It’s been a busy year so far for Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt. Her second album The Sun Will Come Up, the Seasons Will Change was released back in February along with a Worldwide headline tour, it’s been a terrific comeback for one of Britain’s most exciting young artists.
The Edge’s Deputy Editor, Theo Smith, caught up with Nesbitt backstage at Camp Bestival after her mid-afternoon slot on the main stage where we discuss her influence on the next generation, performing at Festivals, and her idol Taylor Swift.
Fantastic set, well done, you must be absolutely buzzing, aren’t you?
Yeah it was great! I really enjoyed it, and a really great crowd as well.
I can see youngsters really enjoying it at the front too. Do you enjoy seeing a young crowd getting into your music, taking to heart the themes of your songs?
Yeah definitely. A lot of the songs that I write are quite personal so it’s always nice to see people being really into it and like, ‘I felt that too’, especially young girls. I grew up listening to a lot of female-led music – songs that other girls had written – so to think that I could be that ‘someone’ sounds really cool!
Leading on from that, I heard you were a massive fan of Taylor Swift.
NN: Ahh, Taylor Swift!
So do those themes from her music inspire you?
NN: Yeah, what I loved about Taylor Swift – I think I was 15 when I heard her song ‘Fifteen’ – was the girl with the guitar writing her own songs, and I thought ‘that’s achievable for me’ (I’m from a little village so I don’t have any studios around me). I just loved how organic it seemed, how I really gravitated towards her storytelling, and that was something different for me so that’s definitely noticeable in my writing.
Your first album ‘Peroxide’ could be described as pop-folk, now this second album ‘The Sun Will Come Up, the Seasons Will Change’ is more pop focused and you’ve explained previously how you made it on your own terms as well. Is this direction you want to go now for new music in the future?
I mean I love pop music and I’ve grown up on pop music – I’ve got a Swedish mum so that says it all! However, I do love the more strip-back stuff and I actually spend a lot of time writing for other artists as well, which means I write a lot of different genres so I never really like to stick to one. I love RnB, Folk, Pop, Dance music, so yeah whatever’s a good song!
Returning to festivals, Camp Bestival is one that is really family-oriented so in relation to your setlist at other festivals you’ve played, was it different this time or more of the same?
Yeah, very different. I saw the crowd and was like, ‘I’m definitely gonna do a clean version of the set today’, so you do have to sort of tailor it for different audiences. But I do like playing to family festivals, because if you can get the crowds on board – with people in their 70s to children who are 7 – and getting them relating to your music, it’s really cool.
As The Edge is a student magazine, I find that your lyrics really cater to that 18-21yrs old age bracket. So growing up, did those life memories affect your songwriting?
Yeah, definitely. I think it’s just such a weird time in life (transitioning from teenage life to early adulthood), and you experience so many different things and so many different realisations, and I find that very inspiring to write about.
Finally, as The Edge is based in Southampton, are you considering coming down to perform in the future?
No plans at the moment but definitely next UK tour I will consider it, maybe next year!
Nina, thank you very much for your time!
The Sun Will Come Up, the Seasons Will Change is out now and was released via Cooking Vinyl. You can book tickets for her ongoing tour here!