Nina Nesbitt is a singer-songwriter from Scotland who burst onto the music scene as a teenager with her single 'Stay Out', which hit number 21 in the UK Singles Chart in April 2014.
Nina Continues to grow as an artist with her new album, 'The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change & The Flowers Will Fall', hitting half a billion streams, and has recently released the deluxe edition of the album alongside a short documentary.
We had the chance to have a chat with Nina about her success, her recent writing trip, collaborating with other artists and what else she has in store for 2020.
Your album ‘The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons will change’ hit 500,000,000 streams last year. How did it feel when you got that news?
"I was totally shocked because before I put any of the new music out I set a goal to reach 3,000,000 streams which is what I had on the last album, so it truly exceeded any expectations. I am really proud of the album so I'm glad it's got out there to so many ears."
What is your favourite song from that album and why?
"I think there are a lot of different tracks so I'm not sure there's a definite favourite but probably 'The Best You Had' as that's the one that hit 80m streams (wtf) and brought so many cool things into my life. It ended up on Taylor Swift's favourite songs playlist which I was really excited about because she's the reason I picked up a guitar and wanted to be a songwriter."
You previously described the album as “an open diary of someone in their early twenties”. Is it important to you to write music that other people will relate to?
"Yeah definitely. I think a lot of my fanbase is growing up with me, which I love and I feel a responsibility to document things for them to listen to. Whether it be to help them through something or just share an experience I've had. There's no better feeling than hearing them all sing the words back."
Where or who do you derive your musical inspiration from?
"Lately, I just switch the front part of my brain off and freestyle ideas down a microphone in a sort of 'stream of consciousness' to get out exactly what I'm feeling and when something feels good I'll piece it together to make a song. It all comes from deep down in the depths of myself, somewhere haha. Sometimes when my life is boring I'll write about friends or movies."
Before this album, you spent time as a songwriter for other people. How do you know when a song is perfect for you rather than another artist?
"I actually don’t know how to explain it but you just know? I think when you love something so much and you couldn’t imagine anyone else singing it, you have to keep it. I’m not writing for other people at the moment because I found it hard to do both at the same time on the last album, it’s two completely different ways of writing for me. I want every song on this next record to be full of personality and something that no one else could sing because that’s what I feel will make them unique."
You’ve been in the limelight from quite a young age, what have you learnt over the years that you wish you had known when you first started your musical journey?
"I think something I wish I had known is that nobody actually knows what they’re doing. Music is subjective. Just because someone you respect or work with doesn’t love something, it doesn’t mean other people won’t. I think i’d just tell myself to believe in my gut and intuition a lot more. Also you’re gonna make mistakes but that’s how you learn so it’s fine. Patience is also very important in this industry. I believe that everyone gets their ‘time’ if they stick at it long enough and are doing the thing they’re supposed to be doing."
You released a short documentary alongside the deluxe version of the album, why did you decide to put something like this out?
"A team in LA approached me about doing it and I thought it’d be a nice thing to give to fans online. I think my career has been quite erratic and in lots of different waves so I wanted to piece it altogether and have the story out there for people to discover. I think now more than ever people can see behind the mystery and facade that people create for themselves and I like to show people the true journey, whether it’s ups or downs."
Over the last year you’ve also collaborated with teamwork. on ‘Afterhours’, John Newman on ‘Without You’, Gabrielle Aplin on ‘Miss You 2’. Do you enjoy working with other artists who are maybe of a different style to yours to create something new?
"Yes, I love collaborating. People consume music so fast now and I think it’s important to stick around, even if you need time to create something of quality for your next release. Collabs, for me, are the perfect way to do that. I can disappear and get into the studio but not completely disappear and keep people listening."
Thinking ahead to your next album - do you think you will keep a similar sound or are you constantly evolving your sound?
"You will have to wait and see… I’m very excited about what I have so far and think it’s my best work, which is my aim, to keep improving."
What are your plans for the rest of 2020? Can we expect a tour or any new music anytime soon?
"Hopefully new music this year. I’m just working hard everyday to create the best music I possibly can and also thinking about the visuals, videos etc right now."
Read our extended feature with Nina in Issue One of The Lowdown.
Grab your copy HERE.