Niko Walters has teamed up with Kiana Ledé for a rework of his single “Not My Neighbour,” a lush R&B-track that has made the New Zealand singer/songwriter a rising voice on international airwaves. Tapping LA-based Kiana Ledé for her illustrious vocals and a rewrite of the original song’s second verse, the long-distance collaboration transforming the single into a soulful duet. There’s ignitable chemistry between Walters’ throaty murmurs and Ledé’s whispy intonations, bathed as they are in the song’s blissful mix of glowing guitar riffs and shimmering synth-work. “Not My Neighbour,” which first appeared on Walter’s debut album Escape, takes on the story of a love affair that’s acted out as a police manhunt as seen in the original song’s music video. The new version gives a voice to Walter’s opposite in the form of Ledé’s silver-tongued accomplice in passion tapping into what the singer calls a bit of her “alter-ego,” giving new meaning to the term “ride or die.”
Walters remains one of the rising stars in alt-R&B and his recent debut album Escape has enchanted his work since with sufficient buzz. In working with Kiana Ledé for this rework, a contemporary whose debut KIKI has already earned her high praise, Walters continues to bring himself out of New Zealand and into the larger world his music is eager to find a place in.
“Kiana has a super distinct way about her craft – from writing to singing to her overall style and energy,” Walters said of working with Ledé. “When she called me and played me the ideas for the song straight over the phone, they immediately hit hard and worked with the whole vibe of the song. It’s awesome and bizarre to have someone so talented, from a different country and culture, come in and put a fresh spin on something you’ve made.”