Nira Nise is the brainchild from Nira herself, a polish young lady who discovered the 90ies Grunge and decided to form a band to keep the 90ies vibe alive. The band has only five songs released so far, but 2023 will see their debut full-length somewhere after the summer with the name The Witch Unburned. Until then, let’s get to know Nira a little better.
6 questions to… is a series of questions to artists about themselves, answers can be short or long and each artist gets the same questions.Photo: Nira Nise
When did you start with singing, and why did you want to sing?
I started singing in a small choir group when I was in middle school, but it was nothing special for me. Just another chance to meet my friends after school and make a fuss. In high school, I got into a really big choir that was performing in European countries and winning prizes and stuff. But still it’s NOT REALLY singing, when you’re just one of many, standing in the back.
I guess everything changed when I heard Hole. I was like, “Wtf is that, a girl can scream like that?! I wanna do it too!”. I was 19, just about to move to Warsaw to study. In Warsaw, I started going to karaoke parties and that’s when I REALLY started to sing.
Who influenced you the most at the beginning of your musical journey, and who are your current favorites?
My mind was blown up when I heard Nirvana and Alice in Chains for the first time. I was a goth in high school, listening to sad moaning ladies. But I found the classics of grunge, I got into it so much I changed black laces for flannel shirts and immediately wanted to start playing electric guitar (I’d only played acoustic before). As I mentioned before, I also discovered Hole, then The Distillers, Babes in Toyland, Hands off Gretel, The Pretty Reckless, which became my inspirations as well. I am literally obsessed with raspy, screamy female vocals! When I heard “The Hunger” from The Distillers, it was the same exact situation as with Hole. I was blown away and promised myself I will learn how to scream like Brody Dalle and when I did, I will do a full cover of it. And I did, and we often play that song on gigs! It’s even on my YouTube, hehe.
What other types of music would you like to sing?
I don’t think there are different types of music I’d like to do. I still go to karaoke to try singing different artists, like Marilyn Manson, Audioslave or Led Zeppelin, but for now I’m gonna stick with my 90s influences when it comes to my own music. Maybe it’ll pass when I stop feeling the need to rebel.
What is the highlight of your musical journey?
Now is the highlight of my journey, haha! Until this year, my band has released only an EP “House on a tree” recorded in a garage and one single “Tracks”, recorded at home during the first lockdown. Which means in our 5-year “career” we have released only 4 songs and never been in a real studio, until now. This year things are gonna change! Our debut album “The Witch Unburned” is to be released this summer, we’re promoting it with a single “Blame is mine”, which brought us some new opportunities, like a few radio stations played our music, we were mentioned on one of the biggest polish YouTube channels, one guy even invited us to play on his birthday party! And of course at the end of April we are playing two gigs outside the country, which has never happened before.
What was the funniest moment in your musical journey?
I’ve always dreamt of playing a Halloween gig, since the day I started the band. Last year it finally happened and OMG. We basically dressed as a zombie church – I was a nun, the bassist was a priest and the drummer was an altar boy. Between the songs, the drummer was coming to the front of the stage, pulling out an aspergillum (I think that’s the name of it…?) and sprinkling water on the audience. What’s even funnier, at some point the smoke machine jammed and kept producing more and more smoke. No one could see shit. Best gig ever.
Tips for people who want to start singing as you do?
First thing, go to karaoke! It’s the best way to practice that you can imagine. At the beginning you can start with small, crowded bars with no stage etc., from my experience I can tell the level of singers is not very high at places like these, there are mostly drunk people who just want to have fun – and that’s the point! Best place to try a song you haven’t mastered yet! Then you can try going to venues specializing in karaoke events, they usually have a stage, lights and a very good sound system.
The second thing I would tell myself, when I started singing, is to start taking vocal lessons. Simple as that, but when I started I was scared of vocal teachers, I thought they were going to CHANGE my voice. I mean, daaaa. They are going to change your voice, that’s the whole point of lessons, but it’s not gonna change who you are. You’re still the one making decisions, and you can choose the style and which direction you will go. You can even find extreme vocal coaches. The most important thing to me as a singer is to constantly look for answers. Mastered fry scream? Cool. Go find another technique. There are always more things to learn.