As far as epic Swedish pop goes, Nadia Nair is right up there. Still very fresh and yet causing a storm across the blogs, her big sound and gutsy lyrics are showing off a new Scandinavian sound that mixes pure, raw emotion with tribalistic beats. I’m personally a huge fan, so I sent over a few questions to Ms Nair and got back some pretty interesting answers…
How would you describe your sound to people who have yet to hear it?
It’s raw, darkly eccentric and emotional. Maybe even a bit nostalgic?
When did you begin performing music?
My first musical relationship was with the violin. So my first musical performance was when I was 5, with my violin.
What inspires you to write your songs?
Anything. I try keeping it very honest. From the torments of my fragile side to the courageous will of my strong side.
Your first single, ‘Bon Voyage’, took the blog world by storm. Did you expect the response to be so positive?
Thank you, I’m very flattered to hear that.
I don’t expect anything, but it made me very happy! When we finished the song I finally understood it and started understanding where I wanted to go with this, so I sort of took a deep breath and have been holding it ever since. People will never listen to my music or look at me the way I do. All I can do is hope that I can touch them anyway.
Why do you think ‘Bon Voyage’ became such a popular track?
I’d like to think it’s the genre bending that allows people to listen with a different ear. Also maybe the honest lyrics, raw track and the extreme emotion put into it. To me, being able to experiment with styles that way is the definition of freedom. Freedom is the ultimate feeling that I feel we all crave in our lives and this track is just a big fat outcome of my freedom.
Is it easier to create a happy song a or sad song?
Sad songs. When I write my songs, I have to go deep. And the deeper I go, the closer I get to my dark thoughts or what you could call my sadness. That emotion is what grabs me, so I grab it back and create. For me, the happy songs are on the surface.
Which musicians have inspired your (very unique!) sound, if any?
When I create music I don’t listen to much music because I’m so easily influenced and it can drive me crazy. But when I look back at what I grew up listening to, obviously many have inspired my sound. I love Queen. They had an innovative way of constantly re-inventing rock and Freddy Mercury’s voice gives me shivers.
When I was a little kid I’d watch Sinead O’Connor‘s Nothing Compares To You music video and cry. I don’t know if I even understood what the song was about back then. But she managed to get the message across and open up a box deep down inside of me at a very early age and all of my emotions just ran wild…
Who are your favourite current acts, and why do you like them so much?
I really like First Aid Kit. Their lyrics and music are as hauntingly beautiful as they are and their voices carry every word into my heart. I grew up listening to a lot of Indian folk music so I have a lot of fascination and respect for folk music in general. First Aid Kit manage to take something old and nostalgic and make something new out of it. I like that. I hope to get their attention so we can combine forces and write a little something someday!
Why do you think Sweden has such a good reputation for exporting music?
A lot of good music comes from Sweden. I guess it’s because of the weather…? It’s so dark and cold most time of the year so what better to do than lock yourself inside and write melancholic music?
What do you have planned for the future?
I have an EP I’m looking forward to sharing, some gigs planned and some I’m dreaming of doing…
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