Nicki Nicole On Standing Out From the Argentine Trap Scene With Her R&B Fusion

Nicki Nicole
Jess “La Polaca” Praznik/Nati Petri

Nicki Nicole

Growing up in Rosario, Argentina, Nicki Nicole would pay special attention to people’s cellphone ringtones “because that’s how you knew back then what type of music was popular.” She says she was a musical “sponge,” and by the time she was 17, the artist (born Nicole Cucco) started experimenting with hip-hop after meeting friends who would freestyle in the streets. Her open-minded musical upbringing informs the R&B and trap fusions that she both sings and raps on — and has helped her stand out in an increasingly crowded field of emerging Argentine trap artists.

In 2019, at age 18, Nicki Nicole released her debut single, “Wapo Traketero,” a slower R&B track marked by her tender vocals. She continued to share a small handful of singles, all of which raked in millions of views on YouTube while her one-off, “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 13,” hit No. 3 on the Billboard Argentina Hot 100 last August. Then, in November, she released her debut album, Recuerdos, featuring fellow rising trap artists Cazzu and Duki, on Argentine trap label DALE PLAY Records. To date, Nicki Nicole has collected nearly 7 million on-demand U.S. audio streams, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, and boasts nearly 5 million followers on Instagram.

So far this year, she’s maintaining her momentum: At the inaugural Spotify Awards, held in Mexico City in March, Nicki Nicole won the Radar trap in Spanish artist and most-streamed female artist in gaming consoles awards; in May, she released her Sony Music Latin (she signed with the label in 2019) debut single, the uptempo “Colocao,” in which she shouts out Drake; and she says her next single, due in September, “is my most complete — the music video, lyrics, my voice and the beat are at 100%.”

This article originally appeared in the August 15, 2020, issue of Billboard.