Nadia Kazmi’s music has featured in over 25 TV shows, including Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Her album ‘Strange Song’ charted in Canada and was toured across Europe.
Here she explains how her mind and music ticks & how to connect with fans for enduring support.
What do you love about making music?
Songwriting. That is the greatest form of expression in my arsenal and the performance etc. is secondary to my fulfillment of that self-expression. It’s also the most enjoyable part of making music.
How do you write a song?
For me, songs were a feeling, an idea and not a combination of parts. I wrote music to words/melodies because I was more tied to words than the accompanying music but I eventually started writing musical parts first which would spontaneously but I never lost the feeling that a song is more than the sum of its parts.
How does your approach to songwriting affect the way you hear music?
When I go to a show or concert, I enjoy the songs and performance as a whole rather than dissecting how each player is playing their parts. A lot of musicians do this constantly, and in some way, music is ruined for them because they don’t hear songs anymore, just parts.
One influential singer, and what it is that makes them stand out to you?
Grace Slick because she sang with incredible tone and presence. Whether she was singing a ballad or rocking out, she always achieved just the right feel.
Biggest challenge to breaking out and sharing your music with new people?
Exposure: it’s difficult to convert people to fans if they don’t hear your music.
Something’s that’s worked for you in reaching a larger audience?
Having songs placed in television shows helped to impress industry people who then helped to promote my music.
A performance FAIL?
Drinking too many shots before a show and performing badly!
A performance SUCCESS?
Touring always brings the successes out because you’re performing night after night and you learn new ways to connect with your audience every time you play in that way.
Favourite vocal gear?
The level of clubs we play don’t always allow for too many extras with the vocals but I love in-ear monitors if the sound guy is willing to get them to work with their system.
Vocal lesson you’ve learned the hard way?
Singing is the most mental game you’ll ever have to contend with in the sense that you need to shut off your mind and allow your body to feel everything. Your mind will fight for control in times when you feel nervous or worried.
Most important lesson you have learned about social media?
Inviting people or blasting social media with shows is insufficient. Connecting with people directly is more important.
Nadia Kazmi writes songs rich in imagery and metaphors, heavily influenced by Leonard Cohen. Her music spans blues, rock and alternative genres. She has toured internationally and worked with Grammy nominated producers. Her third release ‘Lamb’ “evokes a rare sense of emotional purpose” (Seattle post).