Nina Nesbitt will convince you breakups are actually dope

Nina Nesbitt is a powerhouse artist, and her newest single, “The Best You Had,” is all about your ex moving on too quickly after you break up. Nina’s upcoming album is all about love and heartbreak, which she thinks are essential parts of life.

Nina may have dated a fellow musician, but that doesn’t mean we need to hang that over her music career. It’s time to stop contributing female artist’s talent to their exes. Nina is famous because of her work ethic, songwriting, and for being a badass woman, and she doesn’t owe that to anybody but herself.

Check out our interview with Nina below. We talk about modeling, her knowledge of instruments, and how to take advantage of social media as an artist. Also, take a listen to her newest single, “The Best You Had,” on Spotify here! You won’t be disappointed – this song bumps.

You’re from Edinburgh, Scotland, which has a huge arts scene. How would you say that your roots in the city influence your songwriting and your music?

It’s funny because there’s quite a big art scene once a year when the Edinburgh festival is on. But any other time of the year, there’s not really much music going on. They don’t have that many venues, so it’s quite hard to actually get going, and it’s hard to find places to play. There was a little place called Electric Circus, and I used to play there for open mic nights. I love pop music, and my mom loves pop music, so I grew up listening to Britney, ABBA, and stuff like that.

You started out on YouTube. How important to you was it to have that platform for your creative expression?

I was fifteen, had just picked up a guitar, and had heard a song called “Fifteen” on Taylor Swift’s first album. I figured I would put a cover on YouTube to see if I’m good or not, because I was so shy that I was basically unable to perform live at that point. I got some positive feedback from the internet and it got me started on writing my own songs.

Do you have any advice to young YouTubing musicians out there now?

YouTube at the time was fairly new and exciting and there were a  lot of people coming up off it, whereas now. I feel like uploading your own music to Spotify and getting your music on blogs is a bit more relevant and cool. Just looking at what’s going on and what’s working in the music industry now is more important than doing YouTube covers. Instagram is the platform for that kind of stuff now, because it’s right in front of peoples faces, it’s a short clip. Just try to do your own thing and make it relevant.

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You can play quite a few instruments. It’s not easy mastering them. How did you find the dedication to learn how to play so many different instruments?

I had to play an instrument in school to pass my exams. I had picked up the flute when I was 13, but wanted to pick something where I could sing, so I picked up the guitar. There’s a lot of useful sites online where you can learn how to play instruments,  andI was just really interested. As an only child I had a lot of free time.

You’ve also modeled for companies like Calvin Klein, American Eagle, and Estee Lauder. Did you always want to model or did the opportunity sort of arise?

As an artist, these opportunities just kinda come to you. I did modeling for like a year when I was 16 because it paid a lot better than working in a shop, and now I think it kinda goes hand in hand, because I love fashion. If a brand wants to do some kind of collaboration, I love getting involved.

Is modeling anything like making music?

Yeah, I think so. As an artist working with a brand, there’s a lot more freedom with getting your personality in and be creative when you can come up with ideas for photoshoots. As a model, I think it’s kinda hard to just stand there in someone’s clothes – I’d want to get more involved than that.

You left a large record deal and are now with a smaller, indie company called Cooking Vinyl. Why would you recommend “going smaller” to another artist?

I think me and the major label really just didn’t know what to do with each other – we both just kind of moved on and I was just writing for other people and randomly got an album through doing that. Cooking Vinyl approached me, and I took about 8 months to sign the deal because I just wasn’t sure. But I like it a lot more because I can do whatever I want musically and creatively and they just help me distribute it and market it, which is pretty ideal for any artist.

You’ve actually had stalkers, which must have been so scary. How did that affect the way you lived?

It can definitely freak you out. I think you have to kind of ignore it, if you reply to them then you’re giving them what they want. Its really good to inform someone, your parents, your friend, or whoever, just so that someone is aware.

Other than your newest single, “The Best You Had,” what can we expect from your upcoming album?

The album will be out springtime. It’s a great piece of work and I love every song. It kind of just feels like the musical version of me and I think a lot of people will relate to it as well.

Talk to us about “The Best You Had.” What was the inspiration behind your lyrics?

I had the chorus written down in my phone for ages, and I just couldn’t put it into a song. It all came from a conversation I had with my friend. She’d just been broken up with and she looked on the guy’s Instagram and he had already been hanging out with someone new. It kind of occurred to me that when we go through breakups, sometimes it’s not the breakup itself that we’re really upset about, it’s that the other person has already moved on. We think that the new person may be better than us. It’s like your ego and your pride versus your actual feelings.

You recently played live shows in LA and New York. What was one of the best moments of these shows? What did you take with you from these performances?

For the LA show, I wasn’t well, so I was just trying to get through it. But at the end, I was like, “Wow, what a night,” and it made me feel a lot better. New York was an all ages show and it was really cool getting to meet them afterwards.

Is it difficult as a female artist when people still professionally link you to your ex?

Yes, it’s very annoying! I think artists should be recognized for their music and not who you dated when you were a teenager.

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You write a lot about how heartbreak and breakups can change a person, mostly for the better. Why, in your opinion, are break-ups the shit?

Love is a very universal thing – whether you’re straight, gay, bi, transgender, whatever, anyone from anywhere in the world can relate to love and heartbreak, so I think that’s why it’s such an amazing topic to write about.

What advice do you have for any readers going through a tough breakup?

Cry a lot. Have a night with the girls, go out, get drunk, kiss someone else, start new again. When you start seeing new people, it gives you a bit of a confidence boost and kind of brings you back.

What has gotten you through a tough breakup?

Being on my own. I was on my own for about to years before I got into this relationship. I got to be by myself and whatever whenever I wanted. It was all insightful into what I want and what I do want, it got me through my break up and reminded me what I want out of the next relationship.

Favorite comfort food/drink?

Currently tortilla chips. I like anything, and I eat a lot. Favorite drink is Southern Comfort and lemonade. Thats been my drink since I was 15, everyone knows me for that drink. I thought it was really posh because nobody drinks it in Scotland, but I just found it in my parents cupboard.

What’s your favorite accessory that you own?

Hoop earrings, because they go with everything.

I know you’ve been both, so who has more fun: blonde or brunette?

Blonde! People take brunettes more seriously.

Where should people stay if they want to visit Scotland?

The Grassmarket.

Favorite dessert?

Really hot, small, sugary donuts.

Female artist you’ve always looked up to?

Debbie Harry and Alanis Morisette.

Do you have a pet?

Yes Ive got a little puppy. He’s a Pomeranian.

Favorite fast food?

Probably McDonalds.

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Favorite part about being Scottish?

The people are really nice in Scotland. Everyone’s really nice to each other for no reason.

Favorite place in the US?

Nashville for writing songs. New York for shopping.

Go to perfume?

Kate Moss, the new one. And Molecule, because it basically merges with your pheromones and creates a personalized scent.

Photos by Jacqueline Kulla

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