Scotland’s It Girl Nina Nesbitt talks about her latest track 'Mansion', her passion for vulnerability and how her forthcoming album is a full circle moment.

You know how some artists have their perfect pairing? The bread to their butter. The yin to their yang. Well, for Nina Nesbitt her paradigmatic match is unequivocal vulnerability narrating the ebbs and flows of navigating her 20’s. She bares her soul so dexterously, penning lyrics so poignant it guarantees your heartstrings to be tugged in every direction. Harnessing her aim to write tracks that make her feel something, she has struck a cathartic release, reaping the fruits of her efforts with a wave of liberation that comes alongside it.


Far from a newcomer to the scene, and more so a seasoned professional, Nina Nesbitt has been enrapturing hearts since her inception in 2011, piquing the ears of Ed Sheeran and eventually embarking on his European tour. Whipping up tender soundscapes laden with delicate percussions, she has basked in the limelight for interplaying folk storytelling with pop-y gooeyness to create a sound like no other.



Though with three albums and a heap of singles under her belt, Nina affirms that her upcoming album, Mountain Music, is simply a kingpin. Finding moments of solace with just herself, her guitar and piano, Nina fleetly tapped into streams of consciousness, unfurling lyrics that carry the burdens of emotions and read like an internal monologue. The outcome? A songwriting process that “felt like free therapy”, whilst she stirred up a project that interplays US folk tinges with euphoric crescendos, guaranteeing a genre-blurring whirlwind.


Whilst the album is set to be with us at the start of autumn, Nina is only giving us more goosebumps by giving us a taste of what in store with her recent single, ‘Mansion’—a track set to appear on Mountain Music. Stripping back production, her sunken vocals sit atop tenderly plucked guitar and soft piano chords, all whilst she unravels a narrative of pleading with a friend to notice their own worth, in a bid to inspire others to see themselves in the best light possible.


As she teases a slew of shows this year and gears up towards her album release, we talk to Scotland’s ‘It’ girl about her latest track, her passion for vulnerability and how her forthcoming album is a full circle moment.

On ‘Mansion’ we see you lay your emotions bare, as you plead with a friend to notice their own worth. How did the track come to be? What were the reasons behind focusing on such narrative?

I had most of the lyrics in my notes for a while but struggled to find the right chords for the story to come to life. I’ve played guitar for a long time and sometimes it can be uninspiring because I have my go-to chord progressions, so I asked my friend Chris if I could borrow his mandolin. He said if I fixed it up and restrung it I could keep it for a while. Mandolin is an instrument that I’ve never played before (I still don’t know how to play it properly) but that made it feel really exciting and liberating. I wasn’t thinking about what chords I was playing, I just put a finger on different frets and liked what I heard. Straight away the song poured out on top of them and ‘Mansion’ was finally born! I love songs that tell a story and aren’t necessarily always about romantic love. I guess ‘Mansion’ is in a way, but it’s more focused on female friendship and the way we lift each other up. It was inspired by one friend in particular but I definitely think it’s a feeling I’ve felt when I was younger. To accept less than you deserve because you’re scared to let people in and realise your full potential. I hope that it inspires people to see themselves in the best light possible.

The track is beautifully crafted, with your sunken vocals sitting atop tenderly picked guitar and soft piano chords. Why did you opt for stripping back the production?

Thank you! I think the most important thing about this upcoming album is the storytelling and lyrics. I wanted the instrumentation to support the stories, not lead or overshadow them. I love how this song starts soft and builds up to be huge by the end. For me, the dynamic build represents feeling like a ‘box room’, to by the end becoming this grandiose ‘mansion’. I was inspired by a lot of delicate folk music while writing this album, but I also wanted those huge Sigur Ros-influenced builds to add an extra layer.

How do you think the minimal production contributes to the overall vibe and essence of the track?

I think the softness of the first half allows the build to hit at the end and hopefully feel like this euphoric realisation of your own self-worth.

Over the course of your career, you have piqued listeners for your refreshing and resonant narratives as you navigate the ebbs and flows of your 20’s. Why is being vulnerable and penning personal experiences important to your artistry?

Vulnerability and blunt honesty is what draws me to other’s work. My aim is to always write what moves me or makes me feel something. There’s so much music out there, especially now, that I think – what’s the point if it’s not affecting people in some way? Even though it’s incredibly daunting to release songs that are so deeply personal, it’s also a form of catharsis for me to write them and I feel a sense of liberation once they’re out in the world and no longer mine. It feels like the people listening and connecting to the songs help lift the weight of whatever it is I’ve been going through.

Since your inception in 2012, you have delved into a plethora of genres: from indie-pop to shades of folk, to electronica, even 80’s inspired melodies. Do you believe that your sound is fluid? How would you describe your sound as an artist?

I think this upcoming album defines my sound as an artist. I know people say that every album, but I truly feel that this sound is an extension of me. I started out with a guitar in my bedroom, writing folk songs. It feels like a full-circle moment. I’ve found that I can still work across all different genres as a songwriter and experience the same excitement from other people releasing those songs. Working with so many eclectic artists over the past few years has definitely helped me realise and understand who I am as one and where I fit in.

We can hear your Scottish roots in your music with your candid folk storytelling coming into play. We also hear nods to your Swedish heritage in your artistry, with your 2022 album titled, Älskar (‘love’ in Swedish). Why is your dual heritage important for you to embed within your music? And how do you approach bringing your heritage into the production and narrative?

I think growing up with two different cultures around me has massively influenced my style as an artist and a writer. I’ve always sat somewhere in between storytelling folk and 2000s-inspired pop. I love both genres so much. I do feel like it’s representative of the Scottish storytelling and the Swedish Max Martin era that I was raised on. There are definitely a lot of nods to Scotland in my music, spending most of my life there I feel like it’s a huge part of my narrative and who I am. When I was younger, I struggled to find any representation of people from small villages who sounded like me when they spoke, so I always want to shout it off the rooftops – even though I’ve discovered most people in America think I’m Irish haha. The Swedish side has been so interesting to explore as I’ve never lived there, only regularly visited my family. But in the past few years, I’ve made some great friends in the Swedish writing community and it feels like a second home. The Swede in me writes the pop songs for sure.

‘Mansion’, as well as your previously acclaimed singles, ‘Pages’ and ‘On The Run’ are set to appear on your forthcoming fourth album, Mountain Music. Can you give us a glimpse of what to expect from the album? How do you think the project differs from your previous albums sound-wise and narrative-wise?

Yes, firstly I’m so excited to be releasing this album. It’s my favourite yet. I think it’s the most cohesive body of work I’ve created so far. I wrote this album similar to how I wrote my first few releases. Just me sat in a room with a guitar or piano. It felt good to be alone and learn to trust my own instincts again. I co-write a lot for other people and it’s nice to have other people in the room that go ‘Yes that’s a great idea!’ or ‘Maybe try something different’ – but when you’re writing alone you have to learn to be your own editor and try to quieten your inner critic. I wanted to lyrically delve deep on this album and take a ‘stream of consciousness’ approach. Some of the songs I wrote, I listened back and thought ‘I didn’t even know I felt this’. It felt like free therapy! Sound-wise, I recorded all the demos at home but knew I wanted to get in a room with live musicians, Nashville style. I considered going to America to record it, but this album has such a British narrative to it and I wanted the recording experience to reflect that. I was heavily inspired by a lot of the US folk music I grew up listening to, but I wanted to create my own version, I wanted to name-check the places that mean something to me and to tell the stories through a female lens. I found a beautiful studio, Middle Farm in Devon and worked with the producer, Peter Miles, who was important in making it all come to life. We gathered a group of live musicians down there and recorded the album to tape in 3 days. Peter encouraged me to embrace the flaws and capture a moment rather than striving for perfection. We also ditched the auto-tune – which was weird for my ‘pop vocal’ ears at the beginning but something I’m really pleased about it. I think with the songs being so raw and vulnerable, the recordings had to reflect that.

What have been some key influences and sources in curating your forthcoming album, Mountain Music?

I think this is the album I’ve always dreamed of making, but I feel like I’ve had pressure from the industry to deliver certain-sounding songs in order to achieve commercial success. After I parted ways with the record label I was on last year, I knew I wanted to have a bit of a palette cleanser and write for other artists for a while. So, I didn’t really set out to write it, the album just poured out within a couple months. I think having no pressure or expectancy to deliver an album is what made it so enjoyable and easy to write. I spent last year mostly away from social media, I read a lot of books and spent a lot of time in nature – as cliché as it sounds – I felt the calmest I’ve ever felt. I think it allowed these songs to be written and to give me time to reflect on where I’m at and what I want in life. I tried to reconnect with being an artist and listened to the songs that made me fall in love with music when I was younger. It reignited a spark in me and I realised a song didn’t need to be more than a story and some chords. Lyrically, I was so inspired by the books I was reading at the time. I’m such a lover of words, the music has always come second for me. I want this album to almost feel like someone is opening a book or a diary and the music is supporting that. Sonically, as I said I was very inspired by a lot of the US folk music I discovered when I was younger and some new ones too, but I didn’t want it this album to just feel like a delicate folk record, I wanted to lean in to the raspier side of my voice incorporate bigger moments too. After opening for Coldplay in a stadium a couple of years ago and being blown away by their set, I knew I wanted to take inspiration from their euphoric builds. It’s definitely got some Sigur Rod-inspired moments too.

Describe the album in three words.

Lyrical, emotional, dynamic.

Aside from the album release scheduled for late September, what else does 2024 have in store for Nina Nesbitt?

I’ll be announcing some shows very soon… lots more coming your way! 🙂

Listen to 'Mansion' now:

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