NishaNandez has a powerful glow when you meet her in person. On stage she snags the interest right away and this is good news for everyone. When you listen to her songs you find a surprising rock flair on a multitude of tracks that, although tell similar stories, each has something you can like.
Doing music for a long time, and being selected as a touring singer for troops overseas covering songs from P!nk to Evanescence you might get a bit of an idea about her capabilities. Last month we did a Music Spotlight on this intriguing artist. Here you can get more info on her and find out what’s coming your way soon!
Daniel/HRM: Please introduce yourself and tell me if you’re the type of person who likes ice cream plain or with chunks of goodness in it.
Nisha: Hi Daniel! My name is NishaNandez and I love chunky goodness in my ice cream!
Daniel/HRM: And what would these delicious nuggets be if you had your choice?
Nisha: They would be chocolate chip cookie dough and brownies!
Daniel/HRM: Were you expecting a different question to start off with?
Nisha: Absolutely! (laughs) But it was nice!
Daniel/HRM: Did you also think I might start flirting with you with such an opener?
Nisha: No, I didn’t think you would flirt with me. (laughs)
Daniel/HRM: Well, since it’s about the music and not a date I’ll move forward into the music direction. I am impressed with your decision to keep it rock and go in this direction. I think it serves you well. Tell us about the album(s) you have out currently. When did it come out and who produced it?
Nisha: (laughs) My current album was released July 2013. All the songs on the album were produced by Jason Richard at Clockright Studios in Austin, TX with the exception of “Static on the Radio” and “Have Mercy on Me”. Those songs were co-produced by Jason Richard and George Seals of Pretty Boy Beats in Nashville at Ocean Way Studios.
Daniel/HRM: When it comes to songwriting are you the lyric writer, music writer, some of both or none of it? Also, do you play any instruments or just sing?
Nisha: I write 90 percent of my lyrics. (laughs) I do get a little help from a select few if I get lost for words. (smiles) On my current album, I collaborated with Jason and Pomales to create the melodies on a majority of the songs I wrote. Pomales, a dear friend from the Army Band (still an active duty pianist in the Army Band), composed the music for “Dreamin” and “Make You Dance”. “Today”, “Flight”, and “Feather” are actually covers of Jason and his wife Beth’s songs from their former band, The Addictions. Pomales arranged the music on those songs to suit my taste and we went for it! I actually do play the flute and was the section leader during my tenure in the Army Band.
Daniel/HRM: You go girl! I can picture you rockin’ that flute while you give those vocals fire! And you did this at a young age too, right?
Nisha: Actually, I began playing the flute when I was nine; however I didn’t participate in singing and songwriting when I was younger. I was too busy admiring all the singers in my family and wishing I had a voice like theirs. I never imagined I would be where I am right now and I’m very grateful.
Daniel/HRM: Why did you decide to go in a rock direction? Is rock in your blood more than other types of music?
Nisha: I decided to go in a rock direction because one of my favorite bands is Evanescence. Their musical influence helped me get through a lot of rough times during my deployment to Iraq. I don’t believe rock is more in my blood than other types of music. I’ve been inspired by many genres. I just happen to LOVE the sound of the rock guitar which is why I begged Jason Richard to add the awesome guitar performance on “Have Mercy on Me”.
Daniel/HRM: So if you got cut would we see music notes dripping out as well as blood?
Nisha: If I got cut, you wouldn’t just see notes. You would see my emotions being transposed into melodies. (smiles)
Daniel/HRM: (laughs) Epic answer! Do you think a vampire would sing immediately upon ingesting your life source?
Nisha: (laughs) I think a vampire would relax and just listen to all the music in my blood.
Daniel/HRM: Do you have a fascination with vampires or any mythological creature?
Nisha: Nope, none. Although I did endure the “Twilight” movies…Ok, I liked them. (laughs) So maybe vampires. (laughs)
Daniel/HRM: Getting back to the music, what was it like being a performing artist for our troops overseas? Did this help impact a new direction in your life or did it line up with the one you had first set out to do?
Nisha: Performing for Soldiers overseas was scary but exciting because I had never performed prior to my deployment unless you count karaoke. I was moved by how happy the Soldiers were to see the band coming and how much they participated in our performances even when I didn’t sound fabulous. I believe my experience in the Army Band greatly impacted this new direction in my life. I never imagined becoming a singer, writing songs, or releasing my own CD prior to performing overseas with the band. I chose to pursue a singing career because I couldn’t forget how great it felt when we came off stage. That feeling encouraged me to stop being afraid to pursue my dream of becoming an artist.
Daniel/HRM: What are you doing with music right now? Touring? Videos?
Nisha: I am so glad you asked Daniel! When I finished my first CD, I began working with Eddie Galan of Mach1 Entertainment in Southern California. I’ve written four Pop songs with Eddie, shot my first music video, and have had a lot of label exposure. I’ve actually received a few record deal offers VERY recently!!! I’m super excited about my new music and I can’t wait until the public can hear/see what I’ve been working on the past 6 months. Locally, I began working with a band called Another Band of Gypsys (not a typo lol). We’ve performed once together and are planning to continue performing locally with a mix of covers, songs from my CD and a few of my new songs. Our next show will be at “All Bottoms Up” in Harker Heights, TX on January 17th!!
Daniel/HRM: What song in your lineup do you think would resonate well with a majority? I know, it’s a tough question to answer but it sure gives readers an idea of what to check out first.
Nisha:That is a tough question! I’d have to say “Make You Dance”. I chose to combine a little funk with layers of vocals to create this groove. I added some subtle rock sounds and Jason rocked the bass and guitar. I just love the way the song grooves. (smiles)
Daniel/HRM: Since you cover a variety of styles describe your music.
Nisha: I would describe my music as a mix of pop, rock, jazz, and alternative. I have been influenced by so many styles of music and wanted to find a way to pleasantly combine the styles I enjoy into my own. Jason and Pomales did an excellent job of interpreting what I was looking for and helping to create the sounds on “NishaNandez” (CD). Jason and I consider my style Indie Rock/Pop.
Daniel/HRM: Where can people go for more about you?
Nisha: You can find out more about me on my website: www.nishanandez.com I update my blog as often as I can and the link is on my website. You can follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nishanandez and fan me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nishanandez1
Daniel/HRM: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Nisha: I want to thank God, my family, and my fans! Without them, I wouldn’t be here. I also want to thank Jason, Eddie, and George for believing in me and helping me make my dream a reality. To aspiring artists, I’d like to say don’t forget to study the business of music. It works hand in hand with your talent and I believe it is an important aspect of “making it” in the industry.
Daniel/HRM: Here’s the last signature question. Let’s say you had to go back through time to entertain troops during a previous war. Luckily, with this opportunity also came an opportunity for you to caution them about something they could do differently to leave a greater impact on the future. What war would it be, what would your cautionary advice be and what song of yours would best represent this situation?
Nisha: I would go back to the Vietnam War. I would caution the Soldiers to cherish every day as if it were their last. I would tell them to seek help for the emotional wounds of war they’ll experience to help them understand their feelings. I would also encourage them to remember they are Soldiers and war comes with the job description but that doesn’t mean they have to suffer for the rest of their lives without help. Lastly, I would tell them not to give up on themselves or their dreams. The song that best represents this situation is “Dreamin”. I wrote this song on a day when I was feeling down and wanted to remind people not to give up on their dreams. I want to send the message that even though life gets rough, you’ve come too far to quit.
Daniel/HRM: Intense answer! Thank you so much for your time. I do wish you great success with this dream of yours!
Nisha: Thank you so much for the interview Daniel! It has been a pleasure! Keep Rockin’!
Story and interview by
Daniel C. Morrison – Hip Rock Magazine