Melodic Craftsmanship: Niko Bokos’s Sound of Self-Discovery

BY Ashley N. Littles

Niko Bokos is a breath of fresh air in an industry saturated with fleeting trends. His sound, influenced by the 70s pop rock that constantly played in his childhood home, sets him apart.

Bokos jokingly admits to learning guitar to impress a girl. Still, it’s clear the relationship he developed with music runs deeper. After studying Journalism at Michigan State University, he transferred to Belmont University in Nashville to further hone his songwriting skills, a craft he now describes as an intricate duet with his long-standing friend and producer, Mark Whalen.

“’The Lennon to my McCartney’ is how Bokos dubs Whalen, emphasizing their musical and creative chemistry. Over a decade, they’ve created a formula that’s as spontaneous as it is effective. “We start from scratch every time. Sometimes we barely even talk; we just start with a piano chord, and magic happens,” Bokos shares.

This magic has resulted in a repertoire of hits, including “Old Money,” a track that recently hit a million streams.

For Bokos, this success reaffirms the power of modern platforms like TikTok in catapulting independent artists like him into the limelight.

A significant part of Bokos’s story is also his band, Those Legs. Composed of talented jazz players from Wayne State University, the 10-person ensemble brings a dynamic and full-bodied sound to Bokos’s music. As the frontman of this group, Bokos displays a remarkable ability to harmonize his vision with the diverse talents of his bandmates, creating a rich sonic experience for their listeners.

Bokos’s artistry isn’t solely anchored in music; it also involves a profound journey of self-discovery. He talks about learning Greek to connect with his roots. This process culminated in the creation of his favorite track, “Her Blue Eyes.” This song from his upcoming EP, set to release on August 4th, is particularly close to his heart because he learned Greek to write and sing its chorus. “I quit my job at our family business and gave everything to my music. But I couldn’t do that without discovering my roots,” Bokos says.

He compares his music to a contemplative journey, drawing parallels with the intelligent complexity of Steely Dan. The experiences that shape his lyrics are personal and filled with meaning.

Bokos hopes his music will provide a soundtrack to listeners’ reflections and relaxation.

For him, success isn’t just about climbing one mountain peak after another. It’s about appreciating the journey, giving back to his community and family, and capturing moments in time through his music that will live forever.

He emphasizes the importance of staying present while looking ahead, a balance he constantly explores through his art and lyrics.

The future looks promising for Bokos and his band, Those Legs, as they prepare for their upcoming performance at the Arts, Beats, and Eats Festival on September 3rd.

In Niko Bokos, we see an artist unafraid to embrace his roots, challenge conventions, and continually reinvent himself, making his journey one to watch in the alt-rock scene. As he crafts songs that resonate with fans worldwide, he solidifies his status as a dynamic artist who tells authentic stories through his thought-provoking melodies.

As his story unfolds, anticipate his music becoming a guiding force and perfect score for listeners embarking on their journeys of discovery.

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