AFTER a busy and productive 2015…
Nina Schofield is looking ahead and planning her moves for 2016. One of the hardest working and most distinct artists in music: I was excited to learn what was in store and what advice she would give to up-and-coming artists. This year is going to see a lot of young solo artists emerge: Each will have their own aims and ideas. To my mind, Schofield is among the most arresting and distinct voices out there. Inspired by a wide array of artists and genres- from Coldplay to Lana Del Rey- few others elicit quite the same range of emotions and reactions. Make sure you keep your eyes on this Surrey-based artist…
Hi Nina. I hope you are well. How has your week been?
I am thank you! It’s been good; I’m excited because my album is being mastered at the end of this week. After a year of work on it I can’t wait to hear it!
It seems like 2016 is going to be a busy one for you. What is the typical ‘day in the life’ for Nina Schofield?
I’d say there isn’t really a typical day because every day is different! Recently I’ve been spending most of the day either in the studio recording final vocals or in a different studio working on the preliminary stages of a project; which is a bit of a secret for the moment! In the evenings, I’ll be gigging- if it’s a weekend- and if it’s not then I’m probably watching Netflix and baking gluten-free goodies.
The past few weeks has seen some music legends depart. As a fellow musician, how has it affected you?
It’s been a really sad start to 2016. David Bowie, in particular, was a big inspiration for me. His song Life on Mars has always been one of my favourites and I’m not even sure how many songs it helped inspire me to write. Life is short; all the clichés are there for a reason. But you can look back at someone like Bowie and see how much he gave to music (and is still giving to music), and you can take inspiration from that too.
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Looking back at 2015: Which moments stand as personal highlights?
Going to Rotterdam and supporting Romeo (the Dutch boyband behind the song Coming Home) on their sold-out comeback show was incredible! I got to meet another great artist, Alex Alexander and stay in a stunning place. I felt very lucky. Then moving forward to the latter part of the year, I was extremely fortunate to go on tour and support brilliant artists like Nell Bryden and Blair Dunlop- and work alongside incredibly talented musicians such as Leland Sklar.
Modern music is defined by long days and hard work- to make ends meet. How do you keep the passion alive in that situation?
I’ve got to be honest: Sometimes it’s really hard! I don’t know any working musician who hasn’t had those days where they just think ‘what am I doing?!’ I am lucky to be surrounded by an incredibly supportive network of friends and family- a lot of whom work in the music industry themselves so they understand what I’m going through. A quick phone call or text from one of them can turn a bad day around. You know, there are really bad days and then there are really good days and there’s no balance. It’s remembering those really good days (or moments) that keep fueling the fire.
I hear you have just finished putting down vocals for your forthcoming album. Can you tell us something about it?
I can! It has 11 tracks; its title is related to the front cover of each single I’ll be releasing up until it comes out (not giving the game away just yet). I think it’s the most creative thing I’ve ever done!
In terms of your new material: What subjects/themes have defined its creation?
It’s all about relationships but not just with other people: It explores the relationship I have with myself as well. I hope that will be something others can relate to. The whole album goes on a journey through 2 different relationships from start to finish… Well actually I suppose 3 if I’m also counting the one with myself! It’s not all doom and gloom either: There are happy moments, sad moments and everything in between; there’s even a song about me needing more money on there!
I know you rank Coldplay as influences. Which other artists- from days past or today- inspire your music-making?
So many! That’s what’s great about music: You can keep discovering artists both old and new. I love Phil Collins, Say Lou Lou: Jet’s first album was one of my favourites growing up, as was Keane’s. Right now I love Marina and the Diamonds and Tove Lo.
If you could pick your proudest musical achievement- a particular song or gig- what would it be?
I think that keep changes, but I’m really proud of a song on my new album called HIH which began as a piano/vocal; then a basic production by me and now has been brought to life by producer Jo Pereira. I think it's the most unique song I’ve ever done and it’s been great to watch it develop.
You are based near London. Do you think there are more opportunities for musicians in the cities as opposed to anywhere else?
Yes, certainly in terms of the live music scene. But if you have a computer and social media pages, then these days you can also reach a whole new audience just by going online. You could technically stay at home for 10 years and have a successful career! But where would the fun be in that? There’s so much to be said for the live stage experience and how it moulds your craft. On top of that, the more people you meet and the more places you go, the more likely you are to be inspired.
There will be some young artists inspired to follow in your footsteps. What advice would you give them?
Keep developing, keep moving forward. Don’t get stuck in one place, which is really easy to do, and keep yourself open to others opinions whilst not letting them define you.
If you could turn back time and offer your younger self some advice, what would it be?
Probably the advice I just gave above – I’d tell myself not to be afraid of taking risks creatively. That’s a stage I’ve got to now but I think I had to go through some stuff before I could get here.
Last year you were picked up by Mystic Sons (a London-based P.R. company). How did they make you feel?
Great! It’s nice when someone else sees your vision and wants to be a part of it. I felt like part of the team and I had creative control which is always really important to me.
Apart from yourself: Which other artists would you recommend people check out?
Here are my current recommendations: Tove Lo, Frances (Grow), Above and Beyond; Nico and Vinz and Marina and the Diamonds! Check out all their most recent albums.
Finally- and for being a good egg- you can name any song you like; I’ll play it here…
Tove Lo – Moments.
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