The rising pop star talks getting creative and the importance of self care in her latest work…
Have you heard of NUUXS? If not, then you will have soon, as the young singer-songwriter is on a mission to fulfil her artistic ambition. Whether it be through making her own music or writing for other artists, NUUXS relishes her creative freedom with the zeal of someone who was unsure as to whether her present life would ever be one that she would lead.
After being born in France she returned to the UK aged ten, when her mother married the leader of an oppressive cult. For five years her step-father forbid her from having friends, reading or listening to music, which she managed to disobey by pressing her ear to the radio in the dead of night to listen to Eminem and Justin Timberlake whilst her family were asleep.
Her recent single ‘No Good For Me’ recounts the time she found the strength to take her life into her own hands, cutting toxic people from her life for good. Despite the sugary synths and cool inflections of 80s pop, NUUXS’ songs have a bittersweet undercurrent. We discussed her new work, her intent with her music and the importance of letting go…
We loved ‘No Good For Me’. Can you tell us a little about what it means to you?
That’s amazing to hear, thank you so much. That really means a lot! I would say this is an anthem for anyone that’s being held back by someone or something. It’s not selfish to be good to yourself, especially when it’s concerning your mental health.
‘No Good For Me’ is quite an anthem for reclaiming one’s independence from a toxic situation. What made you decide that enough was enough and something had to change?
I was tired of being stagnant and in the same place. If I didn’t make it happen for myself I would most likely have been living a lie up until now and not have gained the confidence to do what I am doing. It takes guts; it’s not easy, but it’s doable.
The track is definitely uplifting despite touching upon hard subjects. Did you feel it was important to balance out the negativity with a positive soundscape?
Absolutely; as much as I’ve been in negative situations I’ve always tried my best to take it on the chin and keep going. A positive mind can lead to great things and hopefully the sound gives people that power in their step.
‘No Good For Me’ is the first track to be taken from your new mixtape Red Tape Vol.1. How do you feel the track is a natural progression from the last year’s Pearl EP?
It’s definitely evolved from the Pearl EP and I feel I’ve stayed true to myself by taking that step to experiment with different sonics and attitudes.
The mixtape has a brighter sound that of some of your previous work, incorporating elements of retro pop and R&B to create quite an exotic sound. Do you feel more confident to experiment a little more this time around?
I feel like I’m always changing, yet the influences for these changes have always been through sounds and reminders of what I grew up with somewhere along the line.
What do you consider your most personal song on the new mixtape and why?
It’s hard to choose because they are all personal to me, in each track I’m sharing a piece of myself.
What is the song you are most proud of as a songwriter?
You’ve tipped over 500,000 views on your video for ‘No Good For Me’ – congratulations! What does it feel like to be getting such support?
I still feel like – and know – that I have a long way to go, but this really makes me feel like I’m not crazy for dedicating my life to my music.
The video is colourful with a slick aesthetic. Did you have much creative input in the video? What was the shoot like?
I love watching films and so working with directors that have a real passion for turning a little over three minutes into something that means something to me, and make people want to listen to the song more is great. In this case it was Jason McNab who came up with the idea for this. He portrays my character as someone who is in a contagious and vicious cycle of toxic relationships, ultimately leaving me crushed.
It’s dark but I loved it when he explained his concept. He brought in his team and closest friends; Marc Jacques Burton who dressed the whole cast and myself in his incredible designs. I wore a signature leather studded jacket, with his statement lead vêtements. He also brought in Craig McGinlay who starred in Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur and more recently TV show Outlander, Roger Gracie – an incredible practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts – and of course the amazing actress/director/producer Magdalena McNab, who was actually in my very first music video called ‘Holy Man’. It was a whole team from the production crew to lighting (Tin Cowboys) and Director of Photography Markus Ljunberg, and last but not least Nikita Andrianova who did all my make up that day.
What else do you have planned for 2018?
I have yet to release a few more singles and videos along with Red Tape Vol. 2 of my mixtape and I will be announcing shows as well. I’ve also co written on a few tracks which I can’t share yet but it’s all very exciting.
If you could collaborate with one artist – dead or alive – who would it be and why?
I would have loved to have collaborated with Prince, he was so experimental and sexy, I’m definitely influenced by him in a massive way. I’d also love to work with Héloïse Letissier aka Chris (Christine and the Queens);I love her music, her sound moves me every time.
NUUXS’ Red Tape Vol. 1 is available now.