A Moment With Pop Music Singer Niia
Tags: ,

A Moment With Pop Music Singer Niia

Romain

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!

Pop music artist Niia Bertino
Niia – Photography by Clare Gillen

What quote or mantra defines you best?

Niia: “Time destroys everything.”  It seems negative, but it helps me move fluidly through life. 

As a singer, musician, and composer, how do you start your creative process?

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. 

How do you know a song is finished?

When my manager tells me I need to hand the songs in.  

Do you get more attached to some songs over others?

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]

What is the thing you are the proudest of?

I’m most proud of just completing my second album. I didn’t think I was going to get there. 

We love your new album. Do you know if the star of pop culture Mariah Carey heard your song Obsession?

Thank You! Yes, She had to approve it. It’s pretty surreal me and Mariah Carey are writers of one of my songs. 

You do have Italian roots. What is your relationship with this country and its culture?

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. 

In your new album ​La Bella Vita, ​what is the story behind the Interlude ​Positano​ that you play on the piano?

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.

We read you are the #1 Sopranos fan. You have your own podcast about the show and even went to SopranosCon. Who’s your character? Did you have a chance to meet the actors?

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.

Quarantine question. Besides The Sopranos, any show, movie, or even books to recommend to us?

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. 

In your Ted Talk, you are talking about your stage fright, how do you manage your insecurities and fear?

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. 

What is your self-care routine and what do you like to do in your free time?

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. 

Pop music Niia
Niia – Photography by Clare Gillen

Wyclef discovered you and mentored you at the beginning of your career. Does he still give you advice? A new song together anytime soon?

We no longer speak but I’m sure our paths will cross again soon. We’ll always be connected!

Who would you dream to collaborate with?

My dream collaborator was Amy Winehouse. 

Between writing, composing, recording, concerts. What part excites you the most?

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. 

You collaborated with Halcyon Hotel and created your own scented candle. Can you tell us about this experience?

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! 

What is the best advice ever received?

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. 

On your website, you do have the doll from your clip for rent. Do you have bookings for real?

I have had a few inquiries! I love my doll, I’d be so sad to part with her. 

Who should we interview next?

Brooke Lynn Hytes.


Read the story about French pop music band Aaron [/mepr-show]

Tags:
Romain
Romain

Romain Wawrzyniak is our Editor-in-Chief. His enthusiasm and kindness make his guests feel comfortable creating intimate conversations and priceless insights.

  • 1

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Start your 7 days trial period today

Man·ner

1. a way in which a thing is done or happens.