As we approach the end of 2022, this Tone Deaf series celebrates some of the artists from Australia, New Zealand and beyond that have impressed us this year. The music industry may be slowly returning to normal, but the past few years have been tough on musicians. The artists in this series are proof that creativity always endures, even in uncertain times.
You rarely come across someone as talented as Nuria who still manages to be as down to earth as hell.
Putting Nuria into a specific genre box is near imposisble, but if we had to, she’d be an electric mix of indie pop tied together with solid synthwave, simmering beats and splashes of sass. The Tassie born artist takes important from her girl power icons Lorde, Lily Allen and fellow-Aussie G-Flip.
Nuria released her latest track, ‘Fucking Your Style’ back in September, and it followed her June release of ‘Graffiti’.
“This is a song about owning my complexities,” she said of ‘Fucking Your Style’.
“I’ve spent years beating myself up for feeling ‘a little bit fucked up’ and living apologetically with that baggage. ‘Fucking Your Style’ is a song I wrote when I had that feeling in a big way and I was done with it. I finally thought ‘fuck this, this is the way I am, and you can take it or leave it but I’m going to stop apologising for it now – I’m not going to be anyone’s liability.’ It was a totally liberating and empowering song to write and I still feel that way when I play it”.
While Nuria’s professional career is going swimmingly, the Aussie artist certainly hasn’t developed an ego along the way.
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“I’m just a slightly fucked up normal person (isn’t that the very definition of normal?). I’m no teenage pop princess and there’s nothing particularly cool about me but I’ll tell it straight and I’m going to keep making music because it’s the language of my heart,” she explained.
In light of Nuria’s recent release of ‘Your Fucking Style’, we caught up with her to find out more about her life and music, which you can read below.
Check out ‘Fucking Your Style’ by Nuria:
How did your artist name come about?
My mum (who died tragically when I was 25), always told me she’d wanted to call me Nuria when I was born. As a little girl I loved that name and used to imagine that was my name. It was the name I used in my little fantasy games, and I guess as an adult now it still holds for me a sense of ‘otherness’, of another me, an internal voice – that kind of thing. It felt fitting that I would use that as my artist name. Also there is something freeing in my artist name being different from my actual name. I feel it gives me a level of anonymity from my professional self as a medical person, but also separates me from the person that people in my life expect me to be. It helps me write more honest music. And when my family frown and look aghast at how much I’m swearing I can shrug and say ‘What can I do? Nuria needed to use expletive language just now to express how she feels.’ I like the idea that people have an internal goblin – the voice that is honest and doesn’t conform to social expectations. Nuria is my goblin.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
Dear Mardi, that is what we called our very, very special grandma, my dad’s mum. She was forever youthful and incredibly open to all the stories we would bring to her for afternoon tea in her peaceful home. She had facebook before I did and had her eyes wide open to all unravelling of decorum that the younguns of today are responsible for. And while strong in her faith and her poise, and elegance she was so beautifully non-judgemental. I’d tell her my music is about love, self reflection and being honest to ourselves and to others. I’d tell her music is a way that I express my emotions and connect with others. I can just imagine her sitting with headphones resting on her soft, foundation rich, velvety skin nodded along to ‘Fucking Your Style’ and looking at me alert but not alarmed like a milky eyed gazelle and saying ‘That’s lovely darling.’
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
Look, I’ve got a lot of songs about love. Just to add to the several hundred million before me. But I do try to branch out from time to time and cover some different topics. I’ll talk you through a couple of my faves:
Red Velvet – this is about the performer in all of us on the everyday stage of life. Do you ever have that feeling? Like our life is just kind of a show for our consciousness? Whatever the hell consciousness is. So this song is that external observation of self – watching the show we are putting on and making sure we are making that performance is honest and true to ourselves as our one most important audience member. It’s got a music video which I think is red hot awesome by the way. You’ll note the fabulous use of the playsuit as well as the concentration on my face (I’m fantasising about the salt and vinegar chips in my dressing room while overcome with first trimester nausea from the 12 week baby in my belly). You should totally check it out.
Graffiti – this is about the chaotic feeling of being an adolescent. Working out who we are and the mark that we will make in this life. I still remember that time so vividly myself and I recognise it in the adolescents I see in my work as a GP. Its such a crazy time where life feels both impossibly potent and somehow also completely inconsequential. This is a song about exploring those experiences and understanding impermanence whilst finding a feeling of purpose and meaning.
Juliette – ok I’ll give you a new spin on the old love song. Ever feel like you want someone so much it kind of hurts? Like its almost a disease how much you want them and they are the cure, the salvation, the treatment if you like? What can I say? I’m a doctor, I can’t help seeing the pathological side of things. ‘Juliette’ is about that feeling. Sam Phay did sensational production stuff on this one – rich, orchestral vibes in a magnanimously dramatic expression of lurve. Go listen to it, its bomb.
What do you love about your hometown?
Hobart is my hometown. It is the most beautiful city in the world, really. Situated between a snow capped mountain and the sparkling Derwent river. I live on a small hobby farm which is a 10 minute bike ride from the centre of the city. I don’t think I need to say much more about why I love this town, right? But don’t tell anyone. Top secret between you and me.
Career highlight so far?
Well. Tone Deaf. I am currently half way through responding to your interview questions. So, hello, this is pretty fucking awesome right here right now. Thank you guys so much. But ok, ok. Hmmm. There have been so many lovely moments big and small over the years. But fresh in my mind was the first jam I had with a drummer a couple of weeks back who was so amped to be playing my music. We were playing ‘Fucking Your Style’ for the first time ever together and he was throwing his head around with enthusiasm and doing backing vocals in a perfect falsetto and I just couldn’t wipe the smile of my face. To have created something that someone was so obviously, genuinely enjoying was fucking amazing.
Fave non-music hobby?
There are so many things I love doing, days are never long enough for all the fun! But the most recent new hobby has been a little narrative project. Decided one day earlier this year I might like to write a book – a little rom-com, piece of chick-lit, that kind of thing. Never done anything like it before but I thought what the hell, let’s give it a whirl. Turns out it is the most addictively fun pursuit. It’s a rollicking tale about a musician, boy meets girl etc. Total winner, #pageturner. Tempting to also write the corresponding soundtrack. So stay tuned for all that.
What’s on your dream rider?
Hmmm. Not sure. Maybe beef jerky? I rarely get a free drink of water these days so will take what I can get.
Dream music collaboration?
The key to media success is to always provide unique answers. No offence whatsoever but this question has literally been asked in every single interview and I’m feeling dishonest by choosing someone different every time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great question, if a little theoretical. So, I’ve covered Gotye (Wally), the Hilltops, Miss Katie Miller-Heidke and Vera Blue as a combo deal and Taylor Swift so far. I feel the solution is the above lineup with me as the special guest swanning onstage for cameos. It’ll be a sellout. When it happens I’ll be sure to let you know.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’ll be 44 (age spoiler. Whoops). Oh my. Maybe I’ll be reconsidering whether filler is a complete wank after all and get myself down to the salon or wherever we’re doing that.
I’ll have teenage kids and my mind will no doubt constantly be fearing for their safety in drugs and mountain bike endeavors (hopefully more of the latter).
Aside from all that, if I’ve still got any mental energy I hope to be still playing music and loving it. And probably supporting Taylor Swift at her Hobart show I spose.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
That’s an interesting question. I’m not sure that ‘go-to’ and ‘karaoke’ really feature as a combination theme in my life thus far and I’m struggling to recall if I have in fact ever done karaoke. How boring of me! But I’d choose ‘Another Night Another Dream’ for sure – I made a dance to that when I was about 8 and still have the moves. Oh it’s really really cool.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Well I always wanted to be an actress. Someone told me to have a solid back up. I think that was a pretty good idea all in all. Who’d want to live in Hollywood and be rich and famous? And the advice my husband gives me around music is not to strive for the seemingly big things that rely on the opinions of others. If I am making the music that I believe is strong and true and it’s the best music I can make, then I’ve already reached the goal. If anyone else likes it that is just a total bonus.What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?Hmmm. What weird embarrassing thing shall I share? So many to choose from. I delight in a good compost heap. With the right combination of nitrogen and carbon (roughly 50/50 you’ll find) and appropriate moisture levels one can, on a cold and frosty morning, actually see the steam rising from the process. Stick an arm in and it’s hot. And full of worm. Right. That’s enough now or I’ll start talking about sheep poo and the value and composition of human piss (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – almost exactly that of the fertiliser blood and bone FYI)