It’s April already, and the first artist to feature in the K-SPOTLIGHT series this month…is Nieah! She specialises in R&B and is wholly involved in creating her own music (taking charge of vocals, beat-making and producing), together with the other members of the ChillWithus team (Jay Dope and Mute who assist with production and the sound engineering side of things). We love Nieah’s music, and she has been steadily releasing consistently high quality tracks right from the outset, impressing us all the time.
With a vast number of artists doing R&B now, many are guilty of releasing music that is repetitive, lacks substance and has no identity. Nieah, Jay Dope and Mute are doing all the right things so far and have made themselves distinct from the crowd, with Nieah spearheading the efforts with her warm vocal displays. We happily anticipate more experimentation with rhythms, lyrics and sounds from them in the future!
Before ChillWithus was formed, Nieah was part of Amourette (stylised as AMRT) together with KittiB (who brought them together), Hoody (who is now signed with AOMG) and Seri Nam (motion graphics designer and MV director). Although this underground crew was short-lived, the girls are regularly supportive of each other’s activities. Why not listen to an early song by Nieah featuring KittiB as an introduction? It is called ‘Belief.’ Later, a collaboration with Mute and Jay Dope for one of her tracks, ‘Tell Me Why’ proved fruitful, and that relationship exists to this day as the ChillWithus crew was cemented in its current form.
Remember her name, because we think that Nieah will be the one to take people by surprise in the R&B scene.
It is only a matter of time before the diligence pays off and a greater audience will be clamouring to access more music from the ChillWithus collective.
In this first part of our special K-SPOTLIGHT with Nieah, we asked her about different aspects of music, including how she started out and what her plans are for this year. Nieah was kind enough to answer with much thought and care, and made time for us even though she finds English difficult, so we sincerely thank Nieah for working well with us and for answering so many questions!
We hope that this Q&A will pique the interest of many readers, and that you go on to listen to Nieah’s music!
Read more about the artist in our music feature article on the blog, alongside a detailed review of her first mini album EP made as part of the ChillWithus team, called ‘Timeless’. Don’t miss it! You can read the music feature by clicking here.
And please remember to give your support! If you want to check out her music for yourselves now, visit Nieah’s Bandcamp page and/or iTunes and Google Play where you can buy all of her songs.
1. Can you introduce yourself and your music? How did you decide on the name ‘Nieah’?
Hey, I am Nieah from South Korea, doing R&B music. The name ‘Nieah’ is made simply because it is the reverse of my Korean name, Haein.
2. What made you choose to be a musician and what is it about music that you love?
I had never set my mind to be a musician before, but loved to sing since I was young and here I am, doing music.
I get inspired and excited when listening to songs I love; it becomes a creative input and through that, my output is created. I want to be someone who can inspire others too.
3. Do you come from a musical family? Do your family support your dreams of doing music?
Ironically, I am the only one doing music in my family. My grandmother (who has passed away) used to do Korean traditional music, but I wonder whether that really has any effect on my music life. Thankfully, my family supports me as they say it’s natural that I do music.
Where the magic happens! The impressive ChillWithus studio, where the team work together. ©Nieah.
4. Do you perform live on stage yet? Do you think performing or the song-writing part is more enjoyable for you?
We are preparing for a performance on stage. There have been some offers for collaborating on stage, so we will give it a shot. But I think the song-writing part is more enjoyable for me.
5. How did you first discover R&B and learn how to write songs in your own style? Do you think that the way music is taught in school in Korea makes it difficult for artists to write different styles of songs?
When I was 13, I accidentally had a chance to hear songs by Stevie Wonder. It was totally different from the Korean music that I used to listen to. Since then, I have started to discover R&B music and listen to it.
The way that music is taught in most schools in Korea tends to stick to the traditional way. And it was uncomfortable for me to conform to that.
6. Congratulations on the release of your ‘Timeless’ EP! How long did it take to put everything together? And what did you think was the most difficult thing to do?
Thanks! It took us about 6 months to put everything together onto a CD. Even though the theme was completed a long time ago, the process was delayed due to various situations with the crew.
The most difficult thing was promoting our album since we only know how to do music, not selling.
7. We think that the USB Drive version is a good idea! Is this something that you know will sell well in Korea?
Actually, there were some requests for a USB Drive version. As it becomes harder to listen to the songs in CD format, we thought that it was an excellent idea.
© ‘Timeless’ USB merchandise. Nieah Official Bandcamp page. 20.02.2017
8. You are part of the ‘ChillWithus’ crew together with Jay Dope and Mute. Did you always know that you wanted to be part of a crew? How did you meet them?
Nope, I never knew that I would be working with them. We met at school. We did have similar interests in music, so I got to interact with these people constantly. And it all just happened coincidentally. We named our team ‘ChillWithus’ after we were together for 5 months.
9. What are the good things about working with Jay Dope and Mute?
Like I mentioned earlier, we get along so well. Our interest in music is matched by over 95%. We prefer the exact same tracks on an album, and that makes it easier for us to work together, as well as work better with each other.
The ChillWithus crew consisting of Jay Dope, Nieah and Mute (from left to right) ©Nieah. 31.03.2017
10. We first discovered you after listening to ‘Cactus Flower’. It is an amazing song! We also like ‘No Rush’ and ‘No Way’ too. What is it about English lyrics that you like? Do you like using a mixture of Korean and English?
Thanks. I’m glad you like the songs!
Actually I wish to make tracks that are written entirely in Korean or only in English. However, there are some awkward syllables that won’t fit when using Korean at times. Then I will use the English lyrics that were recorded in my guide song. I also ask for a help from my friend since I am not good at English.
(Note: a guide song is a rough line of melody created as a reference before much of the lyrics are added)
11. What other artists do you enjoy listening to?
Recently, I often enjoy listening to 6LACK, 11:11, and H.E.R.
(Note: these are US artists that are doing R&B music)
12. When you write music, do you start with melody or with lyrics? Do you always know at the beginning about the final sound you would like?
I always start with the melody. Whenever lyrics come into my head, I write them down on my iPhone. Most of the songs are set with their own concepts right at the beginning, but they can sometimes turn out different to what I initially expected, which I think is interesting.
The artist at work! © Nieah. From Nieah’s official Instagram. 01.04.2017
13. You have featured Kamo, KittiB, Jay Dope and Rick Bridges on songs before. Is it easy to ask people to work together with you?
It is definitely hard for me to ask people to work with me, so I have never contacted artists that I don’t know. The artists who have featured on my songs are the ones I know well or friends of friends. I have worked with wonderful musicians so far and I want to work with many other artists in future.
14. Who would you like to sing together with in future?
That would be Jay Park and Sik-K. Just my thoughts.
15. It is harder for smaller labels and independent artists to promote their music. What are you doing now to show your music to everyone?
All I do at the moment is use YouTube and Soundcloud to show my music to everyone. Though I need more ideas to promote my music.
16. Is it possible to work full-time on your music now?
So far, it has been possible to work full-time on it.
17. What are your plans for the rest of 2017? And can you tell us one goal that you want to achieve in the near future?
My goal for 2017 is to release another album.
If you call “Timeless” black, the new album is going to be pink or red.
18. Other than music, what other things do you like to do?
I like to draw. Even though they are only scribbles now, I want to do it professionally later.
(Responses have been edited where required for clarity with permission from the artist)
Nieah, often dressed in black and wearing a strap-back cap, maintains a degree of mystery and air of inaccessibility around herself. For now, her musical style does a lot of the talking on her behalf, as it cuts the air with its vibrant flow and infectious basslines. Read more on the blog about our thoughts on her music, with a detailed review on her first mini album EP, called ‘Timeless’ and some of her other songs too. You can now read the music article by clicking here!
Please remember to support the artist! You can purchase music from Nieah’s Bandcamp page and/or iTunes and Google Play. You can also find out more via Nieah’s/ChillWithus’ media links, which are listed below.
Featured image source: © Nieah. 22.03.2017. The image was kindly provided by Nieah for use in this article.
In-article image source: © Nieah. All images from official websites were reproduced with permission from the artist. Any other images were provided directly from Nieah for use in this article.
© Inspire Me Korea. 04.04.2017