Niia is a singer, pianist, and songwriter. Originally from Massachusetts, she first started to play classical piano trained by her mom and started to sing and perform. After High school, she moved to New York where she attended the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music at The New School. She now resides in Los Angeles. It is after seeing the billboard for her new album “La Bella Vita” while driving on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles and discovering her beautiful voice and a musical universe that we decided to contact her and learn more about this talented artist. In our interview, Niia tells us about her creative process, the love for her Italian roots, and how she got to manage her fears as a performing artist. Our favorite album in our “pop music culture” Spotify playlist!
Niia: “Time destroys everything.” It seems negative, but it helps me move fluidly through life.
My creative process changes all the time. If I’m working with a producer we usually start with a beat. Then lay down some chords then I’ll freestyle some melody ideas and lyrics will come last. Other times I’ll sit at my piano and it all comes out together. It just depends.
When my manager tells me I need to hand the songs in.
Absolutely. When you’re an artist all your music is personal to you. You also always have opinions and other people weighing in. Certain songs are harder to edit or change because they feel like parts of you. But, sometimes you have to do what’s best for the song. I’m lucky I work with a great team that they respect that at the end of the day I am the artist and I have to get up and sing these songs so I have the final say. [laughs]
I’m most proud of just completing my second album. I didn’t think I was going to get there.
Thank You! Yes, She had to approve it. It’s pretty surreal me and Mariah Carey are writers of one of my songs.
Yes, my mother is from Italy. Though she didn’t teach me the language I was brought up in a very Italian family. We visit regularly and as I’ve gotten older the culture has helped me with my own life. It became an oasis, and escape. Italy always reminds me to slow down, enjoy my friends and family, eat well, and take a walk. There’s so much more to their culture that I’m learning about and pulling new inspiration from.
I’ve been to Positano multiple times… before it became popular on Instagram. It is a beautiful place. I created most of the music for this album in Italy and all the demos before they had lyrics and titles were labeled different towns & cities in Italy. I left Positano as the title because I didn’t write any lyrics and wanted to leave it as it was. It makes me happy.
I love the Sopranos too much! Have two tattoos to prove it! Christopher Moltisanti is my favorite character ever! Michael Imperioli is such an incredible actor, writer, and director. We had him on our podcast but I wasn’t allowed to be there because I get too excited and make everyone uncomfortable. Soprano Con was an amazing experience. They recreated some of the scenes and yes many actors were there and luckily nobody could stop me 🙂 I got to go up against some super fans in the trivia too.
I just watched Honeyboy and I was blown away. Shia Labeouf wrote it about his own life being a child star. Alma Har’el directed it. Highly recommend. If you want something closer to Sopranos ZERO ZERO ZERO by one of my favorite Italian directors Stefano Sollima. It’s about how the drug trade started between The Spanish and Italians.
I never got into music to share it with strangers. The connection you can make through music is very powerful and I wasn’t sure I wanted that role or responsibility. But, now I am very grateful to be able to connect, help, entertain, etc. At this point, I feel more fearless than ever and it’s my duty to help others through my music. It’s my passion and I’m grateful I can do good with it. How do I deal with fears and insecurities? You gotta just move through them. Fears and insecurities are real and sometimes debilitating. I try to face them head. On and either write about them or deal with them.
My self-care routine varies. Sometimes I like to sit in the tub with some oils, and some tea. Other times I like to go on a hike and scream at the top of my lungs. Freaks out other people …but, I usually feel better. I have too many skin products from brands giving me products so I’m trying to be more mindful of what I use and why so I can share my findings with others. I’ve become totally obsessed with sea moss and I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I didn’t have slippery elm in my house. I wrote an article for The Strategist about it (link here). In my free time, I like to cook, I have been writing a script for an animated movie, and I’ve been diving into sound bath crystal bowls. I like to go on drives at night and pick different songs to score the setting too.
We no longer speak but I’m sure our paths will cross again soon. We’ll always be connected!
My dream collaborator was Amy Winehouse.
I’m really excited about going on tour. It’s probably the one thing I haven’t done enough of. I’m excited to get to my fans and put on an amazing show and really connect. It’s going to be very intense singing some of these personal songs and I know my fans will bring the energy I need.
I did! Halcyon Hotel makes the most amazing candles ever! I highly recommend them. She is a friend and I asked her if she would help me make a candle and she suggested the collaboration. I wanted a candle that could help you relax or light while you listen to my album. I like thinking about my fans using two senses together. Taking in the wonderful smells, and listening to my music!
If he won’t marry you right now…. Leave! Kidding, but not really! Truthfully, I think finding peace and joy in small things is the ticket. In my industry, there are always more stairs to climb. One achievement isn’t enough and when your personal life is a mess nothing feels good or breeds satisfaction. I have been told to compliment myself more and allow myself to be proud of my achievements. My first album I didn’t celebrate it at all. With my second I threw a big party.
I have had a few inquiries! I love my doll, I’d be so sad to part with her.
Brooke Lynn Hytes.
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