Feature: The Ingredients of You with Nemi

Friday, May 17, 2019

South-London alt-pop artist Nemi last month unveiled her brand new EP You. Spanning four dazzling tracks, the EP features stunning lyricism, with each song appearing as a conversation between a protagonist and their estranged lover. To celebrate its release, Nemi reflects on some of the things that inspired her when working on EP.

Songwriting has always been my primary focus. When I began, I was far too embarrassed to tell anyone I wanted to be a musician. So as time progressed there was something that became deeply personal about the process, something quite therapeutic about not having to answer to anyone else’s standards but my own. It gave me the freedom to take time over one line, without the worry that ‘so and so’ would get bored and frustrated with my irrationally obsessive behaviours.

Exmoor Emperor
The producers behind this project consist of the wonderful duo, Exmoor Emporer aka Henry and Nathan. When we began work, they were incredibly set on ensuring that the tracks would end up how we’d discussed, 80’s inspired, heartfelt, but most importantly, uplifting. The process of collaborating is a very big gamble. You never really know what you’re gonna get. It can be both incredibly rewarding and exciting, as well as draining and discomforting. Luckily, I ended up with two individuals that really understood the vision, and above all, were equally as encouraging, passionate, and determined. They went above and beyond.

Direct Conversation
A while back I attended an artist development course. During this period we had a couple of incredibly talented teachers. One was a seasoned songwriter (who’d co-written with the likes of Charli XCX.) No overreaction when I say that he enlightened ALL of us with a humongous batch of songwriting techniques. As well as opening our eyes to the power of the Zeitgeist, colours, and places etc. when used effectively in lyrics. He mentioned that for some reason, the most effective songs are usually written in the format of direct conversation. Something which I went on to experiment with throughout this EP.

Betty Blue
Every summer since I can remember I’d end up in Mem Martins. A flat on the outskirts of Lisbon, where my aunts and mother had spent portions of their late teens and early adulthood. I’d go through all the closets, filled with 80’s throwbacks, unable to fit into anything. Passing this exact film poster that to this day, still graces one of the bedroom walls. I had an admiration for the woman who I assumed to be Betty Blue, even before I knew what it was all about. The last time I stayed there, I’d finally grown enough to fill the vintage gowns I’d once drowned in. And I’d finally got the chance to watch this film. 'Can’t Get Through To You' came to me at a time where I was feeling particularly out of control. Betty is a beautiful, fiery, suffering soul, that captured a certain essence that coincidently suited the next single. I love her more than any film character I’ve ever seen before.

To me, there is nothing more perfect than the marriage between a specific scene in a movie, paired with the utmost complimentary song. It’s the way I discovered Joni Mitchell’s 'A Case Of You' (from the film Practical Magic) and 'The Chain' by Fleetwood Mac (featured in an episode of Heroes lol.) It’s been a dream of mine to create heavily emotive inducing music, that could potentially tie up a film's epic climax like David Bowie had done for The Breakfast Club. Something that I’m still striving for and that will forevermore inspire the direction of my sound.

Listen to You below:

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