STREAM: Nikolai Rya "Cocaine & Butterflies"

Melancholy and euphoria come together on Nikolai Rya’s new EP Cocaine & Butterflies released October 11.

To Rya, this project resembles all the best and worst experiences he’s had with hard drugs. While cocaine is representative of the bad, he has learned life lessons from it resembling the butterfly emerging from a gruesome experience to turn into something beautiful.

“[It’s] showing that any circumstances in life can turn to help you in a positive way,” Rya said.

Distinctly, his flow is special – hitting with its onomatopoeic effect when he speeds up. At moments the beats produced by NEOMADA generated dystopian vibes similar to the Stranger Things soundtrack, but mirrored lo-fi glitch trap at others.

“All of the Sights” is a standout song. It starts off with mysterious twinkles of sound, seemingly to emblem a night sky. Tasteful auto-tune drapes his low, monotone flow. Essentially, the track discusses Rya’s reflection of where he was and where he is now. The song is heavy but the musicality is gripping. The most gutting part is Rya’s realization of his existence with a choppy, pause-infused, “I could be dead.” A voice layers to repeat, “it’s okay, it’s okay.” 

“On The Ceiling” is slightly more banger-esque. He raps with a grungy, grunt, seemingly like an angst-induced Machine Gun Kelly or $uicideboy$ track. Rya isn't afraid to snarl with an air of badassery as he raps, “Say my name bitch, you say it.”

Rya said he was in and out of jail between the ages of 12 to 16, so this project is a testament to his come up.

“I promise I would not be the person I was today if I didn’t go through those trials and triblations,” Rya said.

Rya and NEOMADA produced the project completely from scratch and Rya did the vocal engineering. This project is the result of how much emotion and energy Rya invests into his music. The direction this EP takes conserves the hardiness of a Rock ‘n’ Roll piece while maintaining the emotion and lyricism of rap.

The EP is available on SoundCloud, Pandora, iTunes, Google Play and Spotify. 

Header image courtesy of Nikolai Rya
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados