NADIA REID – auf Reisen

Foto-© Alex Lovell-Smith

Nach Listen to Formations, Look for the Signs und Preservation wurde Anfang März Nadia Reids drittes Album Out of My Province veröffentlicht. Grund genug für ein Skype-Gespräch zwischen Berlin und Neuseeland, um mehr über das Album zu erfahren, das Nadia, wie sie erzählt, inspiriert von Erlebnissen und Erfahrungen, die sie auf Reisen gesammelt hat, kreiert hat.

You’ve recorded the album in the states with Spacebomb – with strangers, who you grew close with in the process? Do you think the record would’ve turned out very different had you stayed in familiar places?
Yeah, I think there are elements on the record that were brought out by being challenged and having a fresh perspective on the songs. To me, making another record in the same way wasn’t really an option. I wanted to work with new people, I wanted to have different instrumentation and I wanted to get out of New Zealand for a bit. It worked out really well. I had my guitar player with me, who has been working with me since 2013. He kind of acted almost as a bit of a translator – I’m not actually musically literate and he really is. I was certainly challenged.

But it was your intention to be challenged and change the scene…
Yeah, definitely. I always get confused when people make records with the same people over and over and over again. I think in some way you do end up just making the same record again.

And with you taking inspiration from your travels, does it make all the more sense to also record the record in unfamiliar places?
Yes for sure, totally. Because you get different perspectives, people hear different things, they have different ideas. The record is a great mixed stick. I wrote most of the songs on the road.

How have you managed to create new music, in addition to the touring and being here and there and everywhere?
Well I think it often happens in the quiet moments. In the morning in the hotel room or during soundcheck. In the moments where there’s time. There’s a lot of sitting on the van too and I try to do a lot of journal writing, while I’m touring. Well I try to write in my journal most of the time really.. A lot of songs come from that process and then also at the end of my last big tour in Europe I went to Italy for a week or two and tried to write. It was a really cool experience.

That sounds really beautiful, to soak it all in and then going somewhere quiet to pour your experiences out and capture them on paper…
Yeah. And to get away from people and just really tuning inwards and having space for myself.

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What do you usually do to tune into creation mode?
Walking is helpful and being in nature, I find that seeing other people play music is good, watching live music, reading. Sometimes it just feels really hard to access or really difficult to get into the feeling. It’s kind of bizarre.

Oh that’s interesting. The other day I read an interview, I think it was Kevin Parker, who said that he didn’t listen to any other music while working on his last album, because he is finding himself too distracted when he does…
It’s interesting, I can relate to that during the process of making a record. But outside of that I sort of forget and find it really rewarding and inspiring. Sometimes and then sometimes it’s the last thing I feel like doing. But yes I can relate to tuning right in and focussing on being in the studio.

Out of My Province is your third album – who are you now compared to when album number one was released?
I’ve put a record out every two to three years since 2015 and I feel like that’s a good time frame. I think the difference is that I feel like a proper artist now. Back in 2014 when I made that record I didn’t really know what I was doing or what would happen and I didn’t have much support after the record was finished. It just felt like this natural urge to make an album. Whereas now it feels a bit more… like it’s for a reason? And I think there’s positives and negatives with it, there’s pressure, there’s expectation to please people or for people to feel entertained or for an album to do a certain thing. Back then there was none of that. And of course I am grateful that now I get to do this as a job all the time. Back then that wasn’t the case, but things felt simpler.

What is driving you to create music and lyrics and sharing them?
I get the sense of feeling useful and feeling a purpose. I’m feeling connected to people when I do this, when I perform or make records. It is a strange drive, because doing something else could be so much simpler. But I would never feel the sense of connection to the world.

I guess in the end there isn’t anything that’s more connecting than music, it’s such a universal…gift really.
Yeah, and that’s why I keep going. People get connected through it on an emotional level and it has helped them in some way. Or it’s been the soundtrack to something in their life, I value that so much.

Can you share a specifically memorable experience that happened in the lead up to the new album?
Well I was sort of…I guess my life did change quite a lot. You know I went from having my second record come out and had some relatively good reviews in the UK, which meant that I was playing to more people and more people became aware of my music. So I went from sort of half-way doing music and just seeing how it was gonna go to being a full-time artist. In New Zealand I felt a big shift too, I became a lot more well known. It’s hard to explain, but when the international press happened, people became more interested in my music here too. During that time I was becoming more comfortable with that and just growing and becoming more self assured and thought right, now I’m gonna do this.

When you envision the future, say 20 years from now, do you see yourself as a musician still? Back in New Zealand or rooted in the states?
I would like to live in England or in Europe somewhere. And I’d love to be touring still for sure yes. I look at Lucinda Williams, she is still touring too I think she’s 70 or something. I’d like to be doing this as long as possible and keeping on making records. I want to see the world and live in another place – I’m sure I’ll always come back to New Zealand at some point, but I wand to get other perspectives on things.

Then on the other hand is it good to think about the future too much? What’s more helpful, working on staying present or carving visions for the future?
I have a habit of being in the past or being in the future a lot, so being present is a pretty good idea I think.

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Best Thing was the first single you’ve released off the album. Why this one?
I don’t know if it was the best single choice, but I made the video for it and I feel most connected to the song. It just made sense in my mind to have it as the first single. It’s been interesting to work with this American label, where they have opinions and they don’t necessarily match mine. I had to at some point just be like, right I’m just going to trust your judgement. So I just felt like it was the best representation of the new record. And the video we made, we shot it in Dunedin, where I live. It’s really scenic and I shot it with a team flying over from Auckland and a really talented director, Charlotte Evans. She’s very thoughtful and precise and had a clear vision.

It’s such a beautiful video.
Thank you! It’s always funny this process of making a video. I don’t get super excited about it, I don’t love being in front of the camera. But the music video, I feel like it’s more for the future than for now. You look back in 10 years or so and it’s a place in time that’s been documented. As a music consumer too it’s helpful for people, to understand the songs.

The album title is quoting your favorite author Janet Frame, what made you name the album Out of my province?
She was a wonderful writer, from Dunedin actually. I was watching some interviews with her and I wrote down this phrase. She was asked by the interviewer: ‚how does it feel like to be referred to as the greatest New Zealand writer?‘ And she responded: ‚that comment, it doesn’t reach me, it’s out of my province.‘ I wrote it down in my notebook a few years ago, I was just so taken by this phrase. She’s such an expressive writer and at times intense but so poetic. When I was writing these songs, the title just fit and I knew it was what I would call the album. It fit with the fact that I was traveling a lot, that I made the record overseas and that there’s a sense of growth.

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Sophia Kahlenberg

Sophia, 29. Fotografin. Dann kam das Schreiben. Verspürt starkes Herzklopfen beim Wort ‚Australien‘. Aber Berlin ist auch ok.

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