Here is the interview of the queen of Synthwave, the very talented and beautiful Singer-Songwriter NINA aka Nina Boldt. After her first album « Sleepwalking » released in 2018 the German artist, based in London, has just released her latest Single named « Automatic Call ». We took advantage of this event to ask her our questions. The singer tells us about her first experience with Synthwave, her meeting with the legendary band Erasure, her place as a woman in this musical world, her influences and many other things. Happy reading!
Retro Synthwave: Hi Nina, could you present yourself to the wavers who don’t know you yet?
NINA: I’m originally from Berlin, living in London and I make Synthwave music.
What was your first ever experience with Synthwave?
I watched the movie ‘Drive” and fell in love with the soundtrack instantly. I then realized a whole underground scene was brewing around that style of music, which we now know as Synthwave.
What do you feel you can bring to the table in this genre that no one else can?
We have a crossover sound, merging retro sounds with a current flavour. Futuristic and nostalgic at the same time.
When you supported Erasure was that the first major tour you were invited on at that time?
Yes, that tour was our first major tour and it was an incredible experience. I always admired Andy Bell’s vocal range, it was amazing to meet them both in person after their songs were on constant rotation in my early teens.
When you returned to your home country Germany was is the Synthwave scene like? What are the major cities that champion it? How does it compare to the scene in London?
Germany’s Synthwave scene is still relatively small. ‘Miami Cyber Nights’ is really the only solid Synthwave night going at the moment.
I reckon London, LA and Stockholm are the leaders at the moment. But it’s definitely growing everywhere.
« London, LA and Stockholm are the leaders at the moment. »
More female artists are being established with Synthwave. Do you think there’s a good balance of different genders within the genre?
It’s definitely more male dominated still, but that’s slowly shifting thanks to the genre becoming more popular in recent years.
Who are your major influences in general and not just musically?
I’m a big fan of David Bowie, Queen, Roxette, Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter. They all inspire me in one way or another.
Your music has already featured popular features such as a Mercedes Benz commercial and an Adult Swim music compilation, what’s the next major feature? Or if there isn’t any, what popular program would you want your music to feature in?
Well we’ve recently reimagined five tracks from the ‘Drive’ movie soundtrack (originally written by Cliff Martinez) so we’re hoping to get that released soon, we’ll see. We worked with Sunglasses Kid and Oscillian on those tracks. We’ve had music placements on TV shows as well, but it would be amazing to be included on Stranger Things one day!
« we’ve recently reimagined five tracks from the ‘Drive’ movie soundtrack. »
After your collaboration with Moonrunner83 what’s next for song releases? An album, hopefully?
Yes, our second album SYNTHIAN is going into mastering next week, so we should have the release date very soon. We’re super excited about it! It’s Sleepwalking’s big sister. A little more mature, a little more out there.
Do you have a pre gig “ritual” before you go on stage? Or a lucky charm/item you take with you?
I carry a few healing crystals with me, they help me calm my nerves before going on stage. And a shot of whisky pre-gig also helps! 😉
What can you say about your band partner Laura who always plays with you on stage?
Lau has been with me from day one, she’s a multi instrumentalist. We’re a fantastic team, we mostly write all the songs together and she brings an awesome energy on stage with her drumming and singing. We also like to do acoustic versions of retro covers we like for our social media.
If you formed a supergroup with you on vocals, who would the other members be? (Dead or alive)
I’d have Ray Manzarek (The Doors) on synths, Nena and Marie Fredriksson on backing vocals, David Gilmour on guitar, Roger Waters on bass, Freddie Mercury duetting with me and Lau on drums.
Who is the best producer you have ever worked with? Someone who brought out your full potential?
Both Oscillian and Richard X have been great to work with, they really understand me as an artist and they guided me to reach my full potential. They’re both fantastic producers and lovely people, and we work really well together. We’ve recently written some new songs with Ricky Wilde in his studio, and he’s been super fun to work with too. He comes up with the most amazing melodies and harmonies. I find it very important to work with gentle and kind people in the studio, as you can feel quite fragile and exposed at times when you sing about past experiences. It’s an energy in the room that should elevate you. All three producers have those qualities. I feel very lucky to be working with them.
What next in the life and world of NINA?
We’re opening for Ollie Wride in London later this year, and we’re planning some European summer tour dates too. But first we’re releasing our second album called SYNTHIAN, in dedication to our fans around the world.
What’s next on your gig schedule? Any major festivals? A tour?
We’re planning a big European tour later this year, opening for a great act, but we can’t reveal much yet!