1883 Magazine
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We head to London’s South Bank to meet The London based singer songwriter, producer and classical pianist NYNA who after releasing her empowering debut single ‘Faces’ last June has been hard at work finishing off her debut EP out later this year.

We have a chat about owning her own studio, plans for 2018 and her latest track ‘Silence’ out now.

How’s your start to the new year been?

It’s been a good start, I’ve had a few pieces of really cool news. I woke up on the 1st of January and found out that my single ‘Faces’ had been added to a best of January playlist. A couple of days later I found out that I’m going to be featured on Amazing Radio and Unsigned Guide as a Spotlight Artist of the month. 

BBC Introducing have been so supportive of the new single, and I have some amazing gigs lined up including Sofar sounds on the 21st January. So, it’s really been a great start.

 How long have you been performing regularly?

A couple of years, last year I started gigging intensely. I did like over 200 gigs. During the summer I used to do like 2 gigs a day sometimes.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

My new single ‘Silence’ has just been released. The song to follow is called ‘Animals’ which is one of my favourites from this project. Then we will release the whole EP. As my music is a bit different, I’m trying to test out the waters and see how things go first.

One thing’s for sure, I’m going to do an acoustic version of the EP as well which will feature my classical piano elements and my baby sister who’s a classical guitarist. We often play together, so I thought why not record an acoustic version as well. 

Where did the inspiration for ‘Faces’ and ‘Silence’ come from?

I released Faces in June because of the way I was feeling. ‘Faces’ is meant to be quite empowering. I wrote it with the intention of sharing how I felt in that moment of time. It’s an introduction to NYNA as well. All my songs are quite deep, they mean a lot to me, ‘Silence’ being another empowering song. All the songs are about relationships but not necessarily a love relationship. It can be one to do with your friends or a person you only met for a day or even your relationship with yourself. 

‘Silence’ is about breaking free from your boundaries and empowering yourself. The whole song is saying “my minds at peace and I’m not allowing any negativity to get to me”. That’s why the production is the way it is too, there’s this big release in the chorus.

How involved are you with the production of your songs?

I worked really closely with a few friend on the production in this project. I like to be guided as well as guide the production. It was a very collaborative work on this one. I was a part of it even down to singing in the drum pattern sometimes (ha ha!). I prefer working with people that I get on with, I do produce on my own but something different and special comes out whenever you collaborate. 

What came first for you, piano, singing, song writing or producing?

I started playing classical piano when I was 6. I went and did competitions until I was about 14. In my teens I started writing my own classical music. Generally, in classical music you tend to stick to the music that is written for you, so you can’t go much beyond that. That frustrated me a little bit, I was improvising a lot in certain pieces and you’re not meant to do that. I realised that I started playing more pop music as I was writing, then when I was in college I started putting lyrics to it. That’s how the journey started.

When did you decide to open your own studio?

It’s been open for nearly two years now, it was at a point where I started taking things really seriously. I just needed a place where I could be there 24/7 and not have the neighbours knock on my door all the time. I felt frustrated if there was a day where I couldn’t write or sing off the top of my lungs. It just got a bit much so I teamed up with a business partner. He was on board because he’s in music as well so we just decided to go for it. We did our research and came up with the funding. I’ve also learnt everything that’s to do with building a music studio! Touch wood it’s going really well and we’re looking into expanding and opening a new studio in a different part of London. 

The main motivation was that I needed a space where I could completely dedicate everything to music. You have to invest in your own skills and your own time, you have to invest in your art.

Does being around creative people in your studio inspire your own music?

Yeah absolutely. When my friends come round and have a session I’ll ask them about what they’re working on and it’ll end up with us writing a song! It’s really inspiring to see creatives do what they’re passionate about. I love being a part of it and I love being able to provide a space. Musicians struggle and not everyone can afford certain prices. I’m just really happy that I can help out in anyway. Our clients range from big labels to unsigned acts who sometimes say “you know I can only afford this” and if people are serious and passionate then I’m more than happy to help.

Which other artists inspire the style of music you’re making?

I listen to a lot of Sia and I’m a big fan of Lana Del Ray. I listen to a lot of film music too, I love cinematic film music, especially from Hans Zimmer. Currently I’m listening to an artist called Milck and she’s really cool, Bon Iver and James Blake, a mixture of pop and left field music.

What are you looking forward to in 2018?

I want to see how things plan out musically and I’m excited to see how my debut EP is received. I would love to do some big shows and currently we’re arranging that. In terms of goals I’m just going to continue to work on my music and business career as hard as I can. Just stay focused. I believe that if you work hard and love what you do everything else will sort itself out naturally.

Check out NYNA’s new single ‘Silence’ out now.
For more info head to www.facebook.com/ITSJUSTNYNA

Interview Sam Stone
@babbikat

Photography Anne Laymond
www.laymond.com

Grooming Charlotte Yeomans
www.charlotteyeomans.com

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