European pop artist NIKO just released his debut single, showing us that he is an artist to look out for.

“2 Hearts” displays a sensual take on synth pop that is combined with textural sounds and intensity of voice. In this track, it’s easy to hear the fusion of  his European sensibility with his international background. Growing up in Milan is where NIKO’s musical endeavors began, taking part in creative collaborations with underground DJs and establishing himself as a songwriter and vocalist.

This single fits in a number of musical genres, employing a taste of smooth electronic, house and authentic pop. “2 Hearts” is a reflection on the human need to connect with ‘another half’. It’s about letting go of your fears and opening yourself to love, embracing your emotions and synchronizing to another person’s heartbeat.

Check out this alluring track below.

EP PREMIERE: Milán “Time”


Austrian-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Maria Neckam, aka Milán, has been a long-time AudioFemme favorite. We’re thrilled to premiere her latest artistic creation, an EP titled Time, that is a sonically beautiful creation demonstrative of Milán‘s abilities to create songs about morbid subjects that you also want to dance to, akin to post-punk masterminds such as The Cure and Siouxsie Sioux. Coming from the soul of Milán, it’s steeped in modern internal struggles and dressed up in a glorious tutu. Also the name of one of the songs and a theme throughout the EP, of the title selection, she tells AudioFemme: “It’s about the question: ‘When is the right time?” – and how to find out.”

While those questions are a burden each individual is left to carry, putting on Milán’s EP will make the contemplation all the more enjoyable. Both industrial and eclectic, the EP is perfect for brooding electronic fans. “I would like to inspire my listeners to reflect upon what they can do, in their own lives, to make their environment a better one, and what kind of choices they are making each day. A change in one person’s heart will create a ripple effect of change. I want people to become more aware of their own power,” says Milán.

The title track, “Time,” was inspired by a family member’s incurable lung disease diagnosis. About never giving up, “Now, is time, to fight my friend!” the song orders. After succeeding in raising huge sums of donations, Milán’s friend survived. Yet it also gets political. “The song ‘Time’ deals with the issue of nuclear power, and of politicians forgetting about their duty to serve the people, instead of the other way around,” she says. “Motivated by the desire for power and financial gain, decisions are made that have a life-changing impact on millions of people’s lives. As citizens of this world, I believe it is imperative that we stand up and fight such injustice, for the sake of all humanity.”

The EP’s release also accompanies a raw and riveting music video for “Split Second,” a song Milán penned for a friend lost too soon named Abbey.  “I wanted to express the feeling that we are still connected, and my gratitude for having shared a piece of life with her,” she says. Even if you didn’t know Abbey, you know someone, or perhaps yourself, that grapples with the stigma-ridden cage of mental health issues. “Here in the west, we have more opportunities than ever, and a better life quality than in most places of the world, and still there is so much anxiety, loneliness and depression,” she says. “I believe that much of this comes from a lack of communication and real, meaningful connection between people. We tend to forget that we all need each other.”

We do need one another, so hit up that friend that’s been on your mind and enjoy Time together. As for her answer on when the right time is? “The conclusion I came to is that we ourselves have to create that time, the “right” time. It is the moment we make up our minds. When we decide to stand up and fight – for our own happiness (to live the life we imagine for ourselves), for justice, for a peaceful society that respects the dignity and value of each person’s life,” says Milán.

Fuck yeah. Stream the EP in its entirety below.

TRACK REVIEW: Milán “Meaning”

Milan AudioFemme

Milán is Austrian-born singer/songwriter Maria Neckam. Currently happily located in Brooklyn, “Meaning” is the first single of her sophomore EP, which will be released later this month and was produced by electronic duo Pax Humana. Inspired by the pop-rock music of the late 80’s and 90’s, “Meaning” blends delightfully dark beats with an uplifting message that inspires one to keep their head up despite immense pressure. The dichotomy of lyric and mood invoke realistic emotions of what it’s like just trying to do your thing.

Of the track, Milán wrote in an email:

“It’s about the everyday struggle to survive and “make it” in one of the fastest moving cities in the world. Surrounded by all the noise and people, and pulled in all directions by your feelings and thoughts, you realize that as long as you hold on to what your inner voice is telling you, keep your head straight and keep moving forward, you will get to where you want to go. And when you do, you’ll see that every single obstacle and challenge along the way had profound meaning and was precisely what you needed.”

Shh…the track is available for a free download for the one week via Soundcloud. Check it out below!



Austrian-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Maria Neckam is Milán, and we’re here to give a new meaning to Super Tuesday by premiering new music video. The closer Trump gets to securing that nomination, the more we need our artists to prepare for the revolution. The song, “DK6” is off Milán’s self-titled debut EP and was produced by Jim Orso (Holy Ghost!, Hot Chip etc.), so she’s bringing the A-game with this one. The video was directed by award-winning filmmaker Jen Wilmeth (Pride: the Series), and features dance choreography by Karen Niceley (Metropolitan Opera, Cirque de Soleil, Broadway’s The Color Purple).

The electro-pop star explained in an email to AudioFemme that “DK6” stands for “Devil King of the 6th Heaven.” The expression comes from SGI Buddhism philosophy, which Milán practices. “It’s a metaphor for the negativity that’s inherent in all life, that tries to prevent people/us from becoming happy,” said Milán. “The function of DK6 is to suck out your life force, take away your joy, confidence, conviction, strength – (as opposed to your Buddha nature, which is the most positive force.) So when DK6 is in the house, it means trouble!”

“Can’t you see that…you hold me back!” she sings. In one form or another, from a controlling boss to an abusive boyfriend, we’ve all experienced the vampiric DK6.

The video features Milán in her element on a classic Brooklyn rooftop, playing music, when the embodied DK6 casts a nasty spell on her. The singer is transported to a forest and must use music to survive. “The story is a metaphor of the inner battles we wage inside of us each day. The doubt and fears we have to win over, in order to believe in ourselves and the unlimited potential each one of us has,” Milán told AudioFemme in an email. “It’s about winning over darkness and claiming your right to be happy, just as you are.”

Check out the video below, and stay tuned for Milán’s new single and EP, produced by Pax Humana, later this month!

LIVE REVIEW: Milán @ (le) poisson rouge

Friday night at the self-proclaimed “art and alcohol” gallery of (le) poisson rouge, Maria Neckam, aka the Brooklyn bred and jazz trained Milán infiltrated the far too sparsely populated space like fluorescent spheres of a bubble gun for her self-titled EP release party. Created in junction with DJ Brian Lindgren (Pax Humana), drummer Chris Berry (Holy Ghost!, Ghost Beach) and drummer Tommy Crane (Half Waif) the 11/11 release merges of the mind of Maria filtered through the creative production skills of Jim Orso (drums for Hot Chip, Holy Ghost! and Rush Midnight).

Milan at LPR

In a “let’s do this” moment her thin heels and leopard-print blazer were removed and Milán was unconstricted to align movement with alt-electro beats. Her finely tuned style and quirky dance moves evoke the endearing appeal of Björk, and fans of the Annie Clark-personified pop of St. Vincent will be looking to snag the self-titled EP.

Milan at LPR 1

With an almost unaware intensity, she let the focused crowd intimately in with the seductively vulnerability of “How could I ever let you come so close, to my heart?” in “Miles Apart.”

In a thrashing “DK6” that leaves you curious and craving what’s next, “Nobody asked you to move in here, nobody asked you to be become me…can’t you see that you hold me back?” jabs Milán.

The energy slowed down for the steady rhythms accelerated by the driving eclectic vocals of the haunting yet soft “25.” “When the world gets too close I can’t feel myself…” 

Milan at LPR 2

Like the teeming undercurrents of the up and coming next Brooklyn neighborhood, Milán has mainstream appeal for the next era 2015 of kink-tones.

Photos by Cody Orrell 

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