Nina Nesbitt – Experienced singer / songwriter; Festival Veteran; Radio 1 Regular; Album; EPs; Headline tours; sell-out shows in America and Asia; more than 20 million video views; over 137,000 Twitter followers … Age … 19.
It is a testament to the talent and ability of Nina Nesbitt that she has achieved so much at such an early age. It is a testament to the person that despite, her rapid rise in the music industry, she has remained a down-to-earth, pleasant and genuine person, in love with music.
When you were first starting out you did a lot of gigging in Manchester. Where did you start out playing?
One of my first gigs was at the Roadhouse to about 50-100 people which was really fun. I played Sound Control a few times. Lots of different ones…. The Deaf Institute, Academy 3.
How did you feel going on for your first gig in Manchester?
The first one was one of my first gigs. It was pretty nerve-wracking, but exciting at the same time. It was just me and my guitar. It was mostly covers. It was probably awful singing (laughs) but I got such a buzz from doing it and wanted to keep going.
Were any of the gigs particularly memorable?
That one sticks out for me. It was the first one outside of Scotland. The last gig in Manchester was the Academy and that was the highlight of the tour. It was really rowdy and a really good show.
Do you prefer festivals or venues?
I enjoy festivals, when the weather is nice. You can get a lot of new fans from the festivals. Everyone has had a few drinks and is up for it and singing along, not afraid to dance about—that’s quite fun. Venues are amazing too. If it’s a headline show then the people are there to see you, which is nice.
How would you describe your music?
Acoustic meets electric guitar, indie pop? I don’t know. There’s not really a set genre. It’s lyric based. I guess acoustic mixed with a bit of electric guitar.
What can we expect from your new album, Peroxide?
Previews are available on I-Tunes. There’s a deluxe edition—you can expect lots of songs— 20 songs! And a mixture of genres and styles—ballads, up-beat ones. A real mixture.
Who or what are your inspirations when you’re writing?
Anything really. I write most about relationships or growing up or anything I experience. I also like to write in a social commentary style which I have done for Stay Out and Selfies, two of my singles. Anything that inspires me, I’ll write about. I like all different types of music as well, so there’s not just one influence, it’s just anything I hear on the radio or walking about that I like.
Is there anyone you would particularly like to work with?
If I could work with anyone right now, I’d like to work with Nile Rodgers, because he is a musical legend and a bit of a hit-maker. It’ll probably never happen, but I’d love to write with him.
Who do you like to go and see live?
I’m playing the Isle of Wight festival this year and Biffy Clyro are playing as well so I’m really, really excited to go and see them. I’ve not seen them before and I’ve wanted to for ages. I like to go to all sorts of different gigs. I went to see City In Colour in London last weekend and I thought it was great.
You have accomplished so much at such an early age. You’ve had sell-out show and tours, awards and been named Vevo Lift Artist. Could you have ever imagined that when you were starting out?
No, not really. I guess coming from a small village outside Edinburgh I never really thought it would take off for me unless I moved to London. I think the internet has given me the platform to do my thing and get it out to so many people. It doesn’t really matter where you come from now, with the internet anyone can do it. It has definitely been helpful. But I’ve always wanted more and been driving for more. I’m quite ambitious like that.
How are you coping with the increased media attention?
I don’t really think about it too much. I just live a pretty normal life which I have for years and try not to think about it.
You’re very involved in the whole process, even down to the T-Shirts. How do you stay so grounded and so involved?
I wouldn’t say I’m a control freak, but I do like to do everything … I’ve always done it on my own since I was independent and they just let me do my thing and support it, which is really good. It’s me singing it so I think it’d be weird if someone else was having a major input. So I just have people around me who support it and then I can come up with it.
What are your aims for this year?
A successful album would be lovely. …. Play lots of gigs … Go to Europe and over to America at some point for a few gigs, get it started off there. Lots of travelling and getting the album out to as many people as possible.
Any words of wisdom for aspiring artists?
Just don’t give up at the first hurdle. The music industry is so fast, and changes so fast that you just have to be true yourself. It doesn’t happen overnight—it’s a very, very long process. I’m still nowhere near where I want to end up and I’ve been doing it since I was about 15 so I think, just keep plodding on.
Following on from her successful EPs, Nina’s debut album, Peroxide (released via Island Records) is out now and is being supported by a whirlwind ten day European tour, which will take in The Ritz in Manchester on 21st March. The album was produced by Jake Gosling and Iain Archer.
Peroxide is the most pre-ordered album in Island Records’ history and has been greeted with enthusiasm by fans.
With a clever social commentary and experimentation between genres (Nina herself describes her own music as acoustic meets electric guitar indie pop) the album is set to delight fans and in its debut week registered at number 1 in the mid-week charts.
Featuring tracks such as Stay Out, Selfies and Mr C as well as the collaboration with Kodaline (Hold You) and an impressive 20 tracks on the deluxe edition, this is a not an album to be missed.
It’s no wonder the half Scottish, half Swedish singer-songwriter Nina has been described as ‘the sound of young Britain’ by the Times.
image credits to Alex Lake