We took a different approach to playlist building with Nyah - a soulful and eclectic Los Angeles based artist.
Being cooped up has its pros and cons but luckily there has been ample time for artists like Nyah to work on some new music. We thought it would be great to talk through some interview questions in the form of a new playlisting game. We find that some of the easiest ways to forget about your troubles is by putting together a collection of songs that have a personal meaning. Sharing that collection is a sacred art that we take very seriously around here. Check out some of Nyah's responses to our random list of prompts that ultimately build out an amazing playlist.
Pick a song that explains your mood right now.
"Wildfires" by Sault. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year both externally and internally. This song reminds me of my inner strength and ability to rise.
What is a song you remember obsessing over in high school?
Sonos’ cover of Bon Iver’s "Re: Stacks". I got to hear Sonos perform it live with my vocal jazz ensemble in high school. It was so beautiful. Voices in harmony is one of my favorite sounds ever.
What song were you listening to on repeat before COVID hit?
"Limb to Limb" by Lapalux ft. Lilia. I definitely used this song to help me channel a specific energy for a show I played in January.
What song do you listen to when you are stressed out about the world?
"UMI Says" by Mos Def gives me a sense of camaraderie, reminds me of the joy in simplicity, and inspires me to take action. When I listen to this song I remember that I must share my light outwardly. I cannot hold it all in--it’s okay, and important, to engage with the world.
I also find "There for You" by Damian Marley quite grounding.
What is the first song you ever recorded?
I remember uploading a cover of John Legend’s “Ordinary People” to my Soundcloud right before midnight on my birthday some years ago. I wanted to start the year with the courage to share my music :)
The first original song I ever recorded was, “Masquerade.” I used my school’s radio station studio.
What was the first song you ever played live?
I sang “One” by U2 & Mary J Blige at a middle school talent show hehehe.
The first original song I played live was, “Real Now.”
What is a song that gives you the most nostalgic feeling?
What song are you looking forward to playing live again?
I’m looking forward to playing some music I’ve been collaborating with friends on. Also, "Room for Sense" (unreleased), and "Corner Store". I never played "Corner Store" live but I’ve been gravitating towards it a lot recently.
What song do you like to listen to while you drive up the coast?
What is a song that absolutely makes you dance?
Okay. "Lose Control" by Missy Elliot. When I was a kid I would crump ON SITE if this song ever came on—it didn’t matter where I was.
What is a song you would like to cover?
What song is your favorite from your own track list?
"Do You Know What I Feel." It’s my most vulnerable song.
What’s a song that makes you feel like a bad bitch?
What’s your ultimate sad girl song?
What is the last song you listened to?
"Get Em High" by Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Common. I’m watching Dave Chappelle’s Block Party.
What song do you most want to see performed live?
"Pyramids" by Frank Ocean. Honestly anything by Frank, I’ve yet to see him live.
What song needed to grow on you for a while before you loved it?
Hmmm. Maybe "Never Never Love" by Simply Red. My mom really liked this song for the longest time. One day I heard it and caught a vibe.
Favorite movie soundtrack song?
Everything from The School of Rock. lol. Also "Agape" from If Beale Street Could Talk; "Dumbledore’s Farewell" from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; "Hand Covers Bruise" from The Social Network. I love a good score.
If you were a DJ what would be your closing out song?
"Go Get It" by Vixen Ent, as a tribute to LA’s jerk era, or something that goes hard like E-40’s "Tell Me When to Go (ft. Keak Da Sneak)"
What song would you suggest for our readers to check out?
Alice Smith’s cover of "I Put a Spell on You". But, *specifically* The YouTube video titled “Alice Smith, I Put A Spell On You, Damrosch Park, NYC 7-27-16.”
"Sunfall" by Tristan De Liege & Carly Barnette (Astra Hiroki remix)