The chart-topping French-Malian pop singer Aya Nakamura is confrontational and naughty on her chill clubby hit, “Méchante.”
MD Profile: Aya Nakamura
Aya Nakamura, or Aya Coco Danioko, was born in Mali but immigrated to France with her family. Originally, she studied fashion at La Courneuve. However, she launched into pop music with her present stage name (named after Hiro Nakamura of the NBC Heroes sci-fi drama series) at the age of 19. Her music is perfect for dancing with energetic afrobeat similar to Ozuna’s reggaetón sound.
Two years into her career, the pop singer gained a following after releasing “Karma” and “J’ai mal” online. Notably, her song “Brisé,” composed by Christopher Ghenda, garnered 34 million views on YouTube. After having success with Brisé and “Love d’un Voyou,” featuring the rapper Fababy, she signed a deal with Rec. 118, a label from Warner Music France, in 2016.
In 2017, she released her French platinum-selling debut album, Journal Intime, with her first platinum hit, “Comportement.”
Things really took off with her second album, Nakamura (2018), because her club banger “Djadja” spent two weeks at no. 1 on French charts. However, this song became the summer hit in France and charted all over Europe. Because of its success, the single became certified Diamond in France. The following single, “Copines,” debuted at number four in France before earning the number one; it is also certified Diamond there. After the release of her second album, she won the European Music Moves Talent Award for Best Urban album, and she was nominated for Song of the Year and Best Urban Album at the France Music Award.
The Nakamura era brought the singer to a whole other level and gained international acclaim, specifically U.S. recognition. She was portrayed by The New York Times as “one of the most important act in Europe now, musically and socially” in May 2019. Nakamura earned her first nomination at the BET Awards as Best International Act in June 2019. Coachella Music & Arts Festival announced her to perform for 2020 (now cancelled). The era ended with Nakamura releasing a Spanish-language version of “Djadja” with Colombian singer Maluma.
While her sophomore album shot her into the spotlight, she continued to dominate charts with her third album, Aya (2020). The lead single, “Jolie nana,” debuted at no.1 on the French singles chart and achieved Gold status in two weeks.
However, now she is back with her most recent club hit, “Méchante.”
“Méchante” by Aya Nakamura
“Méchante” in English literally means “naughty,” and, in this scenario, she means business: don’t mess with her. She knows that she’s real, authentic and “l’officielle,” so treat her as such. While the track is laid-back, supported by the verses’ guitar strings and atmospheric tones, the chorus adds a fuller sound. Because of the snappy guitar and tropical flare, it adds an infectious reggaetón quality. The song is a classic “sleeper” hit though it will have no problem racking up millions of views and chart entries based on her previous success.
Like in many past songs, Nakamura embodies a more R&B vibe paired with the spacious production on “Méchante.” In the video, the artist arrives at a house party and enjoys some male company as they all appreciate the dancers. But it seems one of the suitors doesn’t catch her drift as she’s clearly Ms. Independent. It is either bow down or bow out.
What do you think of Aya Nakamura’s latest single “Méchante”? Let us know in the comments!