Last week, I had a wonderful chat with Nina Nesbitt as we talked about what she did before her career kicked off, her writing process, her rediscovery of Mini Milk and so much more, which can be read below.
Hello! Please introduce yourself.
I’m Nina Nesbitt. I’m from Edinburgh and I’m a 17 year old singer-songwriter.
Can you please walk us through the process from the early stages of a demo to its completed stage?
I’ll usually write a song first, on either guitar or piano so I know that it works acoustic. When I perform live, I don’t have a band around me. I’ll put together a live take of it and then a demo with some production ideas that I have. Then I’ll go into the studio with Jake Gosling and sometimes Chris Leonard as well, and they will work on the production part of it. We test out a few things and I usually have a strong vision in my head of what I want it to sound like. It kind of comes about in the studio.
Do you write most of your music or do you work with other writers?
I write the majority of them. For the album, so far, it’s about just 95% me. I prefer to write on my own, but I do like writing with different writers as well. It’s good to get experience because they’ve been writing much longer than you probably. It’s good to work with other people to see how they write. So maybe there will be like 2 or 3 co-writes on the album, but most of it is just me.
Do you prefer the process of writing, recording or performing?
I like them all equally to be honest. Yeah – they are all quite different. I don’t really have a favourite.
Is there someone you would like to write with that you have not already done so?
Me and Example are going to write soon actually. Elliot – I was on tour with him so I think that would be really cool. Hopefully over summer we will get some time to write.
With all this recent success, has it already sunk in yet?
To be honest I’ve been working away for years – singing and writing. It’s only since last May that I’ve started gigging. I guess that part has happened very quickly – to the public it happened quickly. For me, I have been writing songs since I was about ten and I’ve been playing the guitar for 2-3 years. It’s gone very fast in terms of the fan base and the live aspect of it. I guess it has sunk in. I don’t really get overwhelmed by anything. I’m a pretty chill person.
That’s amazing that you have been writing since you were ten. Did your parents have some sort of influence with that?
I got a little keyboard when I was about ten. I used to write short stories at the age of about six or seven. Just really bad stories. I just enjoyed writing – I always loved doing that. As I grew older, I got a little keyboard and started plunking away on that, learning bits. I put stories to songs and that’s how that came about. Over the years I developed that and picked up the guitar 3 years ago. That is when my song writing really took shape.
Just recently, someone tweeted that you were very disrespectful to your fans. I find that very hard to believe. You have also mentioned that you are a very chill person. How do you deal with these kinds of situations?
To be honest, I don’t get a lot of hate. That one was a bit odd because I don’t think he can say that. I tweet my fans back all the time and I take the time to meet them when I am on tour. It’s a bit weird when they say that. I ignored it because I think that it is attention-seeking. I do get some stuff like that. I don’t really take it to heart. I just find it quite funny and laugh at it. It really doesn’t affect me because they don’t know me as a person and they can’t really make that judgment. Obviously, if it was one of my friends then I would be a bit hurt. If it’s people that I don’t know, I guess it’s their own insecurities. If it’s my music I’m fine with that, but if it’s a direct hate at me as a person, I find that a bit weird.
There has been a bit of talk about you and Mini Milk. First of all, what is it because I have no idea? And what is it all about?
It’s ice cream. It’s just a really crap ice cream. Basically, it’s a small cylinder thing and you get them in vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. I love the chocolate ones. I used to eat them when I was little. It’s what people eat when they are little. I came across them a few weeks ago in the shops and I revisited my childhood. I have them all the time now.
Did you pick this up while you were on tour? Do you bring them with you now?
I eat loads on tour to be honest. I don’t buy a lot of clothes or materialistic things. I buy a lot of food. I probably wouldn’t take mini milks on tour because they would melt unfortunately.
You said you don’t buy a lot of clothes, but I must say you have a great and unique style. Fashion-wise, are you influenced by anyone in particular?
People don’t usually ask me this to be honest. I think once every two months I would go out properly shopping and visit a few vintage shops or urban outfitters. I splash out every so often. Maybe it will be just somebody that I see walking down the street, I’ll like what they’re wearing and I’ll think, ‘oh, I’d like to get something like that’. I don’t really have a person that influences me to dress the way I dress. It’s just little things that I see. Especially traveling about different countries quite a bit you see a lot of styles.
To finish it off, what is one random thing about you that not many of your fans know?
I was actually going to go to the Commonwealth Games for rhythmic gymnastics a few years ago. I was a gymnast for Scotland and I was at the gym like 24/7. Then, I gave that up when I went to high school. Not a lot of people know that.
That’s a pretty interesting tidbit about you! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview.
Thank you very much!