In conversation with Nitika Kurian about her latest single, "Blue":
If you’re looking for something silky smooth, groovy, and hard hitting all at the same time, you needn't look any further. Nitika Kurian has got you covered with her latest single, “Blue”. Starting us off with a delicious vocal melody backed by bare piano chords, the song slides into sensuous sections of rich instrumentation. Her vocals glide just above the rest of the layers, without overpowering them, a true sign of a good production. Keba Jeremiah delivers some RnB/Neo-soul influenced guitar licks that complement the music really well, again, that’s not surprising given that he is a master at his craft. We have more insight into Nitika’s world in our interview below:
1. Does your songwriting process involve experimentation with music
production software or are you very analogue in the way you write?
I don’t really do much with production, in fact I have no idea how it works. But I have started messing around with harmonies using production software very recently and I am in love! All my approach and experimentation is very analogue. When I feel something coming, it’s usually when I’m sitting at the piano and playing something. For me, songwriting started at age 11, so everything about it is very raw.
2. Can you elaborate on the way you work with your producer Micheal
Timothy and how much of an impact he has on the creative choices you
The way it works for us is I end up going to his studio and we sit there and talk for hours before one of us goes “Hey, shouldn’t we be working on something?” and that pretty much sums up the way we work together. Michael has a big impact in terms of creative choices. I’d say I’m a little scared of experimentation sometimes, but he makes me feel comfortable with it. As artists, we sometimes get very attached to the kind of music we make on our own so we’re scared to make changes. An amazing producer is one who really makes sure the depth and rawness that the artist wants comes through despite the changes and that’s what “Mikey” does for me. As my producer and as a friend, he is one of the best people I’ve ever come across!
3. A lot of young musicians get stuck in the process of doing covers in
order to please their audience, and don’t really move on to making their
own music, how did you overcome that hurdle and start writing
I started songwriting at a very young age, so this wasn’t a hurdle that I necessarily had to overcome. But what I did have to overcome was the fear of putting the originals out. I also feel that many young musicians nowadays write originals, but they might be unsure of either how to put it out or they’re just afraid, like I was. I think that’s the one hurdle all of us struggle with, because it’s like putting a part of yourself out into the world. Covers are great, especially if you add your own touch to it but songs that you write on your own are so pure and raw. I feel that we as artists should understand that because it’s our own work, we might be really unsure of it and quick to criticize it but there are so many people out there in the world who might just fall in love with it. It gives people a sense that they aren’t alone in what they might be feeling.
“Make your covers but make sure you don’t forget to try bringing everyone together with your own music!”
4. “Like the salt water running through my veins…”, can you tell us more about the sentiment behind the slow rap section of your song?
Essentially, this entire song is about my love for the ocean. Ever since I was a baby, there’s been this unexplainable attachment I’ve had for the ocean. “Like the salt water runnin’ through my veins” is just a lyric that shows that I am one with the ocean, and its water flows through my veins – it makes me who I am. The entire rap section was something mellow that I felt really resonated with the calming waves of the sea. This particular part of the song compares me to the ocean in terms of – “like the sea, my mind just can’t be contained” or “I was raised on the sand; shells in the palms of my hand”.
I was raised in Goa and then Pondicherry and Chennai so I’ve been
connected by the sea wherever I’ve moved. Despite the million changes and the impact of moving around, the one thing that stuck by me was the ocean. I find the ocean my place of rest, she is my best friend and that’s why the line “You better carry her with you wherever you go, Water; You can tell by her flow she’s the Ocean’s daughter” – I have always considered her a person, that she’s one with me and will always stay by my side, wherever I go.
5. What is your approach when it comes to marketing your music?
To be very honest with you, when I released my first single, I had no idea what marketing was. With my second single “Blue”, I made sure I promoted it in advance and submitted it for Spotify’s Editorial Playlists as any artist can do now, which is great. Submitting them to amazing playlists like yours will always be an independent artists’ bestfriend! Instagram is also really one of the best ways to market your music by having people share it on their stories and letting it reach their friends and other people.
6. Who is one artist that has really had an impact on your life and music and why?
Unfortunately, I don’t think I could pick one, but Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson have played the biggest roles in my life ever since I was a child. Their music makes me who I am. Deep down, my style of music was deeply influenced by Frank Ocean, Kehlani and Daniel Caesar, as I started growing up, and that’s how the RnB/Soul genre grew on me. I can’t listen to just one genre, everything has a very strong influence on me.
You can listen to Nitika's single on our playlist "just groove don't dance" linked below :