Hello Nadedja, how are you?
I’m really good thanks! Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog. I’m feeling hopeful for the return of live music soon fingers crossed!
Congratulations on the release of “Sand”, how does it feel?
Thank you! it feels so uplifting and exciting to see this track being released, after I held onto it for so long. This song is very close to my heart, as it really represents me. Once you release something, it feels like it’s not yours anymore and can be anything to anybody. I’m really looking forward to seeing how people react and interpret it. Seeing it be released into the world makes me feel like a proud mum in a way!
How did it come about?
Sand started like most of my songs, with a feeling that I needed to process through writing. I was living a moment in my life where I finally found the balance between who I am and what people expect from me, and I felt like I needed to commit this to record. Musically, right from the beginning, I wanted Sand to be a song that combines different parts of my identity; both the Latin and Western influences. I wrote it at home between the computer and piano, figuring out the melodies, beats and harmonies. I then sent it to my amazing producer HATi, who helped me build it into what you hear today.
You have caught the ear of a lot of people from BBC Introducing, Fresh
On The Net, how did it feel hearing your music on the radio?
It’s absolutely insane, actually! Radio has the power of making things feel super real. Coming from North-East Brazil, I never thought I’d get played on the BBC, especially on Tom Robinson’s Mixtape on BBC Radio 6! What a dream.
You are originally from Brazil, how did it all begin for you?
Music has always been a big part of my life. As a kid, I had piano and guitar lessons, which led me to start writing my own songs when I was 12. In my spare time, I was part of lots of music projects, such as musicals and various cover bands. Alongside this, I went to Uni to study Architecture, leading to me moving to the US on an exchange program as part of my degree. Gradually however, I realised that music was my real passion. That’s why when I moved to the UK in 2017, I made the decision to finally pursue it as a career. I’m so grateful for the support I’ve found here.
What did you listen to growing up?
Even though my parents aren’t very musical, they absolutely loved music, and I grew up listening to their record collections. These were a mix of Brazilian music such as MPB, Bossa Nova, Samba, Axé and many others. Mixed in to these were artists like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and U2. However, one moment I remember vividly is hearing a copy of ‘New York City’ by The Peter Malik Group featuring Norah Jones when I was 11. I stole that CD from my Mum’s collection, and it’s still one of my favourite albums to this day. It was the first time I said to myself that I wanted to make music, just like Norah!
You moved to London in 2019, what’s been the best part of your journey
I actually moved to the UK in 2017, to a town called Darlington in County Durham. Since 2020, I’m based in Newcastle. It’s really hard to say what’s been the best part of this journey. There’s no specific part I can single out, it’s just the overall journey of building a life, family, home and career that I love so much in a brand-new environment. I feel like my life is here in the UK, and I’m a part of this country.
You’ve played Latitude as well as playing A Sofar Sounds session, two
very different situations – what was it like?
Latitude was really special! It came early in my career, and it felt very surreal getting my artist’s pass at the gate. I played on a smaller stage in the woods, but the best thing about a festival that big is even the small stages get a fairly big crowd. It was definitely very special to play that festival and feel the whole atmosphere, as well as enjoying the rest of the acts. My Sofar Sounds session was also really exciting, as I got to support one of my favourite bands (Cattle & Cane) without even knowing about it until I arrived at the venue! Even though these are very different gigs, both felt quite intimate and meaningful. There’s no feeling in the world that can match feeling people’s energy when playing live. It’s something I really miss in these times.
2020 has been a time to reflect, what did you learn most about yourself?
I think ‘Sand’ is the best summation of what I’ve learned in these times, really. I had a lot of time to reflect on what I wanted for my life and my music, helping me to reshape some of my old truths and grow as a person. I’ve learned to live my life for myself and not for others. It’s been a journey of self-acceptance, growth and release.
COVID had a massive impact on the creative industry. What kept you
Writing and creating new music, definitely. I was forced by circumstance to really experiment, craft and develop my skills and writing process. It was really good actually to have no distractions and really focus on the creative process. The product of these times are the releases I’m doing now. It feels so good to finally put these songs out into the world!
You’re from Brazil, what are three things that you miss about it?
Definitely my family and friends, foremost. But the food is a major part of my ‘saudade’ too!! The warm familiarity of being in Brazil is something I also miss sometimes, as there’s always a big part of us that comes from our culture that is irreducible. That’s why I say that my soul will always be Brazilian; It’s just who I am.
What artists are getting you excited at the moment?
Internationally, definitely Maggie Rogers, Rosalia and Empress Of. Nationally, I’m obsessed with Olivia Dean and Arlo Parks at the moment. Locally in the North-East, I absolutely love Jodie Nicholson, Luke Royalty, Bigfatbig and Faye Fantarrow, but I could list hundreds of names!
What’s next for you?
I have one more single to release before my EP later in the year, which I’m so excited for! Aside from releases, I’m buzzing to return to gigging. I have a few dates scheduled for Spring and Summer, so please check my website for updates (nadedja.com).