Music Editor, Alex Gibbs talks to Summer Ball 2013 artist Nina Nesbitt. ALEX: So first off, what attracted you to get involved in music industry?
NINA: Music is something I’ve always liked doing for as long as I can remember. Since the age of 10, I used to sing pop songs and started writing my own material and eventually picked up the piano. From the age of 15, I started learning guitar which is when things started to properly develop.
ALEX: Who would you have defined as your music icons when growing up?
NINA: I’ve never had a personal idol, but I grew up on music from the likes of Eva Cassidy and Joni Mitchell. I’ve been influenced by female singer-songwriters, including Ellie Goulding and Taylor Swift prior to their popular status.
ALEX: Describe your home town Edinburgh’s music scene.
NINA: Pretty diabolical! With little available, you have to create your own musical route. Glasgow has a fantastic scene, whilst Edinburgh has a few hidden gems like ‘Electric Circus’, which is a charming venue which is where I started performing. I hope Edinburgh will develop musically, but for now the internet is a wonderful place to start.
ALEX: For the students who may be unfamiliar with your music and live performances, what can a Swansea student expect from you tonight?
NINA: An acoustic mix with a dash of electric. Predominantly upbeat, as after everyone’s had a few drinks I think they wouldn’t want to listen to a piano ballad.
ALEX: Any particular gigs in which you’ve played that you’ve loved?
NINA: My last headline show in Edinburgh’s ‘Liquid Room’ was a personal favourite. It’s a venue that I’ve grown up with, and I managed to sell it out, which was amazing.
ALEX: Do you prefer to write and work on songs in the studio, or perform live?
NINA: Honestly, I couldn’t choose one! When I’m on tour I want to be in the studio and vice versa. I think I get the best of both worlds.
ALEX: Your lyrics are quirky, unique and skilfully written unlike the stereotypical mainstream material. How do you come up with such impressively creative songs?
NINA: Aww thank you! Honestly I’m not sure! My material has the same ideas found in mainstream music, but just written differently. Before I picked up the piano at 10, I was already into song-writing, rhyming and metaphors. I love all that, which makes me a bit of a geek!
ALEX: What are the most brilliant and excruciating elements of creating a music video?
NINA: Music videos are so cool. Videos can take your song to a whole new level. I love to try out new experiences and experiment with ideas, for instance in my latest single ‘Way In The World’, I had the opportunity to travel to Worthing, which I’ve never been to. Whilst experimenting with new concepts is definitely electrifying, it does take a long time to create. People see a three minute clip thinking it only takes a couple of hours, but really the video shoot took 22 hours the other day, which is pretty intense.
ALEX: You’ve worked with the likes of Example, got discovered by Ed Sheeran and will be supporting acts like Jake Bugg soon. How do you approach new collaborations and is there anyone you’d like to team up with in the future?
NINA: I would love to collaborate with someone who comes from another music genre, as collaborations shouldn’t be with two versions of the same material. Achieving something different from what you usually do. I’m not sure who to collaborate with, but someone respected and who writes their own material. I haven’t found that person yet, but hopefully someday. Maybe today!
ALEX: What is your guilty pleasure song?
NINA: Psy’s “Gangnam Style” (laughs)
ALEX: You recently posted on Facebook a photo of a personalised Coca Cola bottle with “The Nesbians” on it. Do you often get kooky, personalised gifts?
NINA: Tortoises! I have a tonne in my London apartment, that fans send me.
ALEX: What would be the musical peak of your career? Any event you aspire to perform at?
NINA: Shepherds Bush Empire or Edinburgh’s ‘Picturehouse’. The Brit Awards would be incredible to perform at, I’m not bothered about receiving an award, I just want to perform!
ALEX: As a rising star yourself, is there any artists you think we should keep an eye on over 2013?
NINA: On every tour, there’s a competition I hold for artists to support me on tour. There was this girl who won a year and a half ago named Brooke Flynn Rose. Brooke’s only just turned 15 yet her voice is like a Jessie J style of voice, she’s only uploaded her material onto YouTube, but I think she’ll go far.