“I’m not trying to break my heart for art anymore,” Niia announces as she talks about her new album ‘If I Should Die.’ Instead, she made a conscious decision to turn on a new life mode and starts a new happier chapter.
The Los Angeles-based, New York/Italian singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and a woman who does it all, Niia chooses happiness after kicking her habit of being drawn to death and darkness. Following the light, Niia encourages everyone to be kinder to themselves and surrender to the things out of their control.
Niia describes ‘If I Should Die’ as ‘a conversation to myself’ while looking inwards compared to her last project. Packed with low-key R&B pop-jazz elements, the singer surrenders to the universe.
How are you feeling these days? What are you up to?
These days it’s up and down. Im working on an ambient sound album and finishing a script. Only things that serve me now is my motto. I’m also trying to enjoy and be proud of the music and work that’s coming out 🙂
How did you get started as a singer/songwriter?
It just happened naturally when I was a kid. I was really introverted and kept a journal since 4th grade. I started just singing the words.
What does music mean to you?
Music is everything to me. Helps me cope with just about anything. I’m used to get overwhelmed by how many artists there are out there. But now I’m just so grateful.
Who or what helped you to believe in yourself?
How would you compare your past project with ‘If I Should Die’?
I think this one focuses more on looking inward instead of outward. My last album felt like I had my hand around someone’s throat. I was bitter, angry, there was a lot to unpack. This EP feels more like a conversation to myself. The after effects. When your body and mind aren’t connecting anymore. You start looking at yourself, patterns, and choices differently.
How do you feel about ‘If I Should Die’ coming out soon?
It’s bittersweet. I wrote this song for someone special that I can’t talk about yet All I can say is Life and death can teach you so much. Death has been far too present on all our minds and at one point it consumed me. The death of even a relationship has taught me so much about my own existence.
Yeah, it’s bitter sweet. Hard to listen to sometimes.
What does the EP title mean to you?
It’s helped me surrender to the universe. There’s nothing I can control. So I chose light now. I am naturally drawn to darkness and it’s just become too heavy to carry around. I live to sing about heart ache and sorrow but experiencing it over and over cause trauma and fatigue. I’m not trying to break my heart for art anymore. I had a lyric in my first EP “generation blue.” “All of this expensive sadness, I’m a junkie for it too”.
My new EP makes me feel like I’ve finally kicking the habit. I’m not afraid of death, only good decisions, people that serve me now.
What did you want to say with this EP?
That you have to just surrender to things out of your control. Defensive mechanisms, negative thinking, scolding yourself for mistakes really gets you nowhere. Be kinder to yourself. Don’t be afraid of where you are. Stop worrying about the future.
What was the hardest song to write on the EP?
‘If I Should Die’ and ‘Ace Hotel’. ‘If I Should Die’, because death used to be so scary to me and death and codependency seems to have become my MO. ‘Ace Hotel’ because I’ve made that mistake too many times and was ashamed. Writing through it helped me actually get through it I can honestly say.
Would you say it was your past experiences that pushed you to want to do everything yourself?
I think it’s impossible to do everything yourself. You can try, but you need collaborators. You’re only as strong as your team. Sometimes you just have to find your team elsewhere.
Was it hard to start directing your own videos?
Yes and no. It’s hard to be in them and direct. I’m looking forward to directing more for other artists and shift into tv/film for a bit. I prefer to be behind camera 🙂
How do you cope with the pressure of standing out in such a competitive industry?
Oh, I don’t feel pressure. I’m an introvert. I love to live comfortable right under the radar. Yes, of course I’d welcome giant success and all the visibility in the world. But, you have to just stay focused on your art. If the work is good, people will find it and that’s all I need 🙂