Nadia Nair is a multitalented, self producing artist from Gothenburg. Earlier this year she released her first full album “Beautiful Poetry”, with critics calling her poetic, mature and psychedelic – all at the same time. Radar had a conversation with the inspiring artist about music and freedom.
Meeting Nadia feels like meeting a friend you haven’t seen in a while. She is genuine, interested and curious. Perhaps that curiosity is key for all good artists – to be able to catch the small things around oneself and form impressions to stories for others to hear.
Tell us a little about yourself!
– That’s a question that could open up a lot of uncomfortable answers, hehe… but no I’m Nadia, Nair. I’m from Gothenburg on the westcoast of Sweden. I sing a lot and I release my own music whenever it feels right. Put simply, I am an artist, and a very free one. You can find me throwing it down in the kitchen when I have nothing better to do.
How does your writing process work? I have read that poetry is important to you?
– Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Most of the time I write when I have something to say that I can’t word out right from my mouth. I think that’s why writing is so therapeutical and such a powerful tool. You don’t need to know where it ends, you just start and let your pen and thoughts lead the way.
– Most of the time I’ll write without music. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and have to write my thoughts down. It might transform to something in the shower and then maybe it’ll continue to grow by the piano. That’s also a place where I like to let my words pour out for the first time, while I play.
Nadia has never been a part of any record label but rather releases her music on her own. She says that she likes getting help with the technical parts, but that she wants to be a part of the whole creative process herself and to be able do just as she likes, whenever she feels like it.
I have seen that you have made some music together with the guys from Milano Sun?
– Yes, I’ve collaborated with two out of four guys from Milano Sun. It felt natural – we were friends and could share coming from the same small town while living in a bigger one. They’re the warmest guys, such talented visionaries. I liked that our process was so fearless.
It’s a universal language and it is as necessary as air.
Have you done any other fun collaborations?
– I haven’t done that many collaborations yet, but I’d love to do it more. Clocks In The Dust is the only track on Beautiful Poetry where I worked with another writer (a really talented friend of mine, Sebastian). It’s fun when you find someone who you get along with really well lyrically – we’re both very visual as producers.
– I’m warming up for Sarah Assbring (ed. note: more commonly known as El Pero Del Mar), and we really connect both in terms of sound as well as personal chemistry. It is fun to play in connection to someone that you feel some sort of bond to.
Which is more important to you – music or lyrics?
– Music and lyrics are like mother and child for me. Both are equally important, and one gives birth to the other. Some could argue that I’m a lyrics freak or a poet nerd, and that I care more about getting the message across than having the perfect mix. But music is such a complex term. I like to play around with the forms it can take, and to challenge the inside-the-box-way of thinking about how to build up a song.
– I like to center my work around my performance in the studio and the delivery of my lyrics. But that doesn’t mean I care less about the music.
What do you want people to feel when they listen to your songs?
– Freedom! I want them to be able to leave my gigs or tracklist with an open mind. A lot of people ask me the meaning of some of my songs, but that is for them to figure out on their own. I don’t want to tell people exactly what to feel, but I want them to feel something, or maybe long to feel something. Some of my songs change meaning even to myself over time, and they can get another depth.
How has your mother’s background affected you in your music making?
– My mother was an excellent dancer and actor. She was doing classical Indian arts in Malaysia, and she has always inspired me by being so expressive. She always finds a way to get her ideas out there! She is a painter as well, and our home was always full of her paintings because we couldn’t afford to buy fine art. They were uncensored and full of life.
– She really pushed me to dare to be creative and show off my talent. There were times when I could be shy about performing, but she would tell me to be myself and get up there. That has helped me overcome a lot of fears and enabled me to grow as an artist.
Which of your lines of lyrics is the first to pop up in your head when you get this question?
– Poor boy, you came in… To my temple.
Why that one do you think?
– Haha, I don’t know… Maybe because it’s new!
What does music mean to you?
– It means everything. If it didn’t exist, I don’t know who I’d be or even who we as humans would be. It’s a universal language and it is as necessary as air.
What scares you?
– The dark. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been scared of the dark. I don’t know why… Something must have happened. I like to be very much aware and in control of my surroundings, and I have great reflexes.
What motivates you?
What motivates me? Hardships, failures and passion. When life gives me lemons… I make milkshake haha. I’m the same in the kitchen, give me just a couple of ingredients to work with and I will make you a proper dinner! Hearing that I can’t do something makes me want to do it even more. It’s my fuel… We all have a purpose, we’re only here for a short time and it’s only right to focus on our own. We have the right to be creative with what we have. It feels more important than ever in these hard times to focus on self-growth, so that we can dare to be a light that can inspire others.
What will you be up to the coming months?
– Turning the page and traveling a lot to work on my new music, and later work with releasing it!
Listen to all of Nadia’s beautiful songs here.