NIIA

Maxim - - CONTENTS - —David Swan­son

THE SUL­TRY 26-YEAR-OLD VO­CAL­IST CATCHES 007 FEVER

IN­TRO­DUC­ING NIIA, A SUL­TRY SINGER WITH A GOLDEN VOICE, A FETISH FOR 007, AND A LI­CENSE TO THRILL.

“DANIEL CRAIG IS GROW­ING ON ME, BUT I THINK JON HAMM SHOULD BE BOND. I DON’T CARE IF HE’S AMER­I­CAN.”

NIIA IS A WOMAN WITH DREAMS. “My ul­ti­mate goal is to get killed in a Bond movie,” says the 26-year-old singer, whose last few years have been spent se­duc­ing au­di­ences with her sul­try up­date on clas­sic jazz. “Even be­ing an ex­tra would be all I’d need in life.” Grow­ing up in a mu­sic-filled home, the fash­ion-world fa­vorite—whose EP Gen­er­a­tion Blue was re­leased last fall—trained as a clas­si­cal pi­anist be­fore dis­cov­er­ing the likes of Sarah Vaughan and Bil­lie Hol­i­day. But it was through 007 that she found her voice. “I was living in New York, frus­trated that I hadn’t fin­ished any of my own mu­sic, and I was like, ‘I just want to sing some­thing!’” she says. Hence, Niia’s se­ries of pop-up, Bond-themed shows fea­tur­ing a 12-per­son orches­tra, freeflow­ing mar­ti­nis (shaken, not stirred), a strict dress code, celeb-filled crowds, and an As­ton Martin parked out front. “There’s noth­ing bet­ter than ‘Goldfin­ger.’ You hear those first two chords, and it’s like, ‘OK, I can die now,’” Niia says of the con­certs, which she plans to con­tinue while work­ing on her de­but al­bum. As for the cur­rent Bond, she’s on the fence. “At first I hated Daniel Craig. He’s too stocky! He is grow­ing on me, though,” she says. “But hon­estly, I think Jon Hamm should be Bond. And I don’t care if he’s Amer­i­can.”

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