If there is anyone to keep your eyes on in 2022, it is none other than Nija! After much anticipation and eagerness, your favorite artist's favorite artist has finally unleashed her debut project! Having written for many iconic artists such as Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Cardi B, H.E.R., and more, the songwriter is finally coming into her own identity within her personal music. Released on Friday (Jan. 28), Don't Say I Didn't Warn You gives us a deeper look into Nija the ARTIST. Executive produced by Jack Rochon, the project allows Nija to divulge her truths, reflections, and thoughts in such a way that she has not expressed before.
Prior to DSIDWY's release, along with releasing the tracklist for DSIDWY, the young songwriter shared a tweet dissecting why exactly she named the project its title. "I chose this title because it sums up what I wanna say to my fans, the industry & my past relationship," she wrote.
Don't Say I Didn't Warn You consists of only 10 tracks and runs for approximately 30 minutes. While the EP is pretty concise, Nija makes sure to deliver more than enough for listeners. With enough appeal and vibes for all types of listeners, DSIDWY is seamless, refreshing, and innovative. On the project's chilling opener, "Wicked," a boiling Nija hits listeners right in the feels as she ponders on love gone sour. "Tell me how did I not see that sh*t before," she sings. Over the eerie, chaotic bass. Right out of the gate, she leaves goosebumps down listeners' spines as she reflects on a past love, pain, and the emptiness it left her with. She questions the bond the two once shared (or so she thought) as she acknowledges her former flame's betrayal.
From there, listeners are now launched into the world that is ... Nija. What is appreciated most about this project is its smoothness. Each song immaculately flows into the next. For example, "In My Feelings" picks up the pieces of "Wicked" as Nija reminds herself of who she is. While acknowledging her pain and confusion, she makes it clear not another will catch her lacking ever again. Exuding a heavy Rihanna-ish "Needed Me" appeal, she picks that very heart that was tossed to the floor in "Wicked" and bosses up.
Listeners arrive at a familiar tune on the sensual, fiery "Finesse." In the second single from DSIDWY, Finesse finds Nija trying to flee those very feelings that this person entraps her in. However, this time around... she's aware of the game. She sees the cycle and she no longer wants to fall victim to it. Much like the song says, she refuses to let them "f*ck her head up" any further.
That Rihanna energy returns on "Not One Of Them." Here, Nija starts talking her sh*t and it's great. Being the innovator she is, she follows her own lead creating another Drill&B gem. She attacks her old lover's ego as she reminds him that she is not to be played in any capacity. She acknowledges her success as a songwriter and has paved her own way since her teen years. The gist is simple... she doesn't need anyone to do anything for her because whatever she needs, she can provide. She maintains the tempo on "Beautiful Lies." On this upbeat record, she toys around with one of her prospects as she makes note that she knows how to do and say the right things to make them feel colossal.
DSIDWY delivers so many moods all in a setting of 27 minutes. It's literally breathtaking how Nija bodies the project with such ease in such a short amount of time. Her pen glistens on the slow-burning "Rare." She desires to reclaim her time and not engage with anyone who truly is not for her. She sings her heart out about wanting someone who can handle her lows, her good, bad, and downright ugly. Now while Nija is all about her self-worth and evolution, she has moments of weakness as any human does. On the swirling third single from DSIDWY, "On Call," she finds herself inebriated desiring human interaction and intimacy. While she knows she shouldn't be doing this, she still calls up the one who does exactly what her body craves in the sneaky-link anthem. "You know I'm a little f*cked up. Maybe 'cause I only hit you when I'm drunk, yeah," she bellows.
The want for physical engagement continues on the utterly contagious "Ease My Mind (Come Over)." As the project's lead single, "Ease My Mind" sets such a standard within the realm of modern R&B. Utilizing this hypnotic drill beat over moody R&B appeal, Nija effortlessly hits it out of the park. Her focus here is to escape her reality. Instead of focusing on the realities of the world, she yearns for an encounter that essentially distracts her from the very pressure that tries to engulf her mind. It is easily a favorite (of many) on the project.
On "You Don't Love Her," DSIDWY's second to last song, Nija again talks her sh*t as she declares to her old flame that while he may have quickly "moved on" he's really just trying to fill the huge void in his heart that came from her presence. Instead of being jealous or sad, Nija already knows that she is pure pressure (and even he knows as she sings about him still hitting her phone). She sees through the charades and cool act. Ultimately, Nija assures him that despite it all, he cannot and will not ever be able to love this new person the same way he loved her.
Don't Say I Didn't Warn You's final track arrives at the woozy "Someone Else." Ending the project with transparency and vulnerability, she sings about having to heal through the act of finding a new person. She bounces back and forth as she wishes that her new guy could have been her old guy. However, in the same breath, she feels wrong. She addresses her faulty ways in toying with this new person's feelings when she really knows it's not a forever thing.
We asked and Nija finally answered. Don't Say I Didn't Warn You is an irresistible body of work. Every song is important to Nija's current journey as they tell her story of love, loss, pain, and growth. From creating anthems, bops, and gems for many other artists, she is finally here with a sound that is unlike anything that has been heard before. Each track holds a timeless quality that makes it better with every listen. Her musicality, pen game, and execution all bring exhilarating energy into the world of R&B. While only 24 years of age, Nija is honestly just heating up. The project allows us to witness the creativity that flows within her and is just an appetizer for what's to come. DSIDWY is literally a warning shot to all that Nija is here... and here to stay.
Stream Nija's, "Don't Say I Didn't Warn You" below.