The year 2007 feels like ages ago, but I do remember in the cluttered file cabinet that is my memory Wyclef Jean's hit single "Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)." I also recall that there was a really lovely voice on it -- and, well, I'm not talking about Akon's. The voice belonged to NYC jazz vocalist and pianist NIIA, who later on became a part of Wyclef Jean's touring band around that time. Flash to now and I have put two and two together that the same NIIA from "Sweetest Girl" is the NIIA on this new slice of melancholic soul called "Generation Blue."
As she didn't get much space to show her stuff on "Sweetest Girl," on "Generation Blue" NIIA is front and center and still as lovely as I remember, with a voice that immediately draws you in with its light but rich tone making it a perfect compliment to the spacious symphonic production that is led by none other than Robin Hannibal (what has he not produced this year?). Here's hoping these two continue to work some music magic for NIIA's upcoming debut LP, as their previous work, the beautiful track "Made For You," adds to the fact that they do have a special musical kinship. To get reacquainted with NIIA, take in "Generation Blue" and its bewitching visual.