niña is still very much a secret. with only two original songs and a stunning mazzy star cover out into the world, the largely anonymous project has amassed a considerable amount of attention and streams. fusing shoegaze, left-of-center pop, and lo-fi indie, the sampling of music we have heard from niña thus far is jaw-droppingly beautiful and points toward a songwriter with an exceedingly bright future.
ahead of their show in Zone One at Elsewhere on 5/3 supporting Bathe, niña took the time to answer a few of our questions.
You’ve done some shows in support Cuco. How did that come about? How have those shows gone so far?
I was introduced to a few members of Cuco’s team who truly believed in niña as a project pretty early on. I feel overwhelmingly lucky because this has been super great exposure for us. Cuco’s fans have been super supportive of us as well.
How did you initially start writing songs? What’s your songwriting and recording process look like now?
My partner, Christian Renard, is an incredible producer. We went to highschool together, both admiring each other’s independent work and similar tastes in music (Sade, Slowdive, MF Doom, Cocteau Twins, etc.); Blue Valentine was actually the first project we had ever collaborated on. He sent me an instrumental loop he made, and I was really into it. The lyrics came super naturally and in less than an hour, I sent him the session back with the lyrics to Blue Valentine over it. A week later, we had our first song. Everything we do is mastered on a Tascam four track. Currently, the process is relatively similar: he sends me sessions and demos, and I will write over them, sometimes adding an additional synth part here and there. We pretty much bombard each other with ideas constantly.
“Blue Valentine” has gotten a tremendous amount of traction with seemingly little in the way of press surrounding it or self-promotion on your part. What do you attribute that to? Do you intend to self-release any upcoming music?
Neither of us had any idea as to what kind of success Blue Valentine would have; on June 9th, we released Blue Valentine on both soundcloud and bandcamp (it wasn’t published on Apple Music or Spotify yet). A dear friend of mine has a pretty large following on social media, and she happened to absolutely love our song and include it on her instagram. That is definitely what started the rapid success. Hour by hour, the song was increasing in plays and shares by the hundreds and thousands. It still makes me so happy to continue to see all of the love it gets. I love hearing from fans and seeing the videos they make for the song.
You mention that you’re based in both LA and NYC. How do you split time between the two? Which do you find is more of a creative fertile ground for your musical output?
I, as well as my partner Christian, are born and raised in LA. It has always been a comfortable, extremely creative environment for both of us. I am currently in music school at NYU, my partner at Berklee College of Music in Boston, but we are both planning on taking a gap year to really focus on our career and touring. Personally, I find that I am equally as creative in both LA and NYC. Both places are extremely stimulating in different ways.
What’s coming up for you? Anything you want to let fans know about?
We are scheduled to release a double single (sides A & B) within the month of May. It feels great to be releasing more music. We have dozens of demos in the works. We are also playing our first music festival in July, at Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle. The lineup is amazing and we are both super humbled to be playing amongst so much talent. Keep an eye out for an EP/album later this year as well.
Interview by Shane Stroup
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