Electropop | Hip-Hop | Indie Pop
There were many fantastic artists that I fully got into in 2020, especially when it comes to female solo artists. But one that I hadn’t mentioned up until now, was the North Carolina singer/songwriter, known as Ashnikko.
Ashnikko was close to someone that I wanted to end up reviewing, at least for my Last Minute Reviews Week of 2020; that is until I found out that her debut mixtape wouldn’t be arriving until early 2021.
With this Friday just gone, that time has finally arrived, and I had the chance to fully dive into Ashnikko’s music, through that aforementioned debut mixtape, DEMIDEVIL.
All I had listened to, up to the point of DEMIDEVIL’s release, was the critically acclaimed 2020 single “Daisy”, as well as a little bit of “Cry”, another single release of that year, which also happens to feature the likes of Grimes. Needless to say, however, her unique and apologetic approach that felt more than noticeable in what I had heard of those two singles, definitely felt like enough of an incentive to be excited for this mixtape.
Right from the very get-go of this mixtape, Ashnikko’s empowering attitude clearly felt apparent. And in turn, this lit a flame of sorts within the soul of the project, to truly give it a life of its own. The whole thing just felt incredibly true to who Ashnikko is throughout, and thus, it is one of the most praiseworthy qualities of DEMIDEVIL.
Ashnikko also succeeds in giving her debut mixtape a versatile and whimsical edge, while keeping the sense of accessibility, and current feel completely intact. This felt similar to why I enjoyed projects such as Rina Sawayama’s debut album so much.
And while we are on the subject of versatility, this mixtape efficiently blends a wide range of different genres, while dispersing them enough to make each track unique, while also making the mixtape still feel consistent. Covering everything from the more hip-hop inspired sound of DEMIDEVIL’s two opening tracks, to the latin-pop-inspired production of “Deal With It”, and even a hint of musical theatre at the end with the mixtape’s closer “Clitoris! The Musical”. I mean, this mixtape even has a cover of Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi”, with lyrics that essentially flip the script.
There are, admittedly, a few tracks on here, that I either felt could’ve used a bit more of a polish, or essentially didn’t match the uniqueness of this mixtape’s best moments. But all in all, the good still seems to outweigh the bad.
DEMIDEVIL definitely fits into being one of those projects where the main benefactor behind them is the artist themselves. I feel that at this stage, only somebody as bold as Ashnikko could have created something like this. Using her uniqueness to create a colourful, and borderline-psychedelic aesthetic, as well as implementing a very empowering feminist narrative into this debut mixtape.
The level of enjoyment I ultimately got out of this project sort of felt like it spoke for itself, and it has made me believe that Ashnikko has the potential to be a true trailblazer.
Favourite Tracks: Daisy | Deal With It | Cry
Least Favourite Track: Slumber Party
Enjoyment: 8/10 | Memorability: 8/10 | Atmosphere: 7/10
Uniqueness: 8/10 | Satisfaction: 7/10 | Narrative: 8/10