Brownswood Bubblers Ten // Nia Andrews
August 5, 2013
Read a little bit about Nia Andrews and her music to get a sense of what she’s all about before the next edition of Brownswood Bubblers drops on August 19th.
And then pre-order it from these outlets:
Check the teaser for the album below:
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself please. Who are you, where are you from etc.?
My name is Nia Andrews. I am a writing, singing, tree hugging, bike riding, former piano playing, newly guitar learning, 7th daughter of 11 girls, from Inglewood, California.
How would you describe your music?
I speak a lot about our masks for pain, about loss and gain…oh my god i am ALWAYS rhyming by accident, it is really crazy. Sonically the music is very beautiful, albeit subtle, yet there is so much there under the surfaces. I like addressing the shadows. There is a lot of duality in my music, a lot of double entendre. I named my current EP, “Colours” for the many sounds on the record, but also to represent the very wide gamut of human experience and emotion that we sometimes don’t feel safe to look at or to acknowledge is there. So when you’re first listening, it may be “aw how pretty, how sweet”. But as you allow yourself to listen deeper, you may begin to grow a little uncomfortable, which is my favorite part of the journey: unearthing those shadows, riding those undercurrents. Now as for genre? Big shrug. Labels are so limiting.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Life experiences. When writing I am usually moved by sounds first. Will start singing gibberish. That gibberish becomes words. Those words become stories, and those stories take shape as revealing cornerstones that show me where I am. It’s like turning over a rock and seeing all the life underneath it. So many times I’ll listen to a song thinking I wrote something abstract, but later realize how personal it actually is.
I appreciate the attitude of 90s hip hop, having devoured a lot of Jay Dee, Ali Shaheed, Premier, Pete Rock…they were my favorites. Smif n Wessun, Black Moon, Wu…love that sound in hip hop and am inspired by the nostalgia of that time.
I’m also hugely inspired by other songwriters, namely Joni Mitchell and Prince (the latter who also loves the former). They rarely wrote a single thing, commonly. I loooove to listen to a clever phrase! I am so inspired by the poetry of it. It encourages me to stretch my capacity for how I language a thing. I like to expand the lyrical palate while still saying things that are digestible.
Whom do you count amongst your most significant influences when it comes to production?
Charles Stepney’s gorgeous arrangements. The orchestral journey and storytelling of movie scores. Jon Brion. For starters at least. That’s on the one hand. On the other, I came up listening to a lot of jazz. You can hear the influence in the music, in the rule-breaking of the songs’ structures, and sometimes in my voice.
What releases / gigs are out there or coming soon?
Yes! My four-song ep, “Colours” is available now on Bandcamp! Written and produced by myself alongside the very talented Deron Johnson and Andrea Remanda. Also on bandcamp is a remix of the title track by the band, Hiatus Kaiyote, which was such an honor, they are just ridiculously talented and flipped the sound completely, literally turning it inside out. As for gigs, I have spot dates that crop up here and there so if you sign up for the newsletter on my website, you can stay up to date. Currently on the agenda is CHURCH: a seasonal live music event between LA and New York with spot dates around the globe of which I am resident, spearheaded by the alien talent, Mark de Clive-Lowe. I’ve never seen anyone do exactly what he does in the way that he does it. It is truly amazing to see.
Do you have a current DJ mix or any tracks that are available for free download right now that we could point folks to?
The “Colours” remix is avail for free download on Bandcamp, as well as a free download of my song, “The Lovers” there. Speaking of lovers: Mark puts out mixtapes to coincide with CHURCH every few months. I had fun playing selecta for one of them and put together a super dreamy, slow jammy mix back in the fall that is a goody! You can download it here:
Where can folks go online to check out you and your music?
What are you going to do after this interview?
Go outside and play. Gorgeous weather today! Ugh…see? Rhyming again *head in hands*.
Check other Bubblers profiles here: