Meet Nyassa & Her New Single 'Falling Apart'
Following a stint touring with Hilltop Hoods and having just released her sophomore single, we meet exciting Adelaide-based singer-songwriter on the rise
Image credit: She is aphrodite
After making waves at the start of the year with debut single Ghost that saw love from both triple j and community radio around the country, as well as hitting a number of playlists and racking up streams, Nyassa is back in emphatic fashion with her second single Falling Apart.
Channelling 80s electro-pop with a modern twist, Falling Apart pairs crisp drums with a range of layered synths providing an engrossing soundscape that perfectly complements Nyassa’s striking chamber pop vocals.
Nyassa explains “Falling Apart was written and recorded in my bedroom. It was the first song my partner and I had collaborated on for my own project. As soon as I heard the music, I started singing the chorus melody and lyrics, like it had always been there.”
Matching the epic sound of the composition is the engrossing music video for Falling Apart. Directed by Richy Sandham, the clip draws on classic thriller narratives with a theatrical twist, featuring custom made fashion pieces including an iconic 80s style ceramic mask and a golden two-piece set handmade by her mother.
Speaking on the video, Nyassa says “Designing and creating the looks in this music video was so important to me. I’ve never felt as if I’ve been able to buy clothes that feel like “Nyassa” - either because they don’t exist, or they do, but they are an Yves Saint Laurent piece from the 80’s and probably hanging in a museum somewhere! But with my mum’s sewing abilities and my imagination, I feel like the possibilities are endless when creating my costumes.”
To celebrate the release of Falling Apart, we caught up with Nyassa.
Tell us about yourself?
I am from and live in Adelaide, South Australia. Aside from music, I am also completely obsessed with fashion designing, and all things fashion. I have always loved expressing myself through fashion, even when I was in primary school and we would have a casual clothes day, I would be in my room the night before coming up with an outfit that was just completely original, and I’m still like that now. When I joined Hilltop Hoods as a vocalist on their Arena tours, I was again, turning my room upside down, and creating looks from scratch. My mum is an incredible self taught seamstress and so together we make a great team. For me, music and fashion are very alike. They both allow a unique and individual expression, whilst also being a universal language that connects to people all around the world in some type of way.
How did you first get into making music?
I’ve been singing my whole life, growing up with my dad being a musician himself, music was always around me. I knew from a very young age that this is what I was going to do with my life. I was always singing, always learning new songs in my room, listening to Alicia Keys and writing her lyrics down on notepads word by word, pressing pause and play on a CD player. With such a clear path in my mind, I left high school after year 10, to pursue music and attended a music course for 2 years. This is where I was first introduced to programs like ‘Logic’ that I would eventually write all my music with.
One of the projects we had was to write a song, and myself not being able to play any instrument, I asked my dad to help me. That was the beginning of my Dad and I writing music together, almost every day, for the next 4 years. It was such an experimental stage of my songwriting, and with every song we wrote, I was becoming a better, stronger songwriter. When I listen back to older demos, I can really hear the natural development of finding my sound. The patient and non judgemental space my dad had created, matched with his unshakable faith in me, allowed me to bloom and become the artist I am now.
Tell us about your creative process?
If I don’t already have a poem or title name written in my notes, I will let the music speak and allow the inspiration to come. Writing melodies is one of my favourite parts of the entire process, it fascinates me how the brain can come up with melodies, especially when I’m not forcing it, and I just start singing a line, I’m like, where is this coming from? It’s like a super power. I record all my own vocals at home in my wardrobe, surrounded by my collection of 80’s prom dresses and shoulder padded jackets. It’s my happy place when I’m recording, I am in control of my own voice, like an artist with a paintbrush, I can do anything.
Tell us about your new single ‘Falling Apart’?
‘Falling Apart’ was also written and recorded in my bedroom. I had come home from a studio session with a piece of music I just didn’t like, and so my partner (who is an artist himself) said he would try to write me a song. I was sitting on my bed, and he started playing that 80’s beat, and I started singing the chorus melody straight away. We both had no idea this would become my sophomore single, we were just having fun.
What's the story behind the theatrical music video?
The music video draws inspiration from two of my favourite films: ’Joker’ and ‘Black Swan’. It was directed and shot by my partner Richy, and filmed in the Regal Theatre in Adelaide. It features a chaotic performance of self doubt, mirrored with an alternate reality where we are hidden beneath a mask, to portray the battle of the mind. It features a custom made golden outfit that was created and designed by my mum and I. When planning the looks for the music video, I thought, what would be better than a gold tutu under a big spotlight!
What's on the cards for Nyassa in 2024?
There will be more music, my first live shows, more overseas writing trips, and more fashion!
How can fans best support your music?
Keep streaming my music on Spotify, and follow me on instagram to keep updated with everything behind the scenes that I’m working on, and to be ready for all the exciting things that are coming!
What have you been listening to lately?
Birdy’s new album ‘Portraits’ is incredible, it reminds me a lot of Kate Bush who is one of my favourite artists. Raye’s orchestral album “My 21st Century Symphony (Live at the Royal Albert Hall) that was full of goosebumps and inspiration. And then I always have my favourites like Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga on rotation.