The first time I heard Nina Fian sing, was on her track ‘The Falling Angel’, which had just been uploaded onto the Fresh on the Net #Dropbox, where I’m pleased to report, it proved exceptionally popular!
I remember wracking my brains for hours trying to think which female artist I was being reminded of, and like sleep on a restless night, it finally came to me. Tori Amos. Seemingly I’m not the first, and probably won’t be the last, to point out the similarity between the vibe of this song, and that of Amos’ early 90’s productions. Dark piano, vibrant synth, melodramatic bursts of percussion and angelic harmonies – it’s very Tori.
The similarities however, don’t carry across into the vocal, which in my opinion has a suggestion of Ann Wilson crossed with Marie Fredriksson (Roxette); no mean thing! Just listening again to Nina’s ‘Wake me up from this dream’,as I type this, reinforces the comparison, well to myself at least! You might think otherwise.
So just who is Nina Fian? Who better to tell us than the lady herself!
“I’m originally from Vienna. My dad was the well known jazz musician Karl Fian, so music was in my blood from the day I was born. Hey, there’s also an opera singer in the family! 🙂
I am self-taught on the piano, I started playing it at nine. Initially, I harboured dreams of being a performing musician! In terms of artistic development, I took my inspiration from an eclectic range of influences, from classical to classic rock, even metal.
At eighteen, I started studying classical guitar at the internationally renowned Vienna Konservatorium. When I graduated at 21, I packed my bags and headed for Liverpool. I’ve lived there very happily ever since, easing myself in bit by bit, immersing myself in the music scene, getting an understanding of the culture. I started hitting the open mic scene to help me try out new material. So far it’s been a really great experience.”
That’s the background to the lady……..now for some background to the music!
You’ve released some new material with a new production company, how is that going?
“Great! Yes I recorded my latest material with Sugar House Production after getting together with them in February. We’re currently working on an EP, which will hopefully be released early next year.”
So the music you are releasing just now, where are you taking it, or indeed where is it taking you?
“I’m happy with the sound I am working with now. I think it’s me. I definitely want to stay with that sound, it just feels right. I like the power and energy coming from the new tracks. It’s something different, something new for me and it’s carrying me with it.”
Do you prefer a powerful instrumental sound to let your voice loose over? Does it give you more vocal freedom?
“I think the more powerful the sound, the more powerful I can be with the vocal. It opens more doors.”
Does performing live give you even more freedom of expression and how do you like to work with the audience?
“I think performing live is great, it feels really good and is something I’ve become quite comfortable with. Communicating with the audience is good, and very important. It’s great to get feedback, or to feel their energy.”
Is the live performance very different to working in the studio?
“Yes, very, very different. It’s easier for me to sing live. You can express yourself more, more easily than in a studio, but I do enjoy both.”
What drove you to write ‘Wake me up from this Dream’, and how do you normally write your songs – music first, melody, a note, a thought? What do you think your songs say about you?
“It IS actually based on a dream! I write differently with each song, but mainly the music comes first. I just improvise on piano and I like what I hear, what I feel, then the song comes to me. Sometimes though it’s a life situation that will make me write a song. Mainly most of my songs are written about or after life experiences.
About me? Um, not sure. I try to write songs that I hope will open people’s eyes. I write about life, how we feel about things, how we deal with situations, cope with them. I write about learning to embrace life. I believe things happen for a reason, and that our lives are like school – there is always something new to learn. It never stops!”
Finally Nina, how do you feel your music is being received?
“Very positively actually. ‘Falling Angel’ is currently number 4 in the ReverbNation charts.
I’ve had a lot of media interest, which is super exciting. BBC Merseyside radio have really got behind ‘Falling Angel’. They invited me onto BBC Introducing with Dave Monks to do a live session, which was great. I have also been invited to appear on BAY TV Liverpool for a session on 12th October and next year to Roundsound Radio for another session.
I’ve also just heard that both tracks (‘Falling Angel’ and ‘Wake me up…’) will be getting airplay on radio TVRDO in the Netherlands. It’s all really exciting and really positive.”
Thank you Nina 🙂
‘Falling Angel’ is Nina’s current single release. You can listen to it here.
Well it looks like it’s all going pretty well for our Viennese vocal whirl at the moment. So what’s the verdict?
Well, we’ve only included three of Nina’s songs here – you’ll find the full seven published tracks here on her SoundCloud page – https://soundcloud.com/nina_fian.
If you listen across the seven songs, you’ll find they have are very different in sound. ‘Falling Angel’ is a piece of thrashing electronica with a larger than life vocal, to which say, ‘Living in a fragile frame’, is a slow, endearing counterpoint. Reflective, meditative, it is a gentle ballad, which shows the other side of Nina’s musicianship.
Across the divide, there is one interconnecting factor – atmosphere. Each song has a personality of it’s own, but beyond that, they have a lot of differing atmospheres – pensive, sorrowful, regretful, hopeful, loving. They look inwards, but then they also look beyond – as Nina has said herself, life is about learning and her songs are about our experiences, how we live with them, learn from them. Above all these songs are honest. They are true reflections of the person who created them, and who has very beautifully and skilfully, brought them to life.
Whilst I really love ‘Falling Angel’ and think ‘Wake me up from this dream’ is a cracking song – my favourite track of Nina’s is the delightful acoustic ‘Hope’. It exhales sadness…it is sorrowful, but without any gushing. It is a very plainly produced, simple, but highly evocative song, gently sung, without drama, but, with a lot of sincerity.
There is a lot of contrast in Nina’s work and I’m curious to see what makes the final cut on her forthcoming EP. An interesting vocalist and highly skilled musician, Nina is on the cusp of what will hopefully turn out to be a very rewarding future.
I’ll leave you with the song ‘Hope’ ….. and let’s ‘Hope’ that 2016 will be the ‘Dream’ year for this ‘Angel’ xxx
“I never had the chance to say what I wanted to say”
You can find out more about Nina via her website – www.ninafian.com
And you can also find her on Twitter @