EXCLUSIVE: Nxdia Gives ECHO a Peek Inside Their Head and the ‘in the flesh’ EP

Alternative-pop singer-songwriter Nxdia recently released their vibrant new project, in the flesh

On the six-track EP, Nxdia invites listeners into their head with beats that will get stuck in yours.

Inspired by her youth in a Cairo cinema,  Nxida utilizes sounds, instruments, and textures that transport listeners to moments of anger, observation, confrontation, accountability, and admiration. 

We chatted with Nxdia about the EP and more!  

Congrats on the release of your debut EP, in the flesh! How does it feel to have this project out?

Both a massive relief and a weird spacey feeling- to have a project out is so exciting but to have everything accumulating to something and it just being out and available feels so strange. But mainly super happy it’s finally out!!

What’s it like inviting listeners into your head?

Scary! But fun! It kind of feels like a look into younger me’s brain- I think I process things a lot better through hindsight, so it’s nice to be able to communicate that now- not scathingly but more honestly and through a more understanding lens. I hope I get better at communicating everything as I go.

What did the writing and production process look like for this EP?

Some of these songs are a couple of years old, this process was for the most part a sum up of everything I’d worked on over the years, concluded in an eclectic project. A lot of the songs were made with my friend Dean, which was super easy- we both communicate really clearly with one another and like similar sounds so it makes the process a lot easier when I’m not trying to explain something that can feel a little ambiguous. I rewrote and edited loads of parts, there were edits right until the upload deadline, it was quite stressful but definitely a new experience, it’s made things clearer for me in terms of where I want to go from here.

You were born in Egypt and grew up in the UK. How have those places shaped your sound and you as an artist?

I guess we’re just walking collections of what we’re exposed to, seeing the differences between Cairo and Manchester, growing up in both- it completely shapes me as an artist. It can feel like trying to tie two worlds together and two very different places that both feel like home. Writing in both English and Arabic is the most obvious way I’ve been influenced by both cultures, I’m finding that I try and incorporate more Arabic instruments and sounds in my music now too.

One of the six tracks is “idc.” What inspired that single?

An ex, I’m a really anxious person so I tend to exaggerate issues in my head- in this instance I thought I’d see them and feel like I’d made a terrible mistake despite everything I’d been put through by them- but I saw them and … nothing. It felt really cathartic, so I wrote ‘idc’.

How did you and your team develop the concept for the music video, and what was the shoot like, especially as your first night shoot?

Honestly, our deadline was super close, I wanted to acknowledge what the song was about, so I hopped on a call with Joe Bidmead, who directed and produced the video he was so receptive to discussing ideas and setting everything up. I was so exhausted, though, I’m a proper grandad, usually asleep by 11 pm, so this was a little beyond my usual capacity, but I really enjoyed it! Hurrah energy drinks!

You grew up next to a cinema. How has your interest in film influenced the storytelling in your music and the accompanying projects?

My favorite part of living next to the cinema was weirdly seeing the massive posters outside change depending on the films that had come out. As a kid, I just loved how much you could tell about a film by its artwork, the definition of judging a book by its cover, but I loved it. It makes me want to make music videos that feel like short films, with artwork that reflects my music how I want it to be represented.

Favorite memory from the making of the EP?

Contributing to the production on “decay” for sure, coming up with the chords and the riff and being allowed to just try felt so so good, spurs me on to try and learn how to produce more!

How do you think the title, in the flesh, best represents this body of work?

Just being stuck in my body when I was experiencing things, I think growing up, I let my anxiety and indecision take the reigns, but It got to a point where I was sick of being an observer instead of a contributor.

If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to the EP, what do you imagine it looking like?

Ooooh, walking through the city as it’s getting darker and the little neon signs are lighting up and people watching, my favorite way of listening to music.

What can fans look forward to next?

Snippets of new music and live shows! Really excited to start this next chapter, I have so many ideas!

What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?

It’s actually a Paulo Coelho quote from the alchemist that I love – “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”- and I believe that 🙂

Featured photo by: @photosbyjrd