Nya, a singer-songwriter with a soulful vibe and humble spirit has never cared to “fit in” to any one particular mold, and the artist’s genre-bending music reflects an inspiring boundlessness. Hailing from Tampa, Florida, Nya nurtured her artistic pursuits at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts and quickly discovered music to be the most powerful channel for her self-expression. Her attendance of NYU, and her love and embrace of New York City, have further influenced her empathetic, relevant, and often rebellious lyricism. Throughout her journey, Nya has remained rooted in her personal values of living one’s truth and spreading kindness & love. Nya’s sound is mercurial and is a timeless blend of classic soul and alternative R&B.
Now, her new single “Mania” is here with a new video, directed by Andrew Morris. NYA grapples with a mania that’s pushing her to the brink. The video opens looking out from the resonant chamber of a guitar, the strings forming the bars of a prison. Swinging guitars hang from the ceiling. Attempting to free herself, NYA smashes the guitars on the floor.
We got to do a quick Q&A with NYA:
- What’s the inspiration behind the record for you personally?
Mania both the song and the EP as a whole were inspired by the the chaos of growing from a teenager into an adult. I was writing during a time when I was figuring out who I was, how to love that person, and how to healthily deal with my depression. The song Mania is all about self criticism, perfectionism, and how we often become our own worst enemy.
- How do you get over fears to get after it & create fearlessly!? Especially about a topic like this particularly; so vulnerable.
The way I get over fear is by forcing myself to do the things I’m scared off. Frankly, I am scared all of the time. What gets me through is remembering my goals and dreams. I always tell myself to lean into the pointy corners, because while growth is painful it is worth it. I believe having the courage to bare your soul is what makes someone a true artist. I want to create work that can help other people the same way music has helped me.
- What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
One thing most people would find unexpected about me is that I am a complete nerd. I have always loved to read and learn. When I was in high school I had all the hallmarks of a stereotypical nerd. I was definitely an ugly ducking, I had asthma, I wore glasses, and I was just very quirky. Most kids aren’t into Sinatra, high fashion, current events, and old films. Unfortunately I got bullied a lot for being different. Now I am so grateful for those experiences and my quirkiness. So for anyone who’s a little weird there is light at the end of the tunnel.
- How has being a woman in the industry affected your career – if it has at all?
I truly wish I could say being a woman in the industry has not affected my career, at least not negatively, but that would be untrue. The harsh reality is that within the industry a sexist undercurrent still exists. There are some really nasty people who prey on young women. You have to be so careful to surround yourself with good people. However that being said, I have met many wonderful and uplifting men and women in the music industry as well. The right team of people will help a female artist realize how special it is to be both a women and a creator.
- What is your one piece of advice for someone just getting started in the music industry?
If I were to give someone getting started in music one piece of advice it would be to really know who you are both musically and intrinsically. An artist will meet a lot of people who will want to turn them into their creation and possession. One of the strongest assets a person and an artist can be armed with is a strong sense of self. That means taking the time to develop as a person and musician.
- What’s next for you in 2018?
I am so excited for everything to come in 2018. I am currently working on the next EP, and the accompanying visuals and videos. I also may have some very cool performances upcoming as well. It is a busy time in the best kind of way!
NYA’s Girl Gang Picks
The Internet (Syd)