by Alex Teitz
Nina Nesbitt is a rare artist in the music world. She has her own music studio (Nightwatch Studio) and label (N2 Records). She has walked away from a music label and is still standing stronger than ever. She made her mark internationally with her debut album Peroxide in 2014 with the singles “Selfies” and “Don’t Stop.” In 2017 she started releasing singles from her new album including “The Best You Had” and “Somebody Special.’ She released “Psychopath” with Charlotte Cardin and Sasha Sloan at the end of March:
She is touring the US opening for Jake Bugg and also on a headlining tour:
04/01 – Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC
04/03 – The State Room – Salt Lake City, UT
04/04 – Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
04/06 – The Heights Theater – Houston, TX
04/07 – The Parrish – Austin, TX
04/08 – The Kessler – Dallas, TX
04/10 – The Back Room @ Colectivo – Milwaukee, WI
04/11 – Off Broadway – St. Louis, MO
04/12 – Deluxe @ Old National Center – Indianapolis, IN
04/13 – Beat Kitchen – Chicago, IL
04/14 – House Of Blues, Cambridge Room – Cleveland, OH
04/16 – Bogart’s – Cincinnati, OH
04/17 – Eddie’s Attic – Decatur, GA
04/18 – Mercy Lounge – Nashville, TN
04/19 – Visulite Theatre – Charlotte, NC
04/23 – Club Café – Pittsburgh, PA
04/24 – DC9 – Washington, DC
04/25 – Baby’s All Right – Brooklyn, NY
04/26 – Space Ballroom – Hamden, CT
04/30 – Great Scott – Allston, MA
05/01 – World Café Live – Philadelphia, PA
FEMMUSIC: You write and produce your own material. You own both a label and a studio. What benefits does that allow you?
NN: I get to do whatever I want musically which is nice. I feel like that’s the way it should be. I got to hand pick a great team around me and being on an indie label allows you to have control over that instead of being assigned to someone who is maybe not passionate about the project. It’s all about having passionate people collaborate with you. Also being able to have the option of producing my own music is great because you don’t feel like you have to rely on other people to do what you love. I definitely prefer collaborating but it’s always good to have the option.
FEMMUSIC: You left your first record label. I was curious to see that you signed to Cooking Vinyl. Why did you sign with another record label? Why Cooking Vinyl? What benefits do you see in being with a record label?
NN: I knew that I didn’t want to sign to a major at that point in time. I didn’t really know if I wanted to put music out for a while but once I worked out the songs then Cooking Vinyl came along and put their hand up when no one else did. I really admired their courage to say ‘we think you’re great’ when there was nothing really going on for me. It was all about the songs and the fanbase I’d built. I knew that I needed the funds to be able to put stuff out and also wanted to build a team around me and they seemed like the perfect fit. Any artist that works with them has made several albums and I think that’s always a really good sign.
FEMMUSIC: It has been 4 years since Peroxide came out. You’ve been releasing singles. When do anticipate a full length album? What lessons did you learn making Peroxide?
NN: The new album is written, almost finished recording. I think it’ll be out this autumn but I’m waiting for what feels like the right time. With streaming it’s all about the single song now and then I think once people have heard enough of them it’s time to drop the album which is more like a body of work. I wrote Peroxide between 17-19 so I guess it was a very confusing time for me because I was growing up and I didn’t really know who I was or what I wanted. I think you can hear that in the record, but I kinda like that because it shows where I was at. I definitely wanted to make a really strong cohesive sounding record with this one and really find my sound.
FEMMUSIC: What is the biggest challenge working on a new album?
NN: It was actually a really simple experience. It was a weird period of time for me because I was very depressed while writing it but I’d get these lyrics just landing in my head every few weeks and that would be another one written. It literally felt like someone was sending songs in to my head, it was that natural. I guess actually getting to the stage where I knew what kind of album I wanted to make was the most difficult part, but once I knew it just came out.
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
NN: My best songs have always started with a lyric idea prior to writing. I get a bunch of lyrics that I love and then try and fit them in. Sometimes I’ll start with a melody over a piano and then go and pick lyrics that I’ve stored away to fit. I also write for other people though and that’s a totally different experience, that’s more getting in a room with people and just having fun, seeing what comes out.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest impact on you and why?
NN: Oh I couldn’t pick one but I’d probably say in most recent years “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette because of how lyrically open it is. I love that she doesn’t hold back. It made me feel fearless with lyrics.
FEMMUSIC: As a woman in the music industry have you been discriminated against?
NN: Yeah I think more or less every woman I know in this industry has in some way or another but I do think it’s changing and getting better. It’s more about changing people’s attitudes and subconscious I think. All the men I work with are really supportive and I feel like we are treated as equals in all the sessions we do.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to tour with or collaborate with? Why?
NN: I’d love to write with Max Martin. He’s my ultimate pop goal. There’s so many hits he’s written. I also love the way Calvin Harris collaborates.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you change about the music industry?
NN: I kinda feel like the two biggest things I dislike about it are slowly changing. Artists having the control and the attitude about woman’s writing/producing ability.