NINA - 'One of Us' | An Interview
This lady’s neon footprint on the Synthwave scene is undoubted. Known worldwide, Nina grew up in Berlin where she now resides. Some of her earliest influences include Depeche Mode & New Order and she counts Kavinsky as one of her fans no less. Her achievements already as an artist are quite formidable which have earned her the title from her fans ‘Queen of Synthwave’ and well deserved too!
From her early single ‘My Mistake’ which caught the attention of Mercedes Benz for use on their TV & Cinema advertisements to supporting 80’s Superstars Erasure and her tours throughout Europe and the United States she shows no signs of slowing down and her new Album 'Control' which gets worldwide release on the 27th November this year is testament to that.
Forged sat down with NINA to chat about all things Synth, this is a great one, read on!
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview Nina and massive congratulations on the huge success of the Synthian Album, how do you feel this year has gone for you?
Thank you so much! This year has been a rollercoaster. COVID-19 craziness, I lost some family members, I moved to Berlin, I’ve parted ways with my record label, and started to walk down new musical roads. But, I’m inspired! Releasing “Synthian” was a huge high and the positive energy from my fans encouraged me to start album 3 right away.
Tell us about your creative process, how long would it take for you to lay down a track?
My creative process is still a mystery to me. It’s unconscious sometimes, as if the song passes through me. Every track is unique; I feel something and then I start to write.
How do you think your sound has developed from your early releases?
I hope that it sounds more mature, as I always strive to grow. I’ve only made 2 albums, so I’m still just a baby. Ha!
What is the one guilty pleasure you cannot live without?
If there’s a bubble gum flavoured whiskey, I’ll take it ;)
Who had been your musical inspirations growing up? Has it changed much in the intervening years?
It’s definitely changed over the years. I grew up listening to classic 50s/60s Pop and Rock ‘n’ Roll. As a teenager I was very into Depeche Mode, Queen, NENA, David Bowie, Blondie, Kraftwerk, Kim Wilde, and The Doors. Plus, a mix of Electronica / New Wave / Punk / Rock / Blues. In more recent years I’ve started listening to modern artists like Robyn, Chromatics, The Raveonettes and M83. Every artist/genre inspired me in a unique way.
Possibly putting you on the spot here but in your entire discography what would you say is the track you’re most proud of? Why?
I can’t choose a favorite, as they are all my babies. But, “The Distance” is very unique. It’s my most personal song and unlike anything I’ve created before. I’m a cinephile, so composing something like a ‘score’ has always been a dream of mine and my producer/collaborator Oscillian really understood what I needed to get out. We nailed the song with a big burst of energy at his home studio in Sweden.
You were featured prominently in the documentary ‘The Rise of the Synths’ what was that like to film?
It was such a fun experience and the production team was amazing! I am humbled to be among so many great artists in the Synthwave scene. Plus, my favourite film director/composer John Carpenter narrated it, so I felt like a kid again when I watched it.
Can you tell us anything about current and future projects in the pipeline we can look forward to?
NINA vol. 3 is in the works! But, I’m taking my time to perfect it. I’m working with great artists/producers such as Radio Wolf and we’re announcing something very soon.
I also have a new EP coming out called ‘CONTROL’. It’s an old collaboration with LAU, Oscillian and Sunglasses Kid that is finally getting to see the light of day, thanks to Lakeshore Records. We took samples from Cliff Martinez’s “Drive “ score, so I think my Synthians will love it! Out Nov 27th 2020.
Plus, as a fun bonus, Essenger and I covered Kavinsky’s “Nightcall”. Out Nov 24th 2020.
Are there any Artists/Bands on the scene currently that you enjoy and would love to collaborate with?
There are tons! Chromatics, Electric Youth, Gunship, Kavinsky, College, Survive, and so many more!
You’ve done quite a lot of Festivals and Gigs throughout your career, have you any favourites? Cherished memories?
Sold out festivals “Helsinki Synth City” and “Buenos Aires Outrun”, where all of the Synthwave fans seemed to be in one place and everyone could feel the love. “House Of Blues” in Orlando, where I played with Erasure; a band I grew up and loved listening to. I remember watching Andy Bell belt out notes, awe-inspiring…. and “Knitting Factory” in Brooklyn (with Parallels) where my hero “Debbie Harry” graced us with her presence.
Regrettably COVID has seen the Gig landscape crumble for 2020, we’d hope to get back to some normality next year fingers crossed. You’re on to share the stage with Ollie Wride next March and you’re of course doing Hotline Miami in Bristol which is eagerly anticipated, have you any more events lined up?
Every show is now either cancelled or rescheduled. Dates keep changing and nobody knows what’s going to happen. This is such a crazy time, but my hope is that we (artists) will find an innovative way of performing and connecting. My Patreon page has certainly been a blessing during this time. It’s brought me closer to my fans. No matter what, 2021 is going to provide everyone with a new NINA experience.
What’s a day off for Nina like?
Watching Horror Movies, playing with my mum’s dogs and eating junk food.
What do you hope those who listen to your music take away from it?
Whatever they need.
Like most Artists I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of highs and lows, what have been some of the most cherished memories for you?
Touring the world and meeting fans, face to face.
When I held my debut album “Sleepwalking” on vinyl for the first time.
Watching my song “My Mistake” play on National TV (Mercedes Benz TV spot). I remember jumping up and down in my bedroom. “I’m on TV!!!”
With LAU having launched her already fantastic solo career will this change your stage scape for future gigs do you think?
Lau has been a great collaborator over the years, but I’m happy she’s launched her own project. I really wanted that for her. In the spirit of change, I’m developing a new kind of performance to compliment my expanding musical universe. I can’t give too much away, but it will be more conceptual and daring than anything I’ve ever done before.
A message to your fans?
Don’t let The Distance break your hearts x