidential for the time being,” the rapper said, adding, “rest assured that we are working on something.”
“Through this collision, we have witnessed a convergence of stories, styles, and the very soul of Kenyan music. It's a reminder that our music is diverse, powerful, and unites us all, regardless of our backgrounds,” said Miriam Limo, Coca-Cola’s Senior Head of Marketing Kenya at the launch of the track.
The Coke Studio Show is a musical platform that seeks to unite artistes for that very reason, as reported by The Standard in July as the start of the new season was announced.
Coca-Cola Category Senior Director for Africa, Silke Bucker said in an interview that a goal of the platform is “bringing together some of the most exciting emerging and breakthrough artistes from all corners of the world to create ‘Real Magic’- music collisions that transcend geographical borders, backgrounds, and music genres to reach audiences worldwide.”
She added that Coke Studio shapes music culture by fostering surprise connections between artistes, leaving music with real feelings with fans.
“It morphs music into experiences across all touchpoints, from digital to real-life experiences.”
The continental show notes through a press statement that this year marks the second season in which Coke Studio has adopted a global approach, featuring a different format.
“Under this format, there are no staged live performances, no electronic spins on nostalgic hits, and no weekly episodes presenting a variety of songs. Instead, [the show] has taken an ‘always-on’ approach with the introduction of Cokestudio.com, a web-based platform,” the statement reads in part.
It adds: “This platform provides exclusive access to behind-the-scenes content and new music releases from our partner artists, showcasing a diverse mix of global, regional, and local talent.”
Past Kenyan participants of the non-competitive music collaboration show include Nazizi Hirji, Nadia Mukami, girl group Band Beca and music crew Ethic.
There have been hit tracks born out of the show, like Sauti Sol’s 2016 song Unconditionally Bae featuring Tanzanian star Ali Kiba. There is also the remix of Tanzanian singer Ruby’s song Forever, which featured Kenyan rapper Nyashinski and Nigerian singer Yemi Alade, among others.