Sugar and spice – they make for an exquisite combination because each complements and enhances the power of the other in a manner that opens the door to a whole new sensory experience. That is the same philosophy that guides the ethos of Tota Zhiyenkulova, the Kazakhstan-born, Singapore-based singer and dancer who is poised to turn heads in the international hip-hop scene with her scintillating debut single, “Coquette”. The single will be released on all major digital streaming platforms on 25 March 2022, Friday. “Coquette’ wastes no time in establishing itself as a banger. Striding, triumphant, and oozing a raw, ravishing feminine energy, it is an empowering anthem of self-love and an ode to the importance of believing in yourself. Determined and declarative, Tota affirms that though she is a newcomer, she has her eyes firmly on the prize. “I’m finna finesse you with my perfection”, she coos, her sultry, alluring vocal register affirming the bite of her words and elevating their meaning to a palpable, pulsating level. R&B and pop are the two disciplines that inform her world. But though inspired, Tota is no blind follower. Melting down both sounds in the crucible of her artistic vision, she creates a new expressive palette that is arresting and irresistible. She rides the beat majestically – balancing vulnerability and strength, quivering singing, and chest-thumping rapping, giving the listener an enchanting glimpse at her multi-faceted personality, all in a single stroke. Just as the music operates on a dynamic that balances two seemingly opposing forces, the “Coquette” is a profoundly complex character. As Tota explains, “‘Coquette’ is a song about owning my own personality. I believe in astrology and my star sign is Pisces, the twin fish. The two fish are connected together by a cord, and they are swimming in opposite directions, living between fantasy and reality. It means that I am in a constant push and pull when it comes to relationships, my life choices, my habits, and my thoughts. ‘Coquette’ is really about owning my playfulness and assertiveness, my light and shadow, my sides of being introverted and extroverted, my timidness, and my sexuality”. So many pop songs these days paint a false picture of what it means to draw strength from within. With “Coquette”, Tota gets it right the first time, juxtaposing conflicting shades of emotion and resolving the tension by presenting it as two sides of the same coin that is the human condition. Her message is timely and timeless – and the impression she leaves is unforgettable.