Nia Archives wants you to channel your ‘inner-baddie’ with these 10 tracks


ia Archives is having a huge 2023. The Bradford-born producer, DJ and artist kicked off her year by winning the MOBO award for Best Electronic/Dance Act; was nominated for the BRIT’s Rising Star award; made her debut at Coachella and broke records for set attendances at Glastonbury. To top it all off, she opened for Beyoncé during the London leg of the Renaissance World Tour.

“It was very anxiety-inducing,” the 23-year-old tells me, “I was really just sh*tting myself the whole day. I was so grateful to Beyoncé and her team for even considering me because I’m such a small artist, it was a dream come true, it felt quite validating that people are seeing what I do even though it’s underground and niche. It felt cool to be playing jungle music at a Beyoncé London show.”

It felt cool to be playing jungle music at a Beyoncé London show

Last month, a video clip of Nia Archives dancing beside Jorja Smith to a remix of Smith’s single – ‘Little Things’ – went viral online. The track has now been streamed close to two million times and has been crowned by some as the song of the summer. Within a year, Nia Archives’ name has rocketed beyond the realms of the nightlife circuit to the top of the lineup across major global festivals. “I definitely feel transformed. It’s been a good year, it’s been a weird year – lot’s of ups and downs, but I’m super grateful for how my career is going. There’s been a lot of personal growth too, being 23 is very emotional and confusing but I’m riding the wave and I’ve got to a good part.”

Her latest single, ‘Bad Gyalz’, released this week, is a love letter to the women that have been coming to her jungle raves – ‘Up Ya Archives’ – for the past year. “I’ve been throwing these ‘Up Ya Archives’ parties for nearly a year and at all my parties there’s a huge percentage of young girls aged between 18 and 25. It’s really new and interesting for jungle especially to have such a high percentage of young women, it’s usually very male dominated in these spaces so I just wanted to make a song that appreciates all the girlies that have been coming to my parties.”

To celebrate both her new single and the women it’s for, Nia Archives is hosting a one-off day rave this Sunday (August 6th) at 60 Dock Road in east London. Featuring the likes of legendary London DJs Izzy Bossy and Pxssy Palace, the event is for women and the LGBTQ+ community only. “I’ve wanted to do this for a while, it’s about creating safer spaces for women and baddies in general in dance music,” she explains. (There are still tickets available here.)

Nia Archives

To mark the occasion and get you in the mood to channel your inner-baddie this weekend, Nia Archives has picked her top 10 tracks for and by Bad Gyalz. “I want people to feel like a Bad Gyal when they listen to this, to celebrate their femininity and what that looks like for them. Being a Bad Gyal is different for everybody, sometimes it’s just a mood and a confidence and knowing yourself and how you feel.” Listen to the full playlist here. 

MCR-T and horsegiirL – My Barn My Rules

“I’m obsessed with horsegiirL at the moment, I’ve actually got a studio session coming up with her because I’m a bit of a fanatic. I really appreciate artists who are really authentic and true to themselves. She just really loves horses and everything she does is about horses, I think that’s really cool and unique.”

M.I.A – Galang

“M.I.A is one of my biggest inspirations as a woman, a producer and an artist. What she did is what I’d love to do in the future.”

The Cranberries – Sunday

“I’m having a huge Cranberries era…again. I really love Dolores O’Riordan’s vocals and the kind of content that she writes about, she was a baddie and I love her music. I think they’re sometimes a bit forgotten, but The Cranberries’ music is such a staple for me.”

Sexyy Red – SkeeYee

“Sexyy Red is so unapologetically her, I really rate people who are just themselves and don’t care what people think.”

Ranking Ann – Liberated Woman

“This is one of my favourite albums – A Slice Of English Toast – I think she’s so cool and so underrated. I like that she’s a Black, British, Jamaican woman and she speaks about that experience.”

Katy B – Lights On ft. Ms. Dynamite

“This is a baddie tune. I love Katy and I’ve been a big fan of Ms. Dynamite, this song was my childhood.”

Spice Girls – Wannabe

“I mean, they were the ultimate It girls. I always looked up to Mel B because she’s from Leeds. I loved seeing her when I was younger and to have that representation.”

Bahamadia – Pep talk

“Love Bahamadia. I love the tune that she did with Roni Size as well.”

Lady G’ – Nuff Respect

“Jamaican icon. I love this song and I love the video, it’s about female empowerment.”

Grace Jones – Pull Up To The Bumper

“I think Grace Jones is the epitome of grace, elegance and class. As a person, I aspire to be half of what she is. She’s just so cool, she does her own thing and she doesn’t care what people think.”

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