Telling Stories and Nodding Heads: Nina Nesbitt Plays Union Stage This Week

Nina Nesbitt is a rapidly-rising pop star from Scotland. Known for intoxicating melodies and technicolor beats, Nesbitt has made a name for herself in the international pop community, recognized by Billboard, Paste Magazine, Pitchfork, Marie Claire and Teen Vogue, among others, for her exciting styles. From her bio:

“In a music industry that often doesn’t give you second chances, or time to settle into the artist you want to be, Nina Nesbitt’s found a way to not only make it work, but make it work for her. Rather than rush into making an album for the sake of it, she waited for the inspiration to strike and let it slowly take shape organically. “With an album I feel like it’s parallel to my life in a way – I was just trying to find out what I liked and what I was good at,” she says succinctly. What she’s good at is being an artist, but one that’s fully in control, i.e. the very best kind.”

That’s a sentiment we can all get behind. We caught up with Nesbitt before her upcoming Union Stage appearance, this Friday, March 1st. Read the interview below, and scoop your tix now while they’re still available.

Interview by Kayley Nagle


Union Stage: Congrats on your new album The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change. What is your writing process like? Do you have writing sessions, or are you writing more on the spot?

Nina Nesbitt: I usually start with a lyric as that’s what comes naturally to me. I do a mixture of writing sessions and writing at home. I love both because it keeps it fun and interesting! I love writing for other artists when I’m co writing and I mostly like writing alone for myself.

US: What is your favorite lyric off of your new album? Why?

NN: Probably the title track chorus lyric which is…

“…my life’s uncertain and sometimes it strange, but one thing I’ve learnt is it won’t stay the same, even in the darkness I’ll be okay, the Sun Will Come Up the seasons will change.”

I think it has a really comforting message to it and I wanted it to be something people could take into their own life.

US: I loved your new music video for “Is It Really Me You’re Missing.” What was the creative process like? How did the song inspire the unique visuals?

NN: I am half Swedish so I wanted to go back to my roots and film the video in Scandinavia. I love animals and I really wanted to try horse riding so it felt like the perfect excuse ha! I wanted to capture the feeling of isolation and loneliness when you realise someone doesn’t love you. Videos and visuals are a big part of the creative process for me so I enjoyed working with the director on them all.

US: How is your music inspired by your Scottish roots? What was the music scene like growing up in Livingston?

NN: I kinda grew up with American and Swedish pop due to my Swedish mum. So I’d say I’m mostly influenced by that. I do think there was always buskers around the city centre in Edinburgh and I liked watching them. I’ve always been a storyteller so I think some of that might have been influenced by the folk music around the city.

US: I read that you are supportive of strong female artists. Who is one that you’d love to collaborate with? What kind of sound would you create?

NN: I love so many artists I couldn’t really pick one but I really enjoyed doing a Spotify collaboration with two girls named Sasha Sloan and Charlotte Lawrence last year. It was really cool because we’re all quite similar artists and it was like the girlband we always dreamed of ha! I’m obsessed with 90s girlbands, I’d love to do something like that one day as a one off project maybe.

US: It’s a few minutes till showtime . . . what are your pre-show rituals? Any traditions or must-have snacks?

NN: My band and I play ‘massive pop remixes’ playlist really loudly in the dressing room to hype us up! Must have snacks in the US – chips and salsa. They’re just not the same back home.

US: Welcome back to DC! What are you most excited to explore while you’re here? Any new or favorite spots in the city?

NN: I’ve been a few times but my favourite thing about D.C. is that it has a Nandos! A taste of home. It’s a huge food restaurant chain back home and I miss it so much while I’m away.

US: What can we look forward to from you in 2019?

NN: I’ll be doing lots of touring and releasing some collabs and new music! Can’t wait.