A soundtrack of 10 righteous feminist hymns…
Laviea Thomas
11:27 15th January 2021

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Today marks the official release of Ashnikko’s first mixtape DEMIDEVIL and it’s fair to say we’re excited...but slightly let down. Across her career we’ve seen the artist drop many explosive single releases like notables ‘Stupid,’ ‘Working Bitch,’ and ‘Special.’ Now, the wait is finally over, and we have a complete Ashnikko album. But despite mixtape standouts ‘Daisy,’ ‘Toxic,’ and Slumber Party,’ Demidevil seems slightly tame for Ashnikko.

In this ten-track piece Ashnikko has us gasping for air as she includes features with notable female figures in the pop industry; Kelis, Princess Nokia and Grimes. She opens the album with dynamite ‘Daisy’. This track is everything: it’s Ashnikko at her absolute best, blending mega-trap beats with her stapled cackle and feminist lyricism. 

This mixtape is a soundtrack of 10 righteous feminist hymns: following the triumph that is ‘Daisy', ‘Toxic’ sees Ashnikko sing “self-made, self-paid, how dare you speak my name.” If you ever need reassurance of how well you’re doing right now - or just a pick-me-up -Demidevil is literally the answer to this. 

Annoyingly, from ‘Toxic’ onwards, DEMIDEVIL slips slightly: the next few tracks feel a lot tamer and don’t quite live up to the roaring excitement of others. But that’s not to say it still doesn’t go off. In third track ‘Deal with It', Ashnikko samples Kelis’ 'Caught Out There'. Whilst musically some of her tracks feel like they’ve missed the opportunity of delivering the same energy, if there’s anything that Ashnikko absolutely slays at, it’s her ability to deliver some of the fieriest lyrics. This mixtape speaks volumes as it emphasises Ashnikko fighting against misogyny, having ownership over her body and sexuality, paying her own bills and just thriving as the independent woman she is. 

The idiosyncratic Princess Nokia feature, ‘Slumber Party’ is a seductive bop and one of our favourites on the album. This track gives off major erotic mystic vibes which is very on brand for Ashnikko: in DEMIDEVIL we get to experience Ashnikko for all that she is, it’s fun, naughty and just the musical bible to your everyday life. 

At track seven is another single release, ‘Cry' featuring Grimes. In 2020 Ashnikko dropped a heavy metal version of this with vocalist Justine Jones of Employed to Serve. Not to shade on the original Grimes feature, but if you’re reading this Ashnikko, please get this song on streaming platforms - we’re practically begging. 

DEMIDEVIL is definitely a grower, on first few listens it’s good at best...and you’re lying if you don’t feel completely enticed by concluding track ‘Clitoris the Musical.’ 

Demidevil is out now via Parlophone.

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Photo: Press