Yesterday, NEeMA was holding a concert in my town. Known for her new video, Elsa's Lullaby, I was lucky to meet this amazing singer. She is a singer on the rise with her new album, Watching You Think receiving critics' accolades. She was able to take some time out before her concert to accommodate me for this meeting.
In person, NEeMA is a warm, gracious, soft-spoken individual. Yet, she speaks with wisdom, candor and insight. Here is our interview:
Q: How did you start out as a singer?
A: I've always loved to sing since I was little. I first publicly sang at a wedding and Indonesia in the late 90's. About 6 years ago, I decided to go into music professionally.
Q: Which musicians inspire you?
A: Joni Mitchell, Ani DeFranco, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Hildegard and Fleetwood Mac. I've been hooked on The Ghost Of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen and have been listening to it alot.
Q: What are your favorite types of music?
Q: What do you like most about music?
A: Part of it is my performing and sharing the music with my fans. The other part I love is songwriting.
Q: What keeps your creative spark going?
A: Traveling to places out of the ordinary. Being by the ocean. Having time to myself for reflection. Breaking out of the usual day-to-day routine.
Q: If you weren't in music then what career would you choose?
A: I have liked to do so many things so it's hard to know. As time goes on, you find that you've chose certain things. I really enjoyed the time when I lived in Northern Canada.
Q: What is most unique about your home town of Montreal?
A: That the French and Englisare living side by side. It is so cultural and artistic. Mount Royal is also very special as it's positioned in the middle of the city.
A: I first met Elsa in Yellow Knife. It's a kennel, dog pound and veterinarian all rolled into one. She was only a few months old I saw a beautiful lab/husky mix that I couldn't resist. What made Elsa stand out were her eyes and the way she looked at me made me melt.
A: Aside from having fish as a child, I never had a dog until Elsa entered my life.
Q: Are you able to bring Elsa to work with you?
A: When I toured across Canada for three months, Elsa was with me the entire time and loved it. Now that she's older (almost 12) it's harder for her to travel so I keep her at home for the long distance tours.
Q: How did you come up with Elsa's Lullaby?
A: It was based on a poem I wrote on my video blog.
Q: Does Elsa require a special diet or is she's the type of dog who will eat anything?
A: Elsa has always been a good eater, never finicky. I like to give her Nature's Recipe with a little bit of soft food on top. Now that's she's getting older, she seems to love more of the junk food out there.
Q: What is your favorite dog breed?
A: I like all dogs but the breed I'm really partial to is huskies. Huskies remind me of the wolf. I love their independence. That's what's special about Elsa. She has the independence of a Siberian husky and the gentleness of a lab.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about being a dog owner?
A: That your dog is your best friend. The love and compassion a dog gives you is priceless. Even on days when I'm too tired to walk her, Elsa is always forgiving.
Q: What is the most powerful life lesson Elsa has taught you?
A: I met her during a solitary time in my life. She taught me how to love again.
Q:Do you have any words of wisdom to offer aspiring musicians?
A: Perseverance, courage are important. Also, don't be afraid to follow your heart.
Q: What message can I pass along to your fans?
A: Thank you for your support. It means everything to me. I hope you love the video.
Thanks to NEeMA and to Nathalie Levy for making this interview possible.
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