Interview – Naëve

I recently featured Naëve’s track Down The Rabbit Hole in a new monthly feature I’ve started, based around my favourite artists of the month. If you missed it, you can find a copy of the song at the bottom of this interview.

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a song titled Down The Rabbit Hole, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the track and where can it be purchased? What does the title refer to?

Down The Rabbit Hole is a protest song I wrote from within the music industry. You know, most of the time (luckily) you meet wonderful professionals that are talented and very educated on several aspects of the music industry. Sometimes you do not. Sometimes you meet some appalling arrogant creatures who believe to ‘know better’ and they actually don’t. They play mind tricks to take advantage of the situation, trying to devalue your work for their own benefit. My message is don’t let them get to you! Never. You see, musicians are ‘particular and very sensible creatures’, mainly about their art. Music, for many musicians is the equivalent of putting yourself out there in your most vulnerable form.

Down The Rabbit Hole represents this ‘peculiar wonderland’ where you’re going to see (and hear) strange things, to the extent that you will, at some point, start questioning yourself. I did that too, but I ‘re learnt’ my own worth.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

Kind of. I had my very first live gig with this project right before the pandemic. We were shortlisted for the finals of a prestigious competition here in London and exactly two days before the finals, there was the first lockdown.

You know, when life gives you lemons…

I then re-directed myself into writing new songs and performing in live stream events.

All in all, I can’t complain. Considering what has happened worldwide during the past few years, I’m grateful for what I have and that I am still here to talk about it. My heart is with the victims of this horrible ‘plague’ and their families.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

There’s not a specific process. Usually I start with the rhythm section, then I ad lib some vocals on that I record, but It can actually be anything. It could be a cool bass line that is stuck in my head and I develop the idea around it.

I do always write the music first. It’s very spontaneous, I don’t like to follow an established path and I try, instinctively, to connect different genres in a way that is only mine. I am very visual so, once the instrumental track is ready, I just keep listening to it until I have a clear picture in my mind about what it makes me feel, then I write the lyrics being unapologetically me.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

Of course. I have ‘a bunch of stuff’ in my head that needs its way out before I become crazy. At the moment I am still very busy for the music video (there will be an insurmountable amount of work for this one, that’s why is taking me so long), but I will start shortly with a new song as a tribute for a new found loving family that warmly welcomed me in their lives (Brasil).

Do you have plans to release an EP or album anytime soon?

I’m working on it, there’s a lot of planning that needs to be done beforehand so, it might not be immediate but yes, I will be releasing my debut EP within a reasonable time.

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

All the biggest artists from the past you can think of and several others forms of art.

Recently I’m quite liking Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy. Not what I usually listen to but I like that particular song.

Where are you based? What is the music scene like in your part of the world? Are you influenced by your surroundings?

I am based in London, UK. The music scene is predominantly focused on rock music (which I did at the beginning) but I believe to be ok to some point and after, you need to expand your views.

I see music genres as tied to a particular emotion. Rock I see like anger, frustration and venting that same frustration out loud but no one wants to be angry all the time.

The scene is a bit messed up. Not a day goes by without meeting someone who tries and takes advantage of musicians for ‘exposure’. You know, my bills are not paid in ‘exposure’. I even had someone coming ‘fresh and clean’ all the way from Manchester, proposing a gig with ‘tickets’ split. I usually play with other 11 musicians on stage. The venue was sold out. She had the courage to give us £25 in total. I didn’t take the money. I was only glad so many people showed up for us. After all, that’s what counts, isn’t it?

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

I’m working on that, too. I’ve been incredibly busy with so many other things that I didn’t have enough time to take care of it.

I will be performing solo next Thursday (the 24th of March) and you can see the live stream through the link in my Instagram.

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

It won’t be just a music showcase, it will be an experience made of colours, stories sharing and dancing until your feet hurt and all in a Big Band style.

Any last words for the fans?

Be there, be ready, I’ll be waiting for you down the rabbit hole…