The dance-pop singer/songwriter performs an intimate version of her breakout hit, and another of her songs, and discusses having co-written Demi Lovato's 'Heart Attack'
"My manager said, 'Please listen to this right away.' I plugged it into the speakers and I was like … I'm in such a great mood. I just want to clean everything in the house right now!"
At a visit last Friday to Billboard's New York offices, Nikki Williams recalled the first time she heard a demo of "Glowing," which has become her first mainstream hit. The catchy pop/EDM track lifts 22-21 on Pop Songs after rising to No. 3 on Dance/Club Play Songs in May.
"I called him back and I was, like, 'OK, can I record this song?' He said, 'Yes.' The label [Island Def Jam] heard it and they were like, 'This is the first single.'
"It was just kind of a no-brainer."
The South African-born Williams has enjoyed another, even bigger, hit this year, as a writer. She co-penned Demi Lovato's "Heart Attack" (with Lovato and four others), which reached No. 1 on Dance/Club Play Songs, No. 4 on Pop Songs and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"'Heart Attack' was written about two years ago," Williams says. "I was going through a really hard time in my life. So, one day my manager set me up with this writing session and, I don't know … it just kind of poured out. I was kind of ready to just get it off my chest.
"The hours flew by and the song just kind of melted onto the page."
The song's journey to becoming a hit wasn't nearly as fast, however. "For a year and a half, two years, I totally forgot about it," Williams remembers. "Then, I got a call that [Lovato] had cut the record. Basically, two weeks later it came out on the radio. It was huge for me."
Following her successful first half of the year, Williams is readying her first album. "Every day I'm learning something to better myself," she says. "I just want to be that person you relate to. Everyone messes up. You're not alone.
"I just want it to be the best. This is my debut album. I want it to be a masterpiece."