Featured Image by Mikayla LoBasso
Local L.A. musician, Nick Nikoian, recently released his funky pop project, Taxi, through debut single “Dancing on the Roof” produced by James Harper.
Taxi started its journey in 2019 on the stage of UCLA’s annual Spring Sing music competition — an event that also lofted the career of pop sweetheart Sara Bareilles. The band brought the funk into Pauley Pavilion stadium that night with bright checkered outfits, slick dance combos, and a sax solo. Nikoian’s lyrics tipped a hat to student life in singing “throw down, like a block party on Roebling” which brought the audience to their feet. Taxi took home “Best Band” and “Bruin Choice Award”.
“Just boogie in the moonlight”
What’s In A Name
Nikoian initiated the band with fellow fraternity brothers and has since collaborated with different musicians. “The band originally was made up of a few guys from Theta Xi which if you look at it, spells out ‘The Taxi’” singer-songwriter Nikoian said. “When I wrote my first song in NY I knew I wanted this project to be bright, old school, funky fresh.” The artist has expressed how driven he is to creating both solo recordings as well as crossing paths with new collaborators.
The rhythm of the streets seems to be a reoccurring symbol of 2020 — from protests to the longing of being back outdoors. Uplifting anthems like this recording couldn’t come at a better time. Taxi engages with the exciting elements of the street in “Dancing on the Roof” by featuring original sampled sounds of NYC cab horns and laughter from the corner of 34th Street and Penn Station. The track itself bounces between the genres of art-pop and funk. Thanks to the smooth production of the song, details like flashy synths and velvety falsettos easily shine through.
Nikoian credits a lot of his rhythmic influence to being raised under the coloring of Armenian music. As a kid, he attended a local music school, Lark Musical Society, where he “grew up subconsciously absorbing the melodies and rhythms of popular composers.” He reflects: “Lark was the foundation of where I fell in love with music and gained an outpouring of support.” From his childhood, Nikoian perceived the strength of drums as the backbone of any song. You can groove to that spunk and energy by checking out his new project.
Stream “Dancing on the Roof” now on Spotify!
Taxi is set to release more flashy sounds soon. Meanwhile, Nikoian aims to experiment with bending genres such as funk, hip-hop, and jazz for future bops.