Nxdia:  Multicultural Roots + Captivating Sound  | DDW Chats
Lifestyle4 Minutes Read

Nxdia: Multicultural Roots + Captivating Sound | DDW Chats

August 24, 2023 Share



DDW chats to alt-pop singer and songwriter Nxdia, in a candid conversation about music, emotions, and performing live.

With roots tracing back to Egypt and Sudan, Nxdia is the kind of artist whose multicultural upbringing fuels a unique artistic perspective. Fluent in both English and Arabic, Nxdia crafts a distinctive blend of pop, infusing raw, introspective lyrics with contemporary production and a seamless vocal delivery. Drawing inspiration from their formative years spent alongside a cinema in Cairo, Nxdia’s creativity flourished through the mediums of art and poetry – two invaluable foundations that seamlessly paved the way for their musical journey.

Their latest EP, “in the flesh,” delves into a labyrinth of thoughts, unspoken emotions, and interpersonal dynamics. It’s about being stuck inside one’s own head, a familiar enough narrative to, well, the vast majority of us. Seamlessly weaving diverse sounds and instruments, Nxdia’s music is a kaleidoscope of gritty guitars, ethereal synths, and irresistible rhythms, all of which intertwine with the occasional Arabic sentence. With millions of streams and airplay on BBC Introducing Manchester and BBC Radio 1, Nxdia emerges as a rising star worth looking out for.

Nxdia sat down with DDW to chat to us about music, aspirations, and live performances.

Can you share a bit about your musical journey? What inspired you to pursue a career in music, and how did your journey as an artist begin?

Honestly, my musical journey probably started because I really struggled to communicate with people in a way where I felt understood or like I was using the right words to express myself. I’d write all the time, poetry, random thoughts and stuff. Then, alongside humming and coming up with melodies under my breath, making music married together the things I loved and gave me the space to communicate in my own way.

Photo courtesy of @photosbyjrd

Every artist has a unique musical identity. How would you describe your signature sound, and what elements or genres have influenced your style?

My Chemical Romance/Fall out boy/P!nk/Stromae/Jon Bellion/Paramore.. all dominated my playlists when I was a teen. I love pop music, I love the texture and urgency of punk and rock music as well, so I tend to lean into making more stuff within that realm. Been listening to more indie/nu-metal/reggaeton music recently so I don’t know if I’ll ever want to only stick to one genre – an amalgamation of a few is the goal.

Walk us through your creative process. How do you typically approach writing and composing new music? Are there any specific rituals or habits that fuel your creativity?

Whatever feels natural! I tend to talk to friends and family about everything super transparently, so I often reference recent conversations in my music. I love writing as much as possible then editing down, just allowing inspiration to flow through then seeing where I am/ what I’ve ended up with. In terms of rituals and habits, I should start one, probably. Maybe playing killer sudoku while thinking of melodies and lyrics!

Music is a dynamic art form. How have you evolved as an artist since your early days, and what pivotal moments or experiences have contributed to your growth?

God, when I started recording my music it was pure pop, I dressed overtly feminine because I felt like I had to be palatable and I overextended myself constantly. It’s been years but being creative and making music has opened me up to a world of self-expression with no rules. I dress how I want to now, I’ve cut and dyed my hair since, I’ve allowed myself to sing in Arabic and English and let myself make songs I’m more and more excited by.

Collaboration often leads to exciting new musical directions. Are there any artists, producers, or songwriters you dream of working with? How do you think a collaboration might impact your music?

Loads! I really love the Nocturnes production, as well as Hoskins and Eddie Serafica…Artist-wise Paramore would be crazy to work with, Dominic Fike, Stromae, Doechii… all would be a dream! I think actually being in a room with people I’m inspired by would definitely have an impact! I’m always so fascinated by people’s creative process, I love watching people work on things they’re passionate about.

Photo courtesy of @photosbyjrd

Your lyrics often delve into unique themes. Can you discuss the concepts or emotions you enjoy exploring in your songs? What messages do you hope your audience takes away from your music?

I love people-watching and taking in my surroundings and then writing about them. Honestly, I enjoy exploring how I feel about something in hindsight or in anticipation because I really struggle to just sit with any uncomfortable feeling. Sometimes it is something that feels like an ugly feeling, sometimes it’s resigned or hopeful. Allowing myself to sit in an emotion, at least as long as it takes for me to write about it, feels important, and honestly, I want people to take away what they need from my music, whether it’s focusing on the usually happier production or sitting with what the lyrics mean to them. If people are connecting in any way, then I’m over the moon.

Live shows are a significant aspect of an artist’s career. How do you approach translating your music to the stage? What do you enjoy most about performing for a live audience?

I kind of hated performing at first, I felt awkward and clunky and too in my head. I was so starstruck by other people going on stage and owning it, watching them lose themselves in the music on stage that- when I felt too self-conscious to do the same I just assumed I couldn’t do it. It made me aware of how overwhelmed and scared I felt when that much attention was directed towards me, but I love it now. I think it’s the only time I feel focused, or wide awake- I love the adrenaline, the eye contact with people, feeling the music on stage, talking to people afterward- I just love the manifestation of mini-communities all for the love of music. I have this goal in my head of playing 100 shows, I’m 16 shows this year and I can already feel the itch of trying to make things bigger and better and getting excited by the small evolutions.

Fans often feel a personal connection to artists through their music. Are there any stories from fans that particularly touched you or highlighted the impact your music has had on their lives?

Oh, so many! I don’t even know where to start. The amount of kind messages and people who’ve been around and supported me for ages now is so lovely and kind and it genuinely means so much to me. I think what gets me the most is when queer Arabs or queer middle easterners come to me, whether they’re out or not and we connect over our experiences and the confusing thing that can be identity and culture. A friend of mine got some of my lyrics tattooed on them and I sobbed dude, to think I’ve had any kind of positive impact on people makes my heart feel heavy in such a lovely way.

Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations as an artist? Are there any new directions you’re excited to explore in your music, or any milestones you’re aiming to achieve?

Oooh I’d love to gig more, festivals especially! I want to learn more about production, play guitar live, and collaborate more- everything, I just want to learn and soak up as much creativity as possible and pour it out in my own way. Connecting with more people too, I love people so I’m always excited when talking to and learning about new people.

You can check out Nxdia on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.
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