INTERVIEW: Nadia Nair discusses collaborations, style, and her plans for the future

Having released her brilliant new single 'K' earlier this year, Swedish singer-songwriter Nadia Nair has been on the offensive in recent months. With a bundle of high-profile collaborations already under her belt, she has just begun planning her upcoming debut album, so we thought we would sit down with her to discuss her upcoming movements, ambitions and find out more about where her distinctive style comes from.


Hi Nadia, how are you today?

I’m on my way to Italy. I’ll be getting thick on pasta and wine on my birthday... so I couldn’t be better actually!

You have spent a lot of your career so far collaborating with other artists. Do you enjoy the rush of creating something new alongside someone else?

I do enjoy it, for the simple reason that I get to step out of my own artistry for a bit. I don’t always know what I’m doing. I’m not aware, but I just need other ways to vent my creativity without being too consumed with my own ego. And so it’s become that way.

And do you always have an idea of what you would like to contribute, or do you prefer to let inspiration take over once you’ve heard your collaborator’s work?

I don’t see myself as a ”traditional” songwriter so to speak. If I’m a blank page I’ll take a step back rather than force out a tune just for the sake of being productive. I’d rather go ten days without a song than with ten shitty songs created like some sort of slave labour. I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m not a machine. I don’t see myself as part of a hit pumping factory. There is no magic formula, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t make hits. I just want to maintain respect for my art which ultimately is to give it my time, love and patience, and my inspiration. So why should I feed it something when I’m not feeling something? I’d rather take a step back and feel in the room and get to know my collaborator over a cup of coffee or a sweet meal. I wanna know where my collaborator comes from before I can decide where we’re going. I don’t like the “get it over and done with” approach. I wanna get to know you. It means a lot to me if we’re gonna share a room. It’s a sacred space. I’d rather sit at home in my own space if we can’t.

Recently you released your new project ‘K’, can you tell us what inspired you to create that new material?

Getting my inspiration back for myself after a lot of time writing for others. Getting back to my roots, my old rhythms. Silence sometimes gives you something to say, it gives you time to reflect on things and actually live a little. You have time to fail and win and sometimes you wanna freeze these things in time and so you write. ‘K’ was all of that for me, for me it’s very clear what it’s about and what I want to say but people interpret it in different ways, as always with my music I guess, and that’s ok.

And would you say that your sound has evolved from your original work, or are you trying to build on what you have been making since the start of your career?

I’m always building. Never stop building. You have a foundation and you work with a structure that continues to grow with you. You might think you break but you don’t, you just change. I think many people are scared of listening to their old stuff because it’s “old” and they’re obsessed with feeling like they weren’t “finished” and want to achieve immediate greatness as artists or musicians. I was one of them. But we’re never finished. I’m never finished. It’s all part of the journey, I have to accept that, and that making music along the way is like documenting that journey, so why erase anything for not being perfect enough? We are ever evolving and I wouldn’t sound the way I do now if it weren’t for my old record. It was part of a healing process, I didn’t have high budgets doing it under my own label, which also meant I had to balance many roles. It was challenging, naturally it would reflect in my music at the time, and there are probably some things I would have done different now, but I’m proud of it. It came from me.

Now that ‘K’ has been released, what are your plans for the rest of the year?

I will most probably do sweet gigs (that I will be very bad at promoting). I’m in the zone of finishing new songs and then I’m kicking back the end of the year on an island.

And finally, do you think you’ll be back in the studio soon or is it too early to say right now?

I’m in the studio.


'K' is available to download now and you can check it out in the player below.