South African born singer-songwriter and recording artist, Nicky Ash, has been performing since she was four years old back in 2001. She has gone on to win awards as well as receive critical acclaim for her works and performances. A qualified make-up artist, currently studying Cosmetology, 20 year old Nicky has linked up with accomplished music producer Dante Lattanzi of Caelum Music Production who is managing her as well as producing her upcoming EP, to be released in the first quarter of 2018. They have now dropped the single “Beautiful”, written by Nicky for her mother – “A strong, independent and well-rounded woman who has been through a lifetime of hell. And who in her lifetime has given much more than she has received.” Through this song, Nicky wants people to relate to the fact that no matter what they have been through or are going through at the moment or in the future, they will always remain beautiful. Lattanzi handled all instrumentation, production, recording, as well as mixing and mastering duties.
Dante Lattanzi knows that the big-lunged upcoming diva’s nuanced voice sets her apart from the competition, and he has taken every opportunity to show it off by keeping the background music to a piano-driven minimal. With an instrument as powerful as this, there is an understandable temptation to over-sing but Nicky Ash manages to keep it under control.
Her voice is pleasant, powerful, and it demands attention. As a result, she turns in a great vocal performance on this track. But she also deserves credit for being confident and unafraid to express herself. Both Lattanzi and Ash do nothing short of a masterful job of balancing the modern and the classic in her sound.
Without over-emphasizing the point, Nicky Ash is a truly gifted singer who brings this song – entertaining in its own right – to a new level. She brings personality and effort to every bar.
Whereas many of her contemporaries shade their voices with distorters and other various effects, making heavy use of autotune, Ash and Lattanzi, know that her voice is her strongest point and as such it is the unequalled focal point of “Beautiful”. Along with the track’s story-line and message of course, which should not be diminished of its importance.
For those who probably don’t remember, the turn of the century ushered in roughly billions of interchangeable female pop acts. You couldn’t tell the difference between one and the other, except for the amount of clothing they refused to wear.
The last couple of years has also ushered in a series of young female artists locked in on making a difference musically – with excellent songwriting and empowering lyrical themes that go well above the clichéd nonsensical sugary pop star status. Nicky Ash, it seems, has already learned the art of subtlety which provides her an edge over her peers. She is not peddling a mere hook but an emotion.
“Beautiful” is a challenging piece of understated pop that manages to look backwards and forward at the same time. Good taste in production and a voice that has the capability to head heaven-bound all combine to make this a consistent, and ultimately rewarding listen. Its demonstration of certainty makes for a powerful single. “Beautiful” surges through its vocal performance, and evolves slowly through its musical production.