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Nikkie McLeod Announces Single, “Deep Cry”

Tossing and turning like a turbulent ocean, the new single from Nikkie McLeod, “Deep Cry”, plunges into regret and loss. Combining the island flare of steelpan with deeply emotive lyrics, the melody comes to terms with a difficult reality. It is the first single off the upcoming EP, Quarrel, a dedication and tribute to McLeod’s brother and late mother. Quarrel is out October 30 in honor of their mother’s birthday.

“Deep Cry” soulfully embraces a film-like reel of memories in each individual note. The first song McLeod wrote on the steelpan, its meaning wouldn’t become apparent to them until months later. They explain, “It’s a regretful song surrounding my mother’s passing, and not being able to say goodbye or make any reconciliations.” That pain comes through where words aren’t necessary. As McLeod wrote the song, they wanted to encapsulate what regret sounds like. A driving drum rolls alongside a bass beat, while everything else sounds classical and moody. Tempos shift as emotions flare, creating a theatrical rise, climax, and eventual resolution. “I personally could not put words around losing my mother...all I had was the sound of it”.

There is a complex grouping of emotion that draws from global experience. “You’re Gonna Need This” brings irony to the forefront as it talks about the inescapable harassment of society’s dynamic. While McLeod also relates their experiences being a queer/non-binary black immigrant to their mother’s own experiences as a black woman, as well as their brother’s as a black man. McLeod explains, “I cannot separate or compartmentalize my blackness from my queerness, from being non-binary, from being an immigrant and vice versa, as they are all intertwined and inform who I am as a human being.” Set among some instrumental steelpan pieces, Quarrel also contains a piece of their father in the form of a voicemail recording. The entire EP flows through the veins of McLeod’s heart and soul.

Born in Trinidad & Tobago, McLeod grew up listening to and playing the country’s national instrument, the steelpan. As a non-binary immigrant now living in Brooklyn, there is a wealth of influence behind their music. The pieces from the past combine with the influences of new to create a fusion of jazz, classical, pop, and rock, all represented on Quarrel. The EP’s depth spans far beyond the musical aspects. As a tribute to their brother and late mother, its nature is also a catharsis of dealing with loss.

Quarrel Track Listing

  1. The Sea
  2. Deep Cry
  4. You’re Gonna Need This
  5. Heart of Dangerous Light
  6. Quarrel

About Nikkie McLeod:

Nikkie McLeod was born in Trinidad & Tobago and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Identifying as queer/non-binary and being an immigrant creates its own challenges. McLeod reflects on that in their music. Primarily a percussionist and specializing in the steelpan, they have released two albums with the woman fronted band Telenovela Star (2004 - 2008), one with The Meaning of Life (2011 - 2012), and one album with Maquina Supervium (2011 - 2013). One of Telenovela Star’s singles was also featured as the theme music for The N’s television show, Beyond the Break. McLeod is releasing a new EP, called Quarrel, this October as a tribute to their brother and late mother.

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Paul Corsi

When he’s not playing a show or practicing with his band Go Tiger, Go! he can be found at one of Detroit’s best new restaurants or taking in the sights and sounds that the area has to offer. He loves running, coffee houses, playing with puppies, and the occasional vortex of video games.

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