Interview: Nala Spark

Hello Nala. You’ve just released your new song “Fly My Kite”. What is the story behind the song and how did you create/write it? Also, what inspired the song title?
Hi, first of all, thanks for having me.

“Fly My Kite” is the first single of my debut EP “El Manifesto” and it talks about the power of taking life into your own hands and doing what makes you shine.

You know, statistically most families prefer their kids to be rather lawyers than artists, because it’s considered “safe”. The same goes with society in general, you say you are a doctor – people are usually impressed. You say you are an artist – people usually say “so you don’t have a job?…”, because if they can’t see you on tv, you are considered a loser, hahaha! I’m laughing now but at the time of writing “Fly My Kite” I was pretty low. I remember I was sick at home, feeling this inner conflict between what I “should be” and what I desire to be. I felt really alone. At the same time I felt an inner refusal to follow the expectations. I sat by the piano and “Fly My Kite” literally flowed out of me, like some kind of a loving voice within. It was a beautiful moment of my realisation that the most important support I can get comes from no one else but me.

And about the song title, it just felt right to fly my kite.

We’ve watched the stunning music video that accompanies the song. What ideas went into the creation of the video? Are there any messages you hope the video conveys, or an impact you hope it has upon the viewer
Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Definitely there’s a message and I’ll do my best to explain it well.

There are two characters in the video, which to me represent two aspects of a human being: “human” (body and mind) and “being” (spirit, soul). The “human” with body and mind is capable of doing great things, but is often driven by emotions, ego or excessive thinking, running through life, but not knowing exactly where and why – this aspect is represented by the running woman with brown hair. On the other hand, the “being” is our soul capable of seeing way more than our intellect, it’s an inner voice of wisdom, that we call sometimes an “intuition” – that’s the woman with turquoise hair. So in the music video the soul of the woman sends her a message. We don’t have to know what it is exactly, but it’s this magical moment of breakthrough that we all hear about sometimes, like “a cynic quits his prestigious job and starts grazing sheep somewhere in the mountains”. In the music video our protagonist stops her marathon through life and transforms it into a joyful dance. A union between these two aspects brings peace and harmony which in fact is a metaphorical version of my own story I already told you.

If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
Being faithful to a particular genre isn’t my cup of tea, I’m pretty sure I’m going to try different things in the future so instead of talking about my sound I’d rather talk about the sound of my debut EP “El Manifesto”.

I like to call it acoustic pop. Acoustic because the core of the sound is piano, played by Jędrzej Skajster, accordion played by Michal Mihok and ukulele played here and there by me. Pop because the melodies are catchy and some people tell me they can’t take them out of their heads which, I’ll tell you in secret, makes me pretty glad!

Also, I have some background as a mime actress and opera director and I love to use it in my music, so some of my songs have this theatrical, fairy-taleish tone. No wonder I’m inspired with Regina Spektor and her imaginative storytelling, she’s definitely my number one. In my motherland that would be Julia Pietrucha, especially her first album “Living on the Island”, which is full of theatre and freedom of expression.

What have been your career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve
Making music professionally is a very dear, yet very new chapter in my life. I made this decision only last year so honestly the biggest highlight so far is the very fact of recording my debut album! I do not have a bucket list, I just want to find my audience, people who would fall in love with my music. That’s why my EP is being released as singles, one every month or so. At the end of this month I’m releasing my second single, this time in Polish. “Piękni” (beautiful people) is my comment on the social conflict in my motherland between those who want equality in terms of gender and sexuality, and those who see it as a threat to tradition and religion. “Piękni” pays tribute to people who respond to acts of homophobia and sexism with love. Because hate accumulates and brings more war. And love… love is the most powerful thing on this planet, love is the ice-breaker. If I could spread this idea, I guess that would be my bucket list.

If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why? Alternatively, what would be your dream live booking?
That’s a cool question, what if, what if… Of course Regina Spektor! Another New Yorker, Ingrid Michaelson and Polish Julia Pietrucha. I guess being on tour with somebody means spending a lot of time with them so a good vibe is crucial. I have this warm feeling about Jessie J, Adele, Stevie Wonder (Stevie, oh please, read this article!) and Dawid Podsiadło (Polish artist). Oh and at least once in my life I’d like to dance with Bruno Mars! 🙂

What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
I’m absolutely astonished by the project of a Polish singer Natalia Kukulska last year; Chopin’s music rearranged and converted into singable songs. I think it’s a fantastic concept, you should definitely check it out, the album’s title is “Czułe Struny” (polonaise A flat major) and sounds spectacular.

I’m fascinated with a poetic lyrics of Uruguayan Jorge Drexler, with joyful songs of Mexican Natalia Lafourcade, with gorgeous male voice of Junior Robinson, with musical imagination of Michal Mihok, with touching piano of Federico Einaudi… there are so many great artists that I can’t tell what you should be listening to, we are resonate with different things and that’s awesome. But what I would recommend is to pay attention to the lyrics, and ask yourself if that’s what you support because sometimes a song sounds cool, but carries content that’s harmful or even against you. So as a songwriter, I call for words’ awareness.

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