Multifaceted vocalist Nilo Blues just released his second ever studio track, a shimmering and ominous banger called "Akira Harakiri." It pays homage to the 1988 cyberpunk anime film Akira. This smooth and shifty effort follows his bold debut single "No Risk Involved" that came along with a striking music video tackling Asian-American stereotypes. Once again, Nilo showcases his crisp vocal versatility as he raps and croons his way through a gorgeous and atmospheric instrumental. It's safe to say he's two for two, and is establishing a strong presence in the continual wave of R&B-fused trap.
"Akira Harakiri" is equal parts gorgeous and daunting. This balance is elegantly maintained throughout the track in every aspect. Nilo's unique voice has an impressive ability to be cutting yet angelic. His rich falsetto croons ride edgy flows that pierce the beat. This form of scary beauty is best understood when compared to The Weeknd's vocal style. Similarly, Nilo's glamorous instrumental presents ambivalence with booming bass and sharp ticks of the drums against the heavenly chimes in the higher registers. The end result, thirty-two years later, is a damningly accurate modern interpretation of the track's inspiration, the film Akira. "Akira Harakiri" feels dystopian and mysterious, yet striking and poetic. The aesthetic specificity is a profound feat in and of itself.
Once again, Nilo Blues has proven to be talented across multiple fronts. He has a natural voice that echoes beautifully over any beat but also has a strong sense of rhythm that brings a fiery edge. More importantly, he maintains a clear control over these two forces. He can seamlessly unite differing musical approaches and techniques to form a sound that is his own, even just two tracks in.