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Time With: Nina Chiodin

Nina Chiodin releases new single, ‘More’. A track with a blend of Neo Soul melodies, Jazz-inspired chords, Hip Hop / R&B drum patterns and vocal lines alongside real and honest lyrics.Find out more about the fifth single by the Berlin-based, Italian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

Tell us a bit about your story: who are you and what has your journey looked like so far? Hi, I’m Nina Chiodin, I am a 21-year-old singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. I grew up in a small town in Italy in a family who is very passionate about music, which inspired me to be curious about different genres and play multiple instruments from a young age.

I started singing in 2015, and that’s when I realised that singing, writing songs, recording, and performing was the right path for me. That is why, in 2019 I moved to Berlin to pursue a career as a recording and performing artist and started my studies in pop vocals.

If you can describe your sound and vibe? Even though the genre of my music varies slightly each song, depending on the mood, ‘MORE’, as well as all the material that I am currently working on are a mix of Neo Soul and Hip Hop, with Jazz and RnB elements. A friend of mine described my sound as Frank Ocean vibes with Arlo Parks softness, which I perceived as a huge compliment.

Who inspires you musically and creatively? I would probably say my biggest inspirations are Erykah Badu, Little Simz, Cleo Sol and Frank Ocean. Erykah Badu’s arrangements are often so complex and expressive in their simplicity that they blow my mind.

I’ve come across Little Simz’s music when she released her album “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert” last year and I have absolutely fallen in love with her vibe, flow, and arrangements. She also talks about intersectional feminism a lot in her music which I find is so relevant in nowadays society in general and also to me personally as a queer woman.

Cleo Sol is a big inspiration in my music because of her vocal arrangements and Frank Ocean has been an important figure for me when finding my personal sound, since the way he mixes genres so perfectly has inspired me to let my creativity flow and find my genre in whatever naturally comes out.

What was the creative process behind this project/single? “MORE” was born out of a place of worry and confusion about someone I cared about deeply. Shortly said, the song is about a woman I used to date who had a drug problem.

She had to deal with a very traumatic past and yet she was always happy, always wanting to experience something bigger. I tried to make sense out of her loving life to a point where she was willing to risk throwing it away by balancing on a thread of adrenaline and euphoria. She was always looking for more than I could give her, more than life could give her, and I think she found that in drugs. One day I was worried out of my mind because she had disappeared to a rave for days again and I just sat down on my piano, writing the chord progression of “MORE” and singing on top of it. I recorded it into my DAW the same day and started working on the arrangement. As soon as I was done with the main piano part, the melody and lyrics and a rough sketch of the full arrangement I showed it to my producer, and he immediately saw potential in it. So, I reached out to my bass player, my guitarist and my pianist and we started working on the final arrangement.

The drum beat and the steady vocals in the verses are contrasted by softer piano fills and harmonies, mirroring the contrast of anger, sadness, and love in the lyrics.

What’s the best advice you’ve received during your journey? Singer-songwriter Fink once gave me a valuable piece of advice. I used to mask really personal lyrics behind happy sounding and busy arrangements because I was scared of being vulnerable and really sharing what I felt in my music. Fink told me that if I want to be an artist, if I want my music to touch my audience, I need to give into whatever feeling I want to express and mirror it in my music. If I don’t, how is anyone going to be able to relate to it?

What’s your favourite song you’ve worked on so far? Three projects come to my mind straightaway, and I don’t think I can pick one favourite. ‘MORE’ is one of them, the other two are my next release “Cherries and Pearls” and a collaboration I am currently working on. I am learning so much from these projects and it’s bringing me an insane amount of joy to work on songs I am so passionate about with the amazing musicians, producers and artists I am connected with.

How do you nurture your creativity? I believe that creativity flows in each and every one of us, it just turns bleak when not nurtured. To keep myself in a creative mindset I try to do something for my body, for my mind and for my soul every day. I also always bring a notebook and a pencil with me since this city and the people living here fill me with inspiration and new ideas can spark whenever, wherever.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during the development of this project/single? I think the biggest challenge was my own perfectionism being in the way of efficiency. I have been working on this song for almost a year before releasing it because I always found something I could add, redo or perfect.

What do you hope this project/single will reveal to your listeners? Besides from telling a story, this song also shows how drugs can consume you and your relationships with the people surrounding you from the viewpoint of a person seeing someone they love going under.

If there’s one thing you can change in the industry, what would that be? There are a few things I wish I could change but I think the thing that is bothering me the most is that music is shifting from art to a business product. Obviously, art often has to feed the artist so money is and has always been involved to a certain extent, but I think it’s scary how songs are now written to feed the algorithm and generate the most income. Notice how a lot of popular songs start with the hook and are not longer than 2.30 minutes. Are there any upcoming shows or projects we can look forward to? Of course! A music video for ´MORE´ is on the way, which I am very excited about. It’s a queer video located in Berlin and shot and directed by an all-female crew. Also, my next singles “Cherries and Pearls”, and “Quarter Past Three” will be released in April and May.

Is there any advice you want to give to new artists? Especially if you are at a point where you haven’t found your sound, your identity as an artist yet, say yes to every musical experience you can have, to every project you can partake in. You will draw experience and inspiration from everyone you work with and everything you work on, and eventually you will naturally end up doing exactly what feels right to you. Connect with Nina Chiodin


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