Reintroducing herself to listeners with a DIY sonic that is darker, moodier and increasingly more experimental, Nicole Millar wants to start a fresh new chapter through the platform she has been given.
Feeling like she had grown a lot personally over the course of the year, she felt that she had matured and decided that her sound needed to reflect that shift as well.
“I’ve always listened to hip hop and been inspired by it, but it has never shown in my music. I’ve learnt to trust my gut and only listen to someone’s advice with a grain of salt” she reflects to ThomasBleach.com.
Embracing her hip-hop influences, her new single ‘Favours’ dives into a different sonic compared to the clean cut pop/dance she had delivered on her debut album ‘Excuse Me’.
At the foundations of ‘Favours’ there is a darker and moodier tone that is elevated by bold and definitive beats, heavy bass and slight synth distortion that offers listeners something really interesting to dive into sonically. She then layers a very playful storyline over the top of it that explores being absolutely done with someone’s shit and not wanting any part of that toxic narrative anymore.
I recently chatted to Nicole Millar about the experimental approach behind her new single ‘Favours’, the personal growth she’s had that has inspired her new sonical influence, and reflected on her love for 90’s pop. Check it out HERE;
TB: Your new single ‘Favours’ is out now and is a bold reintroduction to listeners with a darker and moodier tone implemented into the production. So what was inspiring you towards the more experimental approach sonically?
NM: I basically had a really interesting year last year and it made re-think everything I was doing in my career. I had basically gained confidence in myself and my songwriting and I think I’m finally writing music that I’d actually listen to myself.
TB: How did it all come together? Was it a track that was quick put together and fell into place structurally or was it one that has evolved over time?
NM: Muki, Kilter and myself basically wrote this in a DIY studio setup in my mums garage *laughs*. We really clicked together and legit wrote this song in a couple of hours.
TB: Why did ‘Favours’ feel like the perfect introduction to this new chapter of Nicole Millar, and where does it sit sonically to all the other new music you have hiding at the moment?
NM: I think I wanted to put ‘Favours’ out before all of the others because it fitted in with what was currently happening in my life and I could personally relate to this one the most.
Also with my other music coming up I think it was a nice smooth transition rather than shocking everyone too much *laughs*.
TB: There’s a really quirky line in the song that immediately stood out to me that goes; “Gwen Stefani your ass no doubt” which was a punny little combo of Gwen’s two musical projects. So where did that lyrical line come from that day in the studio?
NM: If you put Muki and I in a room together we just become so sassy *laughs*. We were like “oh damn, we should write a second verse now” and Muki actually sang “Gwen Stefani” on the mic and it kinda all flowed out.
We were going to change this lyric as I thought it might be too random but it felt too weird to replace it over time.
TB: As a fellow 90’s baby, Gwen Stefani has been a massive inspiration to a lot of artists because of her experimentation of sounds, and boundary pushing in fashion as well as just being a killer live performer. but reflecting on your 90’s and 00’s experience of growing up, who were the artists that really impacted you artistically?
NM: Oh wow, so many! But Britney Spears of course! And then obviously Shania Twain, Shakira, Dido, Justin Timberlake, Dixie Chicks and Destiny’s Child. I hands down played all of these artists loud on my Cassette/CD player growing up.
TB: There are a lot of cool, quirky and sassy lyrics in the song, but what would be one of your favourite lyrics and why?
NM: “Act like you got a halo for lips. I won’t sip on it I want a rinse” is probably my favourite because it sums the idea up simply. It’s basically; someone shit talking.
TB: Reflecting on the release of your debut album ‘Excuse Me’ last year and where you are at as an artist with this new music, what was the biggest thing you learnt about yourself as an artist from releasing and touring ‘Excuse Me’ that has made an impact on you are now?
NM: I’m very grateful for every piece of music I’ve put out and of course loved it all at the time, but I’ve just simply grown up and I think my music needed to as well.
I’ve always listened to hip hop and been inspired by it, but it has never shown in my music. I’ve learnt to trust my gut and only listen to someones advice with a grain of salt.
TB: Your collaboration with Peking Duk ‘High’ is a song that I don’t think will ever disappear. It’s been played everywhere you could think of, but where has been the strangest/weirdest/funniest place you’ve heard it play?
NM: *Laughs* Yeah, that song is sticking around for sure. I can’t think of anything too weird, but I was in Japan, Nozowa, in a small bar in the mountains full of skiers and they started playing ‘High’, which of course after one drink in I get excited and start pretending to twerk to it *laughs*.
TB: You recently had a whirlwind trip to Spain to attend the EMAS. So from attending the award show and watching some huge names in music perform like Dua Lipa, Mabel, Niall Horan, Green Day, Rosalia, Liam Gallagher and Halsey, what was one of your biggest takeaways?
NM: It was such a fun experience being in Spain for the EMAS! The production level was insane! It made me just want to keep honing into my craft to be the best performer I can.
Also; Rosalia is a gods gift and inspires me so much!
TB: Let’s play a little game of rapid fire questions. Just answer these little questions with the first thing that comes to your mind. Okay?
TB: The emoji that best describes my new single ‘Favours’ is…
NM: The rude finger *laughs*
TB: If I could have any super power it would be to…
NM: Fly! I’m scared of heights but damn I’d love that.
TB: My go to Sushi roll is…
NM: Tuna and avocado.
TB: The weirdest favour I’ve said yes to doing was…
NM: Being someones reference on their resume, when they never actually worked for me *laughs*.
TB: My pre-show pump up song is…
NM: The ‘BUM BUM TAM TAM’ song by MC Fioti, Future, J Balvin and Stefflon Don.
‘Favours’ is out now on all streaming platforms!