“High School in Jakarta” by NIKI


In today’s interconnected world, it has never been easier to find incredible musical talent. Take Indonesian singer-songwriter NIKI. Born Nicole Zefanya, the 25-year-old has made a name for herself in her short career for her songwriting and musicianship. At the age of 15, she won a contest to perform as the opening act for Taylor Swift’s The Red Tour in Jakarta and then began releasing covers on YouTube. From there she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to study music at Lipscomb University where she then signed with American record label 88rising. Since then, she’s released a few EPs and two full-length albums, MOONCHILD and Nicole. She also was a featured contributor on the soundtrack for Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Her latest album, Nicole, was released on August 12th, 2022, and featured the single “High School in Jakarta”.


High School in Jakarta still 1

NIKI wears black high top chucks as part of her school uniform while rehearsing.


“High School in Jakarta” tells the story of NIKI’s time growing up in Indonesia. It focuses on her time in high school and details the young love that formed while there. NIKI brings her very natural and angelic vocals to this track and she is so effortless in her singing ability that it puts your ear at ease. This song and the accompanying music video serve as a prequel to the album’s previous two singles, “Before” and “Oceans & Engines”.


High School in Jakarta still 2

Let me see you one-two step.


The music video begins with a panning shot of a high school classroom in Jakarta. The camera lands on NIKI wearing a school uniform and black high top chucks. She is zoning out at her desk and singing along to the lyrics. We later see her walking the halls with her friends. While a fight breaks out in the halls, she meets eyes with a boy on the other side of the scuffle. Later on in theater class as NIKI rehearses, the boy walks in looking to help with the production. He and NIKI end up working on her costume and practicing the choreography as their relationship blossoms. The simple setup of the video matches the carefree vibe of young love and shows us how simple things were for NIKI and her boyfriend before they became long-distance.


High School in Jakarta still 3

Working on a school play costume is the best way to fall in love.


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