This Malaysian Artiste Went From School Singing Contests To 100 Million Streams In China

We had a recent chat with NYK as he talked about Dogecoin, mental health, and his latest single, 'On Me'.

Cover image via NYK

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Meet NYK, a Malaysian singer-songwriter who has been making leaps and bounds with his music

Born in Penang and currently based in Subang, Nick Yungkit, also known as NYK, is no stranger to the local music scene and has even been leaving his mark internationally.

Image via NYK

From joining high school singing competitions and musicals to reaching the national level in his choir group, music has inevitably been a part of the 27-year-old's life since young.

NYK first appeared in the local music scene back in 2017 with his single, FWB.

And he's since come a long way, opening for international acts such as HONNE, Bruno Major, and Ruel, to name a few. He was even nominated for the Anugerah Musik Indonesia awards.

With his two successful hip-hop tinged releases in the past year, AAA and No 808, NYK garnered over 100 million streams in China alone

Wanting to experiment with whether he could make something that would "blow up", the singer shares with SAYS that he engineered the songs to go viral and banked on the influencer culture to help drive the growth.

"I ain't about to put myself above other artistes," he explains nonchalantly, adding that what probably sets him apart when he succeeds is largely based on luck.

Image via NYK

"I'd work with any of the greats, really… But if I'd choose an immediate dream it'd be Joji, because he's Joji and I've followed him since the earliest Filthy Frank days. Never forget."

The artiste also reveals that his current inspiration is The Weeknd.

"Less so of his music (although I love that too), but his world-building and storytelling capabilities. I mean, just watching the Snowchild MV and looking at the many different semi-autobiographical characters he's created over the years is insane."

Image via NYK

Other than being a full-time artiste, NYK dabbles in acting, modelling, and more recently, he's been getting into cryptocurrency.

"Low-key bet my life on Dogecoin," he adds. Although if it hadn't been music, NYK says that he would've probably ended up in fashion, become an architect, or "anything design-heavy".

But it hasn't all been a bed of roses

"2019 and 2020 proved to be some of the mentally darker years of my life," he reveals, adding that he constructed his latest single, On Me, to provide a form of escape from that.

Contrary to its upbeat, jubilant vibe, the song, which was released on 26 April, holds a deep, meaningful connotation.

"It comes off as a love song, but it does personally reflect more of the unnecessary burdens I've had to carry and put on myself, both internally (toxic masculinity, mental stress) and externally (relationships, friendships, and work pressures). I do like expressing personal things within the scope of what could come off as a more surface track."

Image via NYK

As NYK transitions into a completely different soundscape from his previous pop releases, one can only expect good things from him in the coming months.

Watch NYK's latest single, On Me here:

You can also listen to more of NYK's songs here:

This feature is part of the #saysplaylist series, providing your playlist with a breath of fresh Malaysian air

Image via Pixabay/SAYS

If you have any Malaysian bands, singers, or songs that you think we should feature, drop us a message!

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