Book Niykee Heaton
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An artist whose output alternates between acoustic pop ballads and bleary slow jams inspired by contemporary rap and R&B, Niykee Heaton was discovered through her YouTube channel. In 2011, while still enrolled in high school, the suburban Chicago native began uploading clips of performances recorded in her bedroom — covers of R&B, rap, and pop hits, along with occasional originals, for which she accompanied herself on acoustic guitar. Near the end of the following year, a version of Chief Keef’s “Love Sosa” was featured on the website WorldStarHipHop — the day before the singer turned 18 — and she subsequently caught the attention of Steve Rifkind and Russell Simmons, who signed her to their Capitol affiliate All Def label. Bad Intentions, a six-track EP of alternately sleek and strummy pop-R&B hybrids, was released in September 2014. Late the following year, she performed a series of concerts in Canada and the U.S., dubbed The Bedroom Tour. In March 2016, Capitol proper issued The Bedroom Tour Playlist. Pushed as a mixtape, it featured remixed and remastered material that Heaton had previously made available through her active self-promotion via social media. The mixtape debuted at number 39 on the Billboard 200.