Maxyyy

29 Jan
Music

Interview: Scottish Singer Nina Nesbitt Reinvents Herself as a Pop Artist on New Album

Scottish Singer Nina Nesbitt is finally back with a new album. Her debut album ‘Peroxide’ was released in 2013, but the follow-up has been in the works for nearly six years now. Her second album ‘The Sun Will Come Up’, ‘The Seasons Will Change’ is a collection of fresh pop songs and powerful ballads and will be released this Friday. Nesbitt shows all her talent in her lyrically brilliant album and shows she is a pop star to keep an eye on. A week before the release, we caught up with the beautiful singer moments before she got on stage to open up for Rudimental, whom she’s currently touring with.

Hi Nina, welcome to Brussels. How are you?

I am good! I am really excited for the show tonight and can’t wait to play my new songs.

It took you a while, but you’re finally back with a new album. How were these last few years working on new music?

Great. The album is a really fun album to me and it took me about two years to make. It’s a pretty good album in my opinion, because I had the creative control for my album and a lot of things I did were things coming from enjoyment. So for me, it was a really nice process.

As you just mentioned, you’ve produced your album yourself, but also worked with famous producers like Fraser T. Smith (producers of Adele, Florence + The Machine, Drake, Sam Smith, …). How was this new kind of freedom?

It was good! I started the album at a time where I didn’t have any money to pay a producer and was unsigned, so I decided to just get a home studio and learn how to do it myself. I think when you write music, you have ideas in your head, but you don’t always know how to communicate your idea to the producer you’re working with. Being able to produce your own songs is a good skill to have and I think it has given the album a sort of bedroom pop vibe.

You’ve matured a lot in your sound. How important is that evolution for you?

I think I always try to make music that is true to me and I wrote this album when I was between 21 and 23 years old, which is a period where you figure out who you are and what you want do with your life. I just wanted to write about all the things that are relevant to me and I feel that my music reflects that. I released my first album when I was 17 years old, so it’s natural that I matured.

We’ve heard the album and can say that you wrote some badass songs that sound completely different compared to your previous work. What is your favorite song from your new album?

You can definitely say that! I love “Loyal To Me”, but I think that “Love Letter” is currently my favorite track on the album. The song is “Loyal To Me”‘s little sister and is another ode to the R&B of the ’90s with Destiny’s Child as one of the main inspirations. I think the album as a whole is very vulnerable and quite fragile and emotional, so I was like: “I wanna have some songs on the album that are a little bit more uplifting.”

One of the standout songs of the album  is “Is It Really Me You’re Missing?”, which was allegedly meant for Rihanna. Is that true?

I just wrote the song and it got passed to lots of famous singers. Her label loved the song and put it on hold for her, which was really exciting to me, but then I found out that she has like hundreds of songs on hold, so it was less exciting (laughs). Rihanna was the first gig I ever went to and to have her label say that they love the song is a really cool thing, but at the end they didn’t choose the song for her album so I have the song back.

Are there some singers, musicians or genres that inspired the new album?

Lots of different genres have inspired the album… R&B, pop of the early ’00s, singer-songwriter; which is my roots as an artist. I love Max Martin’s pop songs a lot too, because his songs are simple but very effective. I believe that every artist and genre tells a story and that’s what makes music interesting. I listened a lot too J. Cole’s album 4 Your Eyez Only and there is a song called “She’s Mine Pt. 2”, which is about his relationship with his kid. I loved how he rapped about something so meaningful and that inspired me to write my song “Chloe”.

You didn’t only change your sound, but also your looks. How would you describe your new look?

I think it’s a bit like a candy store (laughs). My logo is the pink lotus, which is the flower that grows from the dark part of my heart into something beautiful. This completely summed up the journey of making the album. Struggling with the way you’re writing your songs, but being able to do all this crazy stuff and see the world is just fantastic. I wanted to match my hair with the album because it refers to the lotus. I do have a big interest in visuals and esthetics, so that was a big part of the album and I wanted to — sort of — blend in.

 

Apart of making and working on your album, you’ve toured a lot the past year. What was the touring like?

It was exhausting, but amazing. I don’t even know how I did it. I got on over 50 flights and it was like 250 nights away from home. It was really crazy, because I haven’t done anything like it before, but it was such a cool experience. When I look back, I am still fascinated by all the places I’ve been to and I will always remember that my music has taken me on this trip.

You have your own solo tour coming up. What can people expect of it?

Well.. now I’m on tour with Rudimental, which is very cool because it’s such a different audience for me and then I am heading on my own US headlining tour. It’s my first proper US tour, so I am extremely excited. After America comes the UK, followed by Australia and Asia and hopefully the tour will end in Europe. I am really trying to make it happen and want to come back to Belgium, Amsterdam, Paris, … I am working on it!

Sounds like a promise! Thank you for the interview and lots of fun on tour with the wonderful new album!

Photos by Raia Maria Laura for Enfnts Terribles

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