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Nikita Lev is Redefining Indie Sleaze

With four songs released this year and one more on the way, Nikita Lev is coming onto the music scene strong. 47Magazine met with Lev, who has a smudge of eyeliner and a little black dress that can only be reminiscent of the indie sleaze era, outside of Pianos in the Lower East Side where she now resides among other artists in the city.

Nikita broke into the scene with her hit song 'Elegance,' capturing the experience of growing up with little grace and learning how to forgive yourself when you don't become the adult you envisioned you would be as a child. Her other song, 'Nihilistic Baby,' explores the dark side of longing and the violence of ghosting. Instead of tapping into the sense of nostalgia in 'Elegance,' Nihilistic Baby' explores the pain that comes with ghosting. Lev hinted about experiencing this with a close friend, and the abrupt silence and disconnect left her confused and angry.

While her other songs have a dreamy melody, ‘Nihilistic Baby’ has a driven sound confronting the anger of being blindsided and left behind and how that anger can linger even after a year. Lev’s songs are defined by a sense of longing, whether that is of childhood in ‘Elegance’ or of closure in ‘Nothing Has Changed’ she delves into her personal experiences and since childhood, she has written over 200 songs.

She now wants to explore a new direction in her music such as learning how to produce. Inspired by Caroline Polachek spending hours on her computer creating a whole sonic world. She tells us, “I would love to be able to do that and have that control and know how to press buttons and make it sound the way I want it to.”

After concluding the interview, I ran into Lev’s mother! Just like Nikhita, she was tall and cool, sporting a leather jacket and strong pride for her daughter’s work. I asked which of her daughter’s songs are favorite and she said it's ‘Nothing has changed.’

Lots of things are changing for Nikita, and with her decades of experience in writing songs and insatiable curiosity in music, there is no doubt she is just beginning.

Written and Interviewed by Delfina V. Barbiero

Photography by Leonardo Amaral

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