Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Nicki Wells, aka T U R Y A and I love to sing and write music, whether its songs or composing scores for film, documentaries and contemporary dance. I’m a big fan of the human voice as an instrument and love to explore its capabilities. I’m into pretty much all things creative and outlets of self-expression be that music, art, dance, theatre or even cooking too!
What cultural influences have mostly affected your music? And what brought you back to London to record and release your debut single Rain?
I lived in India when I was kid so I grew up listening to a lot of Indian music so there is some influence there. But I also grew up listening to the singer songwriter troubadours like Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, Kate Bush and Nick Drake. In terms what brought me back to London, I never left! I’ve been based here for quite a while now though I lived in Australia for two years when I was 16 and before that India and Italy when I was a kid… So yeah, Rain was written and recorded here in London, which is my favourite city in the world.
You collaborated with Shelter Point and Ben Hayes on your single remixes. What made you want to work with these specifically?
They offered to produce the remixes and did a fantastic job of them.
You also had an amazing team on the music video, filmed in Poland. (T U R Y A worked with Director Lukasz Pytlik, Cinematographer Szymon Kurzawa and Actress Marta Gawronska). Can you tell us about the process of making the video, and your ideas behind it?
We wanted to use quite a lot of symbolism in the video but create a story that is relatable to everyone. The song Rain is about acceptance. It symbolises that bad times will come and go anyway, so its about allowing one to just accept that the ‘storm will come, the rain will fall’ and not to resist it because it will drench you anyway… It’s about surrendering to whatever needs to happen, even if its difficult or painful. In the video, we used this symbol of a thunder cloud that is following our protagonist (actress Marta Gawranska), its like she can’t get away from it and it the end she confronts it (symbolising a feeling or a situation) and accepts its existence in her life, only then does it disappear.
Who are your music influences? Who would you love to collaborate with?
Jeff Buckley is number one for me, as a singer and an artist. And I would’ve loved to have collaborated with him. But you know, I’ve been so fortunate to collaborate with people I’ve really wanted to, and it happened so spontaneously, like working with Nitin Sawhney, Lior and Eric Whitacre. These are all musicians I’ve really respected and whose music I’ve loved so its been amazing to collaborate with them.
What is really exciting you about the music scene right now? London and globally?
Well, there’s just so much variety. If you look at some playlists on Spotify, there are new artists coming out almost every week! I think it’s exciting that there is so much out there for everyone but it’s almost coming to a point where there’s too much to choose. I think the music industry is changing so quickly. It’s very exciting but also unanticipated.
Do you think London is doing enough to inject other musical cultural influences? Is London a good support system for independent artists?
I think probably more than most cities in the world, absolutely.
What have been the biggest challenges working on the new single, and your debut album ‘Ocean’?
I think in terms of creating the album Ocean, it was the time it took to find the right sound. I spent many years exploring and discovering my sound only to realise that to keep it pure, stripped back and organic was the most emotional for me and that’s what mattered. How undiluted the song can be so it can purely express a feeling.
Can you tell us more about your upcoming gig for Common and Kind at The Union Chapel?
I was introduced to Michael Williams via a musician friend of mine Bernard Schimplesberger. So Michael asked me to be part of the event and I think it will be a special night. Because we have gone through so much tragedy recently with Manchester and London Bridge attacks and now the Grenfell Tower incident. Common and Kind is about unity and integration and I think music events where that is the underlying message is everything we need in this trying times.
Any new/exciting projects in the pipeline you can tell us about?
I will be starting to gig the album now and release more material of the album. Lots of exciting things to come…
Also, you’ve travelled throughout the world. What has been your most amazing experiences?
There are so many incredible experiences but for me it really is about the people and the beauty of the environment. And how much you can learn from the wisdom of both of these things.
T U R Y A x
Watch her debut video here:
Listen to her debut single here: