Interview: Nadia Kazmi

Today we are sharing an interview with Nadia Kazmi - an artist that is impossible not to root for. Her music has been described as pulsing and melodic, with an attention to reflective lyrics based on life experience. Kazmi's songs are like reflections on dark stormy nights. They're metaphorical, insightful and wistful.

1. First of all, tell us about how did you start your music career?

- I started after my first semester in law school, disillusioned with what I had expected it would be. I left to go to Los Angeles to study different vocal methods and found a great vocal coach (John Henny) and decided to attend Music School there.

2. Who are your music inspirations?

- My music inspirations are wide and varied but I always love Bowie's mercurial sounds and Leonard Cohen's lyrical prowess.

3. Our readers would like to know more about your music. Any interesting facts?

- I'm very focused on how lyrics and music combine, I don't find one is more important than the other. However, I can't listen to a song if the lyrics are garbage. And that's often the case these days. Terrible cliches will have me turn off the song pretty instantly even if it has a catchy melody. So I try to craft my lyrics to the level I think would keep the musician in me interested in a song. I'd love for people to pay attention to the lyrics since there's a lot of blood sweat and tears in them.

4. What opinions have you recieved about your music?

- I have a lot of reviews from live shows, critics and reviewers so it runs the gamut some great and some rejections but nothing is universally liked so I think that's natural and helps to establish your niche as an artist. Most people connect to my voice, then the music and then lyrics. I hope they feel rewarded by something new listen after listen because there's enough depth there. That's the aim.

5. What do you like to do more: songwriting or performing?

- I love songwriting more than anything because it's the true creation, to make something where there was nothing before. It's the most fun and even when it's frustration (it often is), it is the most rewarding thing I do as an artist. I like performing because it's the final step in my cathartic expression which is the reason I write. It's not quite as fulfilling to hear someone else relay your expression but I think I would still enjoy writing for others.

6. Which countries do you want to visit with tour?

- I would very much like to visit India since that's where my father is from but indie rock is not as big there. I'd also love to play Japan and the UK. I've toured Europe but we never went to the UK on that tour.

7. How do you deal with haters?

- It can be tough at times which is why its nice to have someone who handles your PR or promotion to deal with all the rejection or negative reactions to your art. However, that's not always an option in the indie world of music where you are the shameless self-promoter/ booker/ publishing agency etc. One thing that helps is that the reactions are so arbitrary (your voice is extremely strong, but the music sounds weak vs. I really like the music, but the vocals seem weak). These were two true reactions to the exact same song on the same day when it was sent out to radio stations and playlist curators. This showed me that these people aren't experts, they're simply humans with varied opinions and everything they say is irrelevant. There were many positive reactions and inclusions too so it all balances out.

8. What would you tell to your fans?

- I'd say go out and see as much live music as you can in your city or town. Listening to DJs is great but these days, it's a lot of canned music and ten bucks is a bargain to see 3 live bands any night of the week. It's the price of one beer that's supporting a lot of great artists, venues and scenes. I'd rather listen to 3 shit bands than one DJ on his laptop. You may be taking a gamble listening to 3 bands you've never heard of but the energy is infections and who knows? You may hear something incredible. Better than a lotto ticket.

Check out her new music video “LIKE A CAT”: