GT catches up with the big-haired and hugely fierce Nabiha...
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Tell us about ‘Never Played The Bass’...
I was at a Rafael Saadiq-concert last year, it was absolutely amazing. At one point the band was grooving and the whole venue was bouncing off the walls. I started to jam some melodies, imagining the story about a guy going to great lengths to impress a girl, and the line “you ain’t never played the bass” popped into head. I squatted down on the floor and got my phone out to record the line in the middle of the crowd, and that was the beginning of “Never Played the Bass”.
WATCH NEVER PLAYED THE BASS BELOW
You’ve got an album out in Denmark called ‘More Cracks’ – what was that like to record? Any moments in particular that stood out for you?
I had a great time writing and recording my album. Each song is personal to me and has made an impression, so It’s hard to pick a certain moment that stood out, as I feel they all did in their own way. But everything came full circle the moment the album was finished. The music, the lyrics, the artwork. It had all come together and formed an album that I felt represented me, that was, and probably still is, one of my biggest achievements.
The track samples the classic Womack & Womack hit ‘Teardrops’. Would you cite their music as one of your biggest influences?
I absolutely love “Teardrops”, and I was so happy that Womack & Womack let us use the lines from the song. It really lifted it to another level! When it comes to writing music and lyrics, I mostly get inspired by the people around me, friends, family, my travels, life, love, etc. But often music will set something off in my head. I once travelled to Australia because of a Kate Bush-song. It had elements of traditional aboriginal instruments and breathing in it, and if that was what Australia sounded like, I wanted to go
You’ve toured with the likes of James Morrison, Jason Derulo and Jamie Cullum – what was that like?
Haha, what happens on the road, stays on the road - but I will say that I had a great time supporting the guys, hearing the concerts, meeting them and their crew, and seeing how the whole ‘machinery’ worked. We learned a lot from those tours. I remember this one time in Germany, the sound was suddenly cut off in the middle of Jamie Cullum’s concert. The sound engineers were running around like crazy, Jamie on the other hand, quickly said something to his band members, and while they carried their acoustic instruments to the edge of the stage, Jamie formed a highly effective megaphone with his hands, and sang the whole room up creating the most magical moment with the crowd, as had it been a part of the show. It gave the sound engineers just enough time to fix the problem, and the rest of the concert continued as planned. Top professional, super talented & charming as hell.
You’ve already received a lot of success in Denmark, but what would you say has been your career highlight so far?
Everything from hearing my song on the radio for the first time, to representing the music of the new millennia at HRM the Queen of Denmark’s Jubilee. There’s been many moments, and I am so thankful for that! But the thing that keeps warming my heart the most, is the mails and talks I have with fans. Finding out that something I wrote has affected them and helped them through hard times, or look at themselves in a different and more positive light. That’s the power of music. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Do you remember the first time you ever got up on stage and performed?
The first time I got up on stage was in high school. My music teacher had convinced me to sing a duet with him, and I was so nervous. I had been in school plays before, but this time was different, there was no make up or stage-clothes to hide behind. It was nerve wrecking, but also the most liberating experience. I had to do it again and again.
If you could have anyone else’s career besides your own, who would it be and why?
Definitely something creative, and I love working with people! But the truth is that I’m more than happy with what I’m doing, and there’s still so many thing I want to try out in this industry. I’m living my dream, what’s there not to like?
So, do you ever hit the gay clubs on a night out?
My eldest cousin is gay, and I would often hook up with him and his friends when I first started going out, so the gay scene sort of shaped my party skill. Last time I was in New York, I performed at the gay club, Splash, in Chelsea. It was so much fun! And the Gay Pride Parade is something I have always wanted to perform at, I’m hoping 2013 is the year it happens!
Have you ever been chatted up by a girl before? Ever been tempted?
Haha, yes I have. I remember this one time at a gay club, I was walking out of the ladies room and practically got pushed back by a very persistent woman. I practically had to run out of there haha
You've performed on the the Danish version of ‘The Voice’. Would you ever have considered entering one of those TV talent shows yourself?
I think it takes a lot of guts to try out for these TV talent shows. Being judged by sometimes millions of people for a 2 minute performance in front of swirling cameras is like being thrown to the wolves, and I don’t think you can even begin the understand the emotional roller coaster these people are on, unless you’ve tried it yourself. I’m thankful for having taken the long route, it fits my temperament and personality, and everyday I’m still learning about the industry, and about myself! For me, these things take time, and I wanna make sure I’m making the right choices.
What have you heard recently and enjoyed?
Actually, I’ve been listening to a lot of Bob Marley lately. “Redemption Song” is a personal favourite. So simple, and so perfect.
How do you view mega-fame? Is it something you aspire to?
I would love to be able to go everywhere and play concerts in all corners of the earth, but I am also a very private person and those two things are bound to clash at some point. Everything for the love of music...
You wouldn’t know it, but I’m very good at...
Persuading others to watch sci fi or crime, even though it wasn’t their first or second choice to begin with.
I’m not very good at...
Not being in charge of the remote, haha.
When the phone rings, who do you hope is calling?
Loved ones!! I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I would want to these days, but they are so understanding and loving. Skype is a wonderful invention, and seeing their faces no matter what country or time zone I’m in, really makes a big difference.
Besides music, what else are you passionate about?
Travelling, reading, theatre, movies, food, friends, family. It’s important for me to do other things as well as my music, I have a long list of goals I wanna reach and I think it’s good for my creativity to sometimes get caught up in something else. Last thing crossed on that list, was taking a diving certificate. Next, is learning French, hopefully.
Anything to add?
Nothing apart from thanking you for talking with me. Much love to you and all your readers. I have been carrying around this postcard in my calendar for the last two years. It says: “Det er ingen forbrydelse at vaere sig selv”, and that is Danish for “There is no crime in being yourself”. It’s a strong and beautiful statement on so many levels, I take it with me wherever I go. And today, I’m sharing it with you.