(CMW 2016 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #107: NINA

By on Monday, 25th April 2016 at 1:00 pm

I’ll be leaving for my first Canadian Music Week (CMW) in just a few days, so leading up to the event, we’ll be previewing some of the acts I’m keen on seeing while I’m in Toronto. We’ll be asking some of these artists to answer a special list of Quickfire Questions tailored specifically to CMW 2016. German born but now London-based singer/songwriter NINA specialises in synthpop, so it’s not surprising that she cites Depeche Mode as one of her earliest musical influences. Somehow I think this woman and I will be fast friends!

Given her love of all things from the ’80s, I was quite surprised to hear which album she would take with her to heaven, as well as the two artists she narrowed her choices down to for her favourite writer of all time. And thanks to NINA, I’ve got four more artists to check out in Toronto, so thank you NINA for your kind assistance! If you’re heading out to CMW 2016, you can catch her at the Cave (upstairs from the legendary Lee’s Palace) on Friday the 6th of May at 9 PM, as well as at Studio Bar Saturday the 7th of May at 1 AM.

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky…)
Dreamy. Melancholic. ’80s.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word ‘Canada’?
Idyllic national parks.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Toronto? Have you been before?
I’ve never been to Canada before, but it’s always been a dream of mine. I’m very excited to discover Toronto and explore the local music scene.

Of the bands who have already been announced (https://cmw.net/music/artists/), do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
Love X Stereo – I’m kinda in love with this girl’s voice.
Jesper Munk – What a voice! This German boy’s got soul.
Glass Apple Bonzai – Awesome synthpop band. Nostalgia!
Big Black Delta – Of course! I worked with him in the past, and he always delivers an amazing show.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase for your time at CMW that we might find weird or unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
Everywhere I go, I take my rather big Dr. Nelson’s ceramic inhaler with me. It’s a weird shape so people don’t usually know what it’s for. It helps my vocal chords to relax and hydrate with steam. Let’s see what the guys at the airport say!

You are receiving funding from PRS for Music Foundation to make the trip over to the pond to showcase at CMW. Tell us about how you got involved with PRS Foundation and what their funding means to your trip / your career.
I played at ‘Live At Heart’ in Sweden last year and someone in the music industry mentioned I should go to CMW and so my record label Aztec Records applied for PRS funding and luckily we were accepted. I’m so grateful to PRS for making this trip happen. Their support is vital for independent artists and labels like us, to get heard abroad and to reach wider audiences.

After CMW, what’s up next for you? Writing and recording? TGE / summer festivals / etc.? Do tell!
My new EP ‘Beyond Memory’ will be out on the 27th of May worldwide. The rest of the year I’m focusing on touring and finishing my debut album. I’ll be playing some shows in the UK, France and Italy and I’m also supporting DE/VISION again in Germany in October, which I’m super excited about.

Now, let’s switch gears to our usual list of Quickfire Questions:

What song is your earliest musical memory?
Talk Talk – ‘Such A Shame’. Still one of my favourite songs. They were huge in Germany in the ’80s.

What was your favourite song as a child?
Michael Jackson – ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’. I must have been about 4 or 5, and I always listened to this song on our long car journeys with my mum. I knew all the lyrics.

What song makes you laugh?
Alanis Morissette – ‘Ironic’. It’s such a classic, and the lyrics are so true.

What song makes you cry?
Phosphorescent – ‘Song For Zula’. It’s really beautifully written. So sad, it moves you. You can tell Matthew is a real poet. The melody was made in heaven. The first time I heard it, I had to Shazam it instantly.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
Maria McKee – ‘Show Me Heaven’. I remember being on a skiing trip in Austria with my dad when I had a crush on someone for the first time. I was sad when I had to leave and then the song was playing on the radio as my dad drove off. I never told anyone, I tried to keep my emotions to myself.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
I love Pink Floyd – ‘Comfortably Numb’. It’s pretty dark and a perfect song for when you’re feeling angry or frustrated.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
‘Purple Rain’ by Prince. It’s genius and out of this world.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Can I pick two? David Bowie. I think he was a very special artist (visually and sonically) and wrote the most beautiful lyrics and melodies. And Bob Dylan, I recently read his book ‘Chronicles’ and fell in love all over again with his writing. I was already a fan of his music, but his book was something else.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
A photographer. I love how you can freeze a memory in just one click. Taking photographs is really therapeutic for me. Or maybe a perfumer. I’m very passionate about fragrances and one day I’d love to create my own.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
‘The Doors’ by The Doors. I’m the biggest Doors fan, I grew up listening to their music. Jim Morrison always inspired me, especially as he was quite shy and reserved like myself. His performances were magic, unpredictable and captivating.

Many thanks to NINA for her answers and Laura for her kind assistance!

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