Ashnikko’s newest mixtape DEMIDEVIL is certainly something. Fuelled with male-bashing lyrics, genre experimentation and female sexual empowerment, 24 year old Ashnikko is making her voice heard, whether you want to hear it or not.
Considering that she released three of the singles (Cry, Daisy and Deal With It) of the mixtape before the release, I thought I knew what to expect. Oh I was wrong. Grimes and Kelis (as a sample) featuring in Cry and Deal With It was a pleasant surprise when seeing the single release, but then noticing how Princess Nokia was also featured on the mixtape truly shows the power Ashnikko has in connecting with the most current and forward thinking empowering artists of our generation right now.
She gives us her classic Ashnikko blend of heavy bass and sexualised lines – Little Boy and Toxic being the standout songs for me. However, 3 outliers occur, all travelling down completely different routes. Whilst I applaud the range of experimentation and whilst I am surprised she could deliver it – the topics she discusses and heavily relies on does get a little ‘samey’. Take L8r Boi, her remix of Avril Lavrigne’s Sk8ter Boi, a great 2000s throwback, but a throwback that should have stayed in 2007. The general theme of ‘the boy being too unemotionally unavailable and having questionable love-related skills’ and the girl being ‘an independent woman’ does get a tad old. It is when Good While It Lasted gives us a well deserved break, focusing more on a romantic relationship rather than anything purely physical – a main theme within the album.
The third outlier rudely interrupts the listener from this toned-down beat, with the abrasive finisher to the album: Clitoris:The Musical. Putting the two most adverse songs next to each other truly is a statement, a not-so-gentle reminder that Ashnikko does not aim to be a people-pleaser or aim to be conventional at all in how she discusses sexuality and female pleasure.
Whilst her songs can seem very overpowering and lack subtlety, they are fun! I cannot say I will be putting them on my ‘chill night’ playlist any time soon, but I can agree that when clubbing is no longer an event of the past, DEMIDEVIL will be playing in on my speaker as I get ready, hyping me up. Even now, with nowhere to go, I have found myself dancing around my room to Toxic to simply find motivation for my summatives. If you want something punchy, full of energy this is what you should be listening to. At only 25 minutes long, the mixtape is short enough to not become too overbearing.
Overall, this mixtape is a yes from me. Bold and blatant, Asknikko provides us with enough vivacity to last the rest of 2021.
Illustration by Anna Kuptsova