Maxim Meyer-Horn

6 Nov
Music

Interview: Get Inspired by Rising Pop Star Naaz

Music has the power to change lives and can give you so much confidence. Just ask the Dutch singer Naaz, who experienced it herself. Her parents fled from Irak during the Gulf War and found their new home in The Netherlands, where Naaz was born twenty-one years ago. Today, the singer is on her first European tour to present her beautiful EP ‘the beautiful struggle’ and she invited us backstage to introduce us to her artistry. After our talk, we’re even more in love with the Kurdish talent.

Breaking through

It’s already three years ago that Naaz released her debut single “Sad Boy”, but it was the start of an amazing journey. A couple of months later, one of the biggest Dutch radio stations picked her up and embraced her music from the minute they heard it. It gave her the boost she needed and helped her work on her first EP Bits Of Naaz. The eight-songs strong project really kicked things off and secured her spots on big festivals like Rock Werchter and Lowlands. “I was still baby Naaz back then, so it was crazy I could perform there.” she says when talking about her first festival tour.

In the following year, Naaz supported big pop queens like Tove Lo, Hayley Kiyoko and Jessie J. The stage definitely became her second home and she isn’t going to slow down any time. After her first solo European Tour, she’ll join Melanie Martinez on her full European leg. “I’m very excited to go on that tour. The last show is in the 02 Brixton Academy, which holds 5.000 people. That will be a crazy show!”

On tour

Being on tour also means being away from home. “I’m usually never really homesick, because I tour with my best friends. My band and I are super close, so touring with them is awesome.” They’ve been sharing the stage for about two years now and you definitely see their connection on stage. Of course, she misses her family when touring, but she also admits she misses her own food when she’s on the road. “I like the food I cook myself the most, so that’s absolutely something I miss when I’m not home. But before a show, I can’t eat anyways because I always think I have to puke.” Laughing about it after the show while eating a banana, she also admits that the show in Brussels was special. “I don’t know why, but I was somehow a little bit shy on stage tonight. Usually, I’m a little bit wilder during my show!” But we didn’t see that shyness.

Show(ing love)

Hours before the show, her Bitsers (that’s how her fans call themselves) started to queue to be as close as possible to their favorite pop singer. “The biggest part of my fans have a similar age to mine, so I really see them as friends. Hearing them sing along and seeing them smile, makes me so extremely happy. I always try to meet as many of them as possible after my shows.” When stepping behind her mic to start the show, her fans greet her with rose petals.

 

During one hour, all eyes in the room are following Naaz around the stage. “I decide the set list myself and went through the running order of the songs in my head. I really like to connect songs, but also love to go from a modest song to something heavier. That contrast is so fun.” she answers when asked how she put her new show together. Her show truly is a gift for all the fans that show her so much love and gratitude.

The beautiful struggle

We all struggle sometimes but taht struggle can be turned into something really beautiful. That’s what Naaz is proving on her second project the beautiful struggle. Explaining the difference between both projects, she says: “My second project the beautiful struggle is really how I am as an artist. On my first album Bits Of Naaz, I was trying too much to sound like how I thought I wanted to sound.”

The authenticity of the beautiful struggle makes Naaz even more adorable. “damage :(” is one of our favorites of the EP. “The chorus of the song is inspired by punk music, so that definitely shows in the live performance.” The song is about accepting the moments you feel bad and finding peace and love in the damage. These kinds of messages are very inspirational and are written from her heart. Telling us that these autobiographical songs help her to leave the past behind by turning it into a song people can relate to, we feel her soul as an artist.

 

 

 

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