DT caught up with local singer-songwriter NICOLAH about her music career and her latest single Waiting On You.
When did you first get into music?
I got into music at home – a small town in Cumbria called Barrow-in-Furness. My dad did some home recording, my mum played piano, and I played in community bands, at church and school. When I was 18 I moved down to London to study, developed an interest in arrangement, and a deeper connection and command of melody and lyrics. Once I started busking on the London Underground in 2015, I realised could make enough to survive so I quit my other jobs and now I’m an independent artist. I just released my first music video for new single Waiting on You.
How long have you been in Tottenham?
I’ve been in Tottenham for four years. Come on you Spurs!
What do you most enjoy about performing and making music?
Music can make a grey day inspiring. I love the way music makes me feel. How it never fails to fill the void and how it enables me to communicate.
How do you get into the mindset before a gig?
I’m still working on an official ritual, but generally I imagine that you’re all naked… I used to swim competitively and the mindset I have before I play is similar to the focus I’d have before a race. I’ll make sure I’m warmed up, I have my set list and I’ve thought about what I’m going to say. Though this process has been learnt the hard way: past gigs of tumble weeding mid-set ’cause I haven’t planned what to say and start attempting stand-up comedy. (I actually went on Thaniya Moore’s excellent stand up course at Bernie Grant Arts Centre to try and nail my mid-set chat)
What can fans expect from a performance?
Expect a singer-songwriter: upbeat, down beat, slightly awkward, slightly funny. I’ve designed my performance to be bold, melodic and emotional. I aim to keep you interested.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest track Waiting On You?
I thought Waiting on You was a love song about a realisation of love. Later (as is often the case) the true meaning became apparent: I realised I was wasn’t waiting for another person to enter my life and make everything better, I was waiting for myself, to see myself, to love myself. When someone loves you it enables you to see yourself through their eyes. I tried to communicate this in the video.
Tell us about your songwriting process – how do you come up with ideas for a new track?
Most often I get this feeling that I want to write. It’s like a creative urge to pick up my guitar and write! This often happens when I get back from a holiday and I haven’t played much or I get bored playing covers when I’m busking and I just start jamming something out. From there ideas build and I’m looking out for this kind of buzzy feeling I get when something feels right. The last few years I’ve developed a kind of ‘ad lib’ style of writing where I allow and encourage myself to make different vocal sounds and this leads me along more interesting lyrical paths.
What have you got coming up in 2019?
I’ve got three more singles coming out this year, so I’m excited to share them and their concepts. I’ve just been asked to play Kendal Calling and I’m looking at planning a small tour up north. Where I’m from feels a million miles away from Tottenham. I love getting airplay on Radio Cumbria and to go back and play will be great.