Interview with musician & singer Nxdia by Apolluss
A: So tell us a bit about Nxdia, if you had to describe yourself, what words would you choose?
N: I feel like I have only one, just curious. I have always been a bit of a nerd. I love reading, I love learning, I love anything like that and I feel within music or within anything that's an extension of yourself, I just constantly find myself obsessed with learning new things. Usually about how I write or how I process emotions and then write about them and all this stuff so I think for me, fundamentally I just want to know everything. I just don't have enough time to do it.
A: Curiosity, I like that actually, I feel like as a creative it's an important part of creating art. Experimenting or pushing yourself further is an important part. The medium doesn't matter as much because it's about creating. There's a massive curiosity around creation.
N: Always, because I think it’s an entry (point). You don't pick up something because you're not intrigued by it. You don't pick up a guitar or you don't try something, unless you're like, maybe I could do it. I might not be good at it (yet) but I'll try my best and it's cool.
A: What do you think about the current state of the Manchester arts, music and creative scene?
N: So I grew up within it, where I was seeing people perform before I was performing and I'm obsessed with it. I feel like we've created this kind of community here where I know people and I wanna go and support people and show love for them. I've seen them grow, I've seen them get better and I've seen the passion they have for it (creating) and the love that they have for it. So I feel like we're very blessed with the community that we have because everyone's so, like, open and we're all trying our best and we know that. It's an experience rather than a competition.
A: Definitely, I'm aligned in that aspect of it being an experience. What experiences do you want to create for people, what's your journey into becoming a musician and how did that start?
N: That's interesting. I think I felt alone for a long time and I felt like I was annoying or too loud or too chatty and it came to a point where I was like, am I just going to torture myself for just existing? I know everyone has that self-consciousness or self-doubt but if anything, I've noticed since creating music in English and Arabic, that I am creating a space now that I would have loved. I am just enjoying the fact I am being myself and allowing others to be themselves. I just want it to be a space where everyone can just exist without this weird pressure we have on ourselves to be perfect and palatable to everyone.
A: So you would say individuality?
N: Yeah, absolutely.
A: I think it's important to see the power in who you are and what you have to give to the world.
N: I feel like we're in a world where self-hatred is promoted so be kind to yourself, talk to yourself how you would a friend.
A: What inspires you to create in the way that you do?
N: Just experiences with people. I love talking to people. I find them so interesting. I am very extroverted, though, blatantly, unfortunately, I'm not like one of those that's like I need to recover from this social event, I am like, when is the next one? But I love people and I love talking to them. I like storytelling because it's always communicating and anything that ties me into a greater thing that makes me less focused on myself, helps. So with music, it is just trying to convey stories.
A: So if you had to pick or spotlight a particular project, song, or just something that you’ve created, what would you go back to and why?
N:I love Ouch! My most recent one is my favourite because it was so fun. I feel like this is the first time that I have released something where I have been like, yeah this is me. Whereas with everything else (past songs) I was like, I really wanna make a pop song, or I wanna make a chilled track and this one was like, I just wanna make a song that I love and I love it.
A: KERB prides itself on displaying a diverse selection of labels on their wine, if you were a bottle of wine, what would you taste like and how would your label look?
N: We had a sparkling rosé (Chateau Le Roc, Roc Ambulle Pet Nat ) today and I would like it to taste like that, cause it was fruity and mild. I’m a bit of a baby so I've not got the refined taste for wine yet, but I'd love to see that sparkling rosé. I just feel like it's fun. I like the white wine bottle that has a devil's face on it. I love things that look a little bit mischievous. I love the energy of being mischievous because it feels more like you, in a way. It feels young.
A: Are there any other artists/creatives in Manchester that you would like to utilise this opportunity to highlight?
N: Nina Cobham (@ninacobham). She's one of my best friends. I think that she's such a talented creator, I am genuinely just such a fan.
A: I am a fan as well.
N: Abnormal Sleepz (@abnormal.sleepz), he’s amazing. Victoria Jane (@_victoriajane), I really, really love her. There are just so many people, I feel like I talk a lot about a lot of people that I love in this city. Everyone is sick and everyone brings something different, everyone's pushing (their artistry). That’s what I love, I love the grind, I love the push.
A: As an LGBTQ+ artist, does your sexual identity play a role in your music and who you are as an artist?
N: I think it does, it does because I'm Middle Eastern. I think that is a jarring combination because of the community (Middle Eastern community).
A: Are they less open-minded?
N: More afraid I’d say. I think being queer, and being able to be openly queer makes it a thing where I want to talk about it because I know that other people don’t have the luxury of being able to talk about it. I’m lucky that my family knows. It ties into everything. It’s an identity. I love associating my queerness with my art because I think I have to, it’s me.
A: I was talking about being able to be the most authentic version of yourself and the importance of that. I feel like when you are yourself, it’s freeing.
N: Absolutely, and if you are hiding parts of yourself then you are hiding parts of your art. Some people have to, but if it is something that I can afford to share and I want to share, then I want to be able to share it.
A: That's perfect.