Today’s Featured Artist – INTERVIEW – Nia C.C.

Tell us about:

Your latest single you have released:

I’ve always wanted to be the chosen one. You know the person in the movies and the books that gets to go on this great adventure, save the world and fight the monsters?

Well that’s exactly what my new single “Monsters” is about. With a hint of pop, rock and a tad of R&B, “Monsters” is a single I wrote for every lover of music and adventure.

Your first single and how you felt when it was released:

I’ll never forget writing “Forget” when I was 13 years old, which was also the first song I ever recorded. After playing it a few times downstairs, my mom ran down and yelled “did you write that song?!” And when I told her yes, she asked me to play it again. After playing it and a beat of silence she said “who are you writing songs about and missing so intensely? You’re 13!” and I laughed and told her, “No one, but I read about it in a book.” After some discussion, meeting with some producers, and making a deal with my parents that I would get straight As in school, I was able to get into the studio and record it and it was such a wonderful experience for me.

By the time it came out, I was so excited to release it because people hadn’t really heard my music before then, so I couldn’t wait for people to hear it and invite them into my musical journey. “Forget” was also the first song I recorded a music video for, so that was just an amazing experience for me and it really began to introduce me to the music industry. It really solidified the realness of my dream for me, and made me determined to continue working hard at making my dream a reality.

Your favourite song that you have created that is an album track:

Last year I released my first E.P. “All Things Nia C. C.” and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was super fun to record, release, and see everyone’s reactions to it. Off of that album, I might have to say my favorite song is “Meant To Be” not only because I love the song, but because of how it came about. It was a song that I wrote in middle school that I decided to revisit when I randomly found the lyrics for it laying around at home one day. I decided that I would use that song to practice my production skills, so it really started out as just a fun practice project, but after working on it for a while and listening to it I was like…Wow! I actually love this song. It’s fun to listen to it, it’s fun to play, and it’s not even that complex. It also one of those songs where I wrote it, recorded it, produced it, and mixed it, so it was all done by me which is super cool and something I’m really proud of. 

Your favourite song to play live:

I have so many favorite songs to play, and it’s always depending on the audience. I love playing my songs “Tides” and “Standards” live. Both songs have only ever been played live and neither have been recorded yet, but they both get the audience involved and I loved doing echo and response. It makes me feel like I’m singing with friends as opposed to performing for strangers, which makes the gig feel more fun. 

Your most emotional track:

Because writing is like a diary for me, and I tend to be rather dramatic, I have a lot of emotional tracks. I mean I wrote a whole song about the anguish I felt after I drove to Chipotle one time and they were closed, so I can be very emotional in my songs. That said, the most emotional track I have out right now is probably “Lost” which is my E. P. “All Things Nia C. C.” I wrote it during a time where I felt very lost and unsure of everything around me, and of course there was this guy I was really close to that I had developed feelings for, and we just never seemed to be on the same page which was hard for me. That was one of those songs where I remember crying as I wrote it and even as I recorded because there was just so much authenticity and emotion in it. And while the situation surrounding the song was really difficult for me, in retrospect, I think it helped me grow in a lot of ways. It made me more resilient. And of course I got a great song out of it. 

The best lyric you have ever written:

This question is always changing because I’m biased towards the newest songs I’ve written. That said, right now I would have to say the lyrics to my song “Covetous”, which has yet to be officially released, but you can find my live performance of it on my social media pages or my YouTube channel. The whole song is about greed in the world and how we’ve built this culture where in order to lift ourselves up, we have to put others down which shouldn’t be the case.

There’s a line in particular where I say “They don’t tell you in the movies that we watched when we were young/That the Heros in your life are just the villains you become” and that was a really cool concept to play with that I continue to expand on in the song. Maybe not every hero is as good as we think they are? I mean we know that the winners are the ones who get to dictate the narrative of the story, so I think it could be fair to say that their stories would be subjective towards them. I think there’s good and bad in everyone and a lot of life is contending in that gray and choosing to be good. That all said, I just loved writing that song in general and I love the story it explores.

Describe the feeling you get when you walk on stage to do a show:

I always get nervous before I perform. ALWAYS. It’s crazy because leading up to a live performance I’m usually pumped and going over my music and just excited to be performing, and it’s not until right before I sing when my heart drops and then races, and it really starts to settle in that I’m about to sing live, and that’s a scary thing to do. I usually just take a deep breath, say a prayer, and push through the nerves. By the time I’m halfway through a song I’m usually deep into the music that I can forget about how scary it is to sing in front of an audience, and start to feel as if I’m just sharing a story with some friends, which is technically what I’m doing. All of my friends and family will tell you how much I love to talk and tell stories, and that’s really what I’m doing when I’m singing and performing, so that’s a comfortable space and mindset for me to be in when I’m performing and the initial fear has passed.  

The hardest track to play live:

I think the hardest track I have out to play live is probably my new single “Monsters” because it’s a song where I just want to get hype and yell and scream and jump around to the music instead of singing it. That said, there’s also this really high belt in the song I sing which is always nerve-wracking to do and leading up to it. I remember doing it in the studio and by the end of recording I was physically sweating because I had just never belted that high before, and it was truly a work out for both my vocal muscles and my body. So it can be very draining to even perform that song, but wow is it worth it. 

Essential items you always take on tour with you?

I’ve never been on an official tour, I’ve done a few shows in a row, but never an official tour so I’m really excited to do that. That said, I would definitely be bringing books or using my phone to read because I LOVE reading and it’s one of those things that puts me in the right headspace that I do before I go to sleep. I need to be able to escape into a new world sometimes, so definitely books, whether they be iBooks or physical copies. I’m also definitely bringing my workout shoes to go running or dancing even because I find that working out can really help destress me, even if I loathe doing it sometimes (or most of the time), it’s always worth it in the end. And of course, I can’t forget all of my allergy medications because I don’t want to be sneezing and coughing the whole tour, or having allergic reactions. That wouldn’t be fun at all. 

Describe your fans in three words:

Dedicated. Authentic. Dreamers.

A song by another artist or band you wish you had written:

One song that I always listen to and wish that I wrote is “Here” by Alessia Cara. I remember listening to that song for the first time and just relating to it on a whole different level. Every lyric is so carefully curated but also so authentic, and of course the beat of the song is just casually cool. Like it’s one of those songs that feels like it doesn’t even have to try too hard to be amazing, which is why it did so well. I also just love Alessia Cara and feel like I have a similar style of writing when it comes to her music, so “Here” is a just a song I will forever wish I wrote, but I’m so happy that that song is hers.

What we can look forward to from your band this year:

I have a lot of goals for 2021 that I’m really excited about. I’m moving to Los Angeles soon so that will be a really fun transition, and I’m excited to dive into the music industry there. I’m also planning on releasing a lot of new music whether it be recorded singles, or just acoustic videos. I always say that writing is like a diary for me and I have so many songs that I’ve written that people haven’t even heard yet so I’m excited to catch people up to speed. I’m also really excited to begin performing live again, that’s something I really missed over the pandemic. I’m excited to be back on the stage with my guitar and in front of a live audience and rocking together. Lastly, like most artists and songwriters I’m just excited to keep writing and singing music in general and building a following and making more connections with people, doing what I love. That’s really what it’s all about.

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