INTERVIEW: Nille Nyc

Pernille Nyc, a.k.a. Nille Nyc released a debut EP “PowerPainPillsPercussion” today. It combines four electrifying songs, with a strong message and story locked in lyrics of each of them. We got a chance to talk to Pernille ahead of the release and decided that this time – we let you LISTEN to the conversation by yourself.

Nille Nyc is a moniker of an artist who is a true indie act, as she takes care of everything in the music-making process. Pernille’s interesting background shines through her art. Her debut EP “PowerPainPilssPercussion” and its concept really spoke to us over at Good because Danish. Musically – as the electronic beats and unobvious arrangements match Nille Nyc‘s strong but melodious vocals. Lyrically – as she touches on critical topics and speaks up about things that aren’t spoken up about as much as they should be.

Listen to the full interview with Nille Nyc to find out more about her and the EP:

Can you tell us about your background and how Nille Nyc came to life? 

Nille Nyc: I’ve always been very creative as a child, I drew quite a lot. The creativity also runs a bit in my blood, as both of my parents were playing in bands when they didn’t have kids. When I fell asleep as a child at home, I fell asleep to the sound of my Dad playing the guitar and my Mom singing along. So [music] has always been there as a natural part of my childhood and my life in general. However, in my teenage years, I also found that I was good at math and all the “hardcore” engineering courses. I decided to go that way in terms of having a good, solid education in life. But, at the same time, I kept this creativity part inside my heart. It wasn’t actually blooming at that time, but it came back later to me.

After I finalised my education, I got a job in the oil industry as a project manager and worked there for 10 years. During these 10 years, I also was taking singing lessons. Just to keep the creative fire burning. My female singing teacher, Mette Damm, later became my first producer. Mette was very good at pushing me to keep writing more songs. She also taught me a bit about the music industry and how to enter it if I wanted to release some of my songs. She spoke to the creator in me and made me wanna share my songs with the world.

You are a true DYI artist, taking care of everything on your own, from recording, producing, to PR and videos. You call this approach “genuine indie”. What are the advantages of such approach?

For me, it was kind of a perfect way to do this, as I have an engineering and project management background. My competences in these areas are rather strong, so it was natural for me to release my music by myself. I also find it very empowering to do it by myself. Because when I’m dependent on a label, for example, I depend on their way of working, on their schedule. It is easier for me to do things by myself. That being said, I’m also reaching out to other collaborative partners, like co-producers, in order to make my product and my project as good as possible. I’ve learnt during my short time in the music industry that if you can do things by yourself and you can do them well, you need to do them by yourself.

What is the concept of your debut EP “PowerPainPillsPercussion”?

This is a very personal project, so when I’m writing songs for it, they are about my life and my experiences. As well as about the experiences and lives of my dear friends, and the surroundings in general. I wanted this first EP to be uncompromised in terms of production, reflections, style and sounds. In the title, there are four pieces: power, pain, pills and percussion. I liked to work around this concept for the EP. The power [element] is actually one of the songs on the EP – “Safe Islands”. It came out last year and marked a very special part of my journey as a producer, as it was my first song that I’d produced 100% by myself. That song represents to me a lot of power in the project. Then there is the pain – that is the track on the EP called “Land of Hope”. It is a very personal song about the need to escape the painful part of my emotional life at times. Next, there is “(Not) Okay”, which is “pills”. It is about the anti-depressant industry. Finally, there’s the “percussion” track – “Pray” – which is a metaphor for some women who like to hunt men down.

Tell us more about the single “(Not) Okay”. It was a bit of a shock for us at Good because Danish to hear about drugs overuse in Denmark, which seems to be the country where everyone is happy.

I can’t talk much about the general statistics from Denmark. I’m not sure if we are using more drugs than Europe in general. But I know quite a few people who are using drugs to ease the pain of life. I think it’s so good and so positive that the Danish health industry is detecting these issues at an early stage now. I also think it’s good to be able to talk more openly about depression, anxiety and the consequences of living a very performance-oriented life. However, I also find sometimes that it seems like everybody is chasing the perfect life, and that cannot happen. Once we realise that it cannot happen, we become rather depressed. I see that in many of my friends and family. This life is difficult. We spend more time in traffic, work tasks are becoming much more complex, there is a lot of pressure on our generation. Much more pressure and a higher risk of getting stressed than we saw a few generations ago.

Do you think it has also something to do with the pressure to show success and a positive side all the time on social media?

Yes, exactly. Actually, the inspiration for this song [(Not) Okay] came to me from a very dear friend who has been dealing with anxiety and stress for many years. It seems like everybody on social media is living the perfect life. It can be hurtful to see.  And I actually contribute to that by myself. For example on my artist profile on Instagram I don’t put up pictures of me being sad or the hard days in my life. But such days are still there. I’m thinking about it, and I’m conscious about how I use my social media and how I comprehend and see other artists’ social media profiles.

You are a powerful, self-sufficient woman. What do you think about gender equality in the music industry?

First of all, I think there is still a huge problem in the industry. There is still inequality between male and female artists. If we look into the statistics, you can see that the airplays, the festivals, the concert top 10 listings are all men. It seems like this is getting better; there are more female artists, label owners are contributing to a more positive tendency. We also see all these initiatives like HUN SOLO or Hej Søster! here in Denmark. I think they exist because they need to exist. The women establishing these projects are those who have been experiencing the inequality themselves for many years. I think it is very, very important for everybody in the industry to be aware of this inequality. We should talk openly and honestly about it and not ignore it.

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