Nia Archives Infuses Jungle Rhythm With Heartfelt Longing In Single “So Tell Me…”
Nia Archives’ single “So Tell Me…” is an introspective reflection on feeling underappreciated and mistreated in a relationship.
Nia Archives is a 24-year-old Bradford-born, London-based musician of Jamaican heritage. She entered the scene with her 2021 debut EP Headz Gone West. This included her hit Sober feels, which has since been followed up by songs like the single “Mash Up The Dance” and the more recent “No Time” which both take influence from her Caribbean roots. She came to international prominence when her Boiler Room DJ set became an instant classic.
Her soulful jungle music incorporates both the fast-paced drumbeats the genre is known for and heart-on-the-sleeve production and vocals. She was recently awarded “Artist of the Year” by BBC Introducing, the first electronic artist to do so.
Archives released the single “So Tell Me…” in November of 2022. Archives infuses the song with lilting strings and echoing vocal reverbs. Although it features a classic electrifying jungle drumline, the song unveils a softer, more introspective side. The song’s clean guitar and bass strumming borrow from alt-rock and add a nuanced dynamic element to the track. Archives knows when to dial up the intensity and when to pull back, a sign of her growth as an artist and songwriter. Archives sings about being stuck in a relationship gone sour, and questions the listener “So tell me/Why I should/Choose to stay”. It’s a familiar situation to many listeners and one that Archives explores throughout the track.
The song is accompanied by a video co-directed by Archives and Dan Emerson. The video features two East London lovers both having a separate night out after having had a fight. Despite the partying and surrounding friends, the two are preoccupied with the fight and seem to be stuck on it. The two end up reconciling in a sweet and intimate moment, embracing each other and making up in the end. What’s captivating about the video is that Archives and Emerson chose to cast a real couple as the story’s main characters. On directing the video, Archives had this to say:
“When I sent him my initial moodboard and treatment of what I wanted to create, it was really important to me from the jump to be casting POC main characters in this story – as this is something we don’t usually get to see in this kind of music. We also ended up casting non actors to get a more natural chemistry – it’s a real couple who live together in real life and their friends too! We aimed to push the boundaries of what a jungle video actually looks like, and I feel like we did just that.”
Check out the music video for Nia Archives’ song “So Tell Me…” above, and the rest of her discography below.