“Oceans & Engines” by NIKI

Niki has revealed that she wrote “Oceans & Engines” a few years back, when she was 17 and going through her first heartbreak. Said breakup, as inferred in the first verse, was not the result of any discontent between her and the addressee, her ex. Even though the second verse implies that he bounced on her, well, by the looks of things that was indeed the case. However, going back to her aforementioned explanation, it reads as if her sweetheart was forced to leave. 

In other words, if Niki was only 17 at the time, that means her boyfriend was likely of a comparable age, i.e. at a stage in life whereas for example if his family opted to move to a foreign land, he would have no perceivable choice but to accompany them.

Song’s Title, “Oceans & Engines”

And that then brings us to the name of this song. There’s the mention of an airplane in the second verse, and if we were to stretch the title out, it would read something like traversing “oceans” using “engines”. Or put more bluntly, it is an allusion to international travel, thus buttressing the idea that the addressee can literally be  “10,000 miles away”, not that Niki is speaking figuratively in that sense.

And the type of poeticism which defines the title is also increasingly utilized in the lyrics themselves. So by the time we get to the bridge, it feels like this song is flying all over the place, with references to “world superpowers”, “demons” and all types of stuff. 

But when you combine all that’s being put forth with the way Niki has described this piece, “Oceans & Engines” more or less comes off as your standard heartbreak song. But this is a true teenage-love type of scenario, as this may be the first of such pieces we’ve ever come across whereas said heartbreak was actually caused by the forced relocation of one of the parties involved.

Lyrics for NIKI's "Oceans & Engines"
NIKI talks about her song "Oceans & Engines"


Niki is a singer from Jakarta, which by the way is the capital of Indonesia, and as of the dropping of “Oceans & Engines” on 8 July 2022, she is 23 years old. She has been in the game for a minute, once opening for Taylor Swift when she was just 15 years old, and her debut LP, “Moonchild”, came out in 2020.

Niki is down with 88rising, a New York-based label that specializes in urban musicians of Asian origin. And interesting to note is that thus far only one of her songs has a notable chart history, that being 2021’s “Every Summertime”, which was featured on the soundtrack to the MCU’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

“Oceans & Engines”

This track is from a project called “Nicole”, which is currently shaping up to be Niki’s second studio album.

“Oceans & Engines” was written by Niki, with the songstress having done so in 2016. As such, fans from earlier YouTube days are already familiar with this tune, as she shared it some time ago.

The director of this track’s music video is one Isaac Ravishankara.

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