The vibrant and unstoppable NUSSY has released her new single Hard As Diamonds, an exploration of the human reaction to hurt and turmoil. The thrilling synth-pop artist has also announced a lustrous clip to accompany the track, produced in collaboration with Dan Smith of Head On Media (Gorman, Jo Mercer) and she’ll be performing a string of shows in Melbourne and Sydney throughout February and March 2017, kicking off at Gaytimes Festival at Lake Mountain Alpine Resort on February 18, then moving through to Howler in Melbourne, Marley Bar in Sydney and finishing the run at Oxford Art Factory of March 17.
A song that would fit perfectly on the Stranger Things (Netflix) soundtrack, Hard As Diamonds opens with a solo, glitchy synthesiser, easing the listener into the secure sinewave wonderland of the track like a slow dive to the bottom of a cool, still pool. The track builds and reaches an intriguing climax as a distorted guitar solo sits eccentrically atop the electronic atmosphere, all the while, as unphased and disarming as ever, NUSSY sings intimately, wooing the listener with unique sincerity. NUSSY reflects on the track, “Hard As Diamonds is about a person who has become jaded and built up walls to protect themselves from being hurt. It’s about trying to unlock the beauty that is still evident within their soul.”
Modern and on-trend, the clip for Hard As Diamonds is a testament to NUSSY and her ever-present finger on the pulse. Drawing upon strong, feminine themes explored in previous videos such as that of My Heroin, the Hard As Diamonds clip represents NUSSY as thrilling, genuine yet mysterious as her songs would have audiences expect. Speaking on the conception of the video, NUSSY says, “Coming up with the concept for the video clip was a collaborative effort between myself, my management and Dan Smith who directed the clip. The story centres around a tough chick who drives around the city to embark on a mysterious mission. We drew a lot of influence from the film Drive and TV series Stranger Things.”
An effervescent performer such as NUSSY cannot be kept from the stage for long, and audiences would be foolish to miss these upcoming performances from the outstanding pop vocalist. Thrilled to be getting back on the road and into venues, NUSSY looks back on the last 12 months and ahead to the upcoming year, “I had a really great year in 2016, putting out three singles and can’t wait to continue to release more music in 2017. I have been writing new tunes so I’m definitely keen to get it all out into the world!”
Hi, First of all, how did you come up with the name Nussy?
It’s actually a nickname – very random but it kind of just stuck so seemed like a no-brainer when I was looking for a pseudonym for my music.
You’ve recently dropped a new single titled ‘Hard as Diamonds’, which is about a person who puts walls up to protect themselves from getting hurt, is this something that you do?
It’s definitely something that I’ve done. I think as we get older and have more experiences, it’s only second nature to become a little jaded and guarded in order to protect ourselves.
Is it difficult to be personal in your music because you’re sharing your experiences with the world?
A songwriter I worked with when I was just starting out said to me, “You have to write what you know” and that mantra has stuck with me. Music is my life and it’s the best outlet I’ve found so far so being writing about personal anecdotes is just what happens. Whether the situation has happened to me specifically, or to someone I know, I always write from a place of truth. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always a small part of me that is thinking “Do you know this song is about you?” but at the end of the day I think keeping it personal experiences helps to be more relatable – people are smart and can spot a phoney a mile away!
What was it like filming the music video?
Filming the music video was an absolute blast! It was one of the longest shoots I’ve ever done – we began the day at about 3am and shot through until about midnight with just a couple of hours break in the middle! It was full on but we had an amazing crew, led by Daniel Smith from Head on Media who directed and produced the clip. I always love shooting music videos but this one was extra fun because I got to drive that amazing car around!
You’ve stated that the music video was a collaborative process, but how did the storyline come about?
I sat down with Daniel and as well with my management team and we talked about influences and the general idea of what we wanted the video to portray. We wanted the story to stay a little ambiguous, a lot like the opening credits to the film Drive with Ryan Gossling – he drives around for ages without the viewer actually knowing where he is going or what he is doing.
How did the tv show ‘Stranger Things’ influence the song and music video?
The track was actually well and truly written before Stranger Things was released but when I got intensely into the show, I started thinking, ‘Hard As Diamonds’ could easily fit in this soundtrack. So when it came to thinking about the video, fuelled by my obsession with the show, it just naturally headed that way.
Feminism is a key theme throughout your music, can you explain how you represented that through ‘Hard as Diamonds’?
As a listener, you can take ‘Hard as Diamonds’ one of two ways. It’s either a friend talking to a friend, or a person talking to their inner self. It’s about building someone up who has become guarded – perhaps to protect themselves, perhaps because they don’t know any different – and helping them see the beauty in their soul. It’s about sending positive, power-woman vibes out into the world. There’s a lot of woman-shaming that goes on – in a lot of cases, ‘tough’ women aren’t considered as attractive. It’s probably because they are seen as a bit of a threat. I don’t think that kind of judgement is something that men deal with half as much as women do. And it’s not just men doing it to women, there is a lot of women doing it to other women. It’s all too easy to tear each other down when we should be building each other up and emphasising each other’s beauty and strengths. ‘Hard as Diamonds’ is an ode to that notion.
I loved ‘Hard as Diamonds’, but I noticed that it sounded very different from your last single ‘Body Talk’, is it just about experimenting, or were you looking for a different sound?
I’m always experimenting with new sounds and ideas. As a pianist since I was four years old, I’m at home with keyboards and synths so electronic music just seemed like a natural place for me to go. All my songs are different in their own way but that just comes out of experimentation!
Is an album in the works?
Perhaps an EP later this year…
What can fans expect from the shows?
Lots of colour and sparkles and LOUD MUSIC!
What’s next once your shows are over?
I’m constantly writing new music so I will be keeping at that and can’t wait to get some new tunes out later this year.
interview by Maddie Birkett
NUSSY ‘HARD AS DIAMONDS’ SHOWS
SAT 18 FEB | GAYTIMES FESTIVAL, LAKE MOUNTAIN ALPINE RESORT VIC | 18+
Tickets available from www.eventbrite.com.au
SAT 25 FEB | HOWLER, MELBOURNE VIC | 18+ | FT. TIGERTOWN DJ SET, LANKS DJ SET, OWEN RABBIT, NATIVE SPIRIT, JEBU
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au
THUR 16 MARCH | MARLEY BAR, SYDNEY NSW | 18+
FRI 17 MARCH | OXFARD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY NSW | 18+