NINA is a German Synthpop / Synthwave singer-songwriter based in London, UK. Born and raised in Berlin, she began singing at the age of six and she moved on to classical training during her teens. NINA cites Depeche Mode as one of her early musical influences and currently counts Kavinsky as one of her fans. Known as the “Queen of Synthwave”, NINA’s debut album ‘Sleepwalking’ was released on March 16th 2018 selling out within a week on vinyl and CD. She’s toured internationally supporting legendary artists including ERASURE, Monarchy, DE/VISION and Mesh. NINA is a regular on Synthwave’s top YouTube channel “New Retrowave” and her song “We Are The Wild Ones” was featured on SyFy’s US TV Series “Being Human” exposing her to millions of viewers.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born and raised in Berlin, Germany. I’m now based in London, UK since 2004.
What was it about Synthwave music that attracted you in that direction?
It’s the nostalgic feeling that comes with it. I grew up in the 80s’, so retro synth sounds bring sweet memories. I also love the visual aesthetics of that era.
Explain to our readers about your live performance and what key instruments you use onstage:
I play a Roland Gaia on stage and my drummer Lau uses an SPD-SX electronic drum pad and sings backing vocals. I like to take the audience on a journey, so all the tracks in the set are pretty dynamic.
Describe your recording process:
I usually come up with a story I want to tell, even just a title at times. Sometimes inspired from a dream, past experiences or simply a narrative. I work closely with my drummer Lau and with different producers around the world, and we usually start with a simple instrumental loop and we write some top lines and lyric ideas. If we feel it’s strong, we continue. We then start to work on the arrangement in more detail. We add harmonies and ad-libs and work on the different sections, transitions, production embellishments and we fix the mix in more detail. We usually go back and forth until the track is ready. We’ve recently have been working closely with a Swedish Synthwave producer called Oscillian, so I sometimes fly to Sweden to record vocals and finalise details on our songs.
Where did you film your music video ’Sleepwalking’ and what can you remember about the experience? We filmed ‘Sleepwalking’ in London and Oscillian flew over from Sweden to direct and shoot the video. We filmed it in two days and it was hard work, but a lot of fun. I loved doing a bit of acting and running around Richmond Park at dusk (although it was bloody freezing and very hard to look awake at 4am!).
Are you excited about your upcoming tour?
Indeed! I’ve wanted to come back to tour the US for a very long time. Especially teaming up with PARALLELS is very exciting. They’re awesome. SEE NINA LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO, CLICK FLYER BELOW…
How about a special message to your fans:
Thank you for all the constant support through the years! I hope to see you at one of my shows soon.
Hopefully a European tour in 2019 and maybe even a show in South America, fingers crossed. And I’m currently working on my second album that I hope to release next year.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Break boundaries; don’t be afraid to be who you want to be.