“I started singing before I could talk. And I’ve been writing since I was nine”, began Nuuxs, a half French, half Lao singer/songwriter who grew up in Hackney. “I got my first taste of the stage in a school play where I played Blousey Brown in Bugsy Malone. I haven’t looked back since”.
Managed by Jake Gosling, she recently announced her new EP, ‘Pearl’. Her brand of devastatingly beautiful off-kilter pop is combined with poignant lyricism. Both of which have been shaped by her upbringing in rural France, and then Hackney in London. “I vaguely remember living in France”, she continued as she recalled coming to England as a baby. “However, I do remember my summers in the country with my grandparents in Brittany. I learned to cross stitch and make blackberry jam”
Nuuxs’ musical influences are undoubtedly shaped by her ever-changing surroundings, as much as she is. Her journey began writing hooks for grime artists that she went to school with. She later joined a number of bands where she experienced jazz, funk and indie music. She is quirky and to the point. Ethereal, passionate and honest.
“I grew up in a single parent household on a council estate”, she said, talking about her story. “I feel this definitely encouraged me to work hard from a young age. Even when I may have felt like giving up. I have to many creative pulls to leave it alone, you could say it’s my obsession to get better at my art. As a child, I spent time in a cult where I wasn’t allowed to participate in ‘worldly’ activities. This meant no friends, television, music or certain books. Like Shakespeare or Jane Eyre”.
As a result, she became insular and extremely shy for a long time. “Until I eventually left and was brave enough to make my own life choices”, she added. “Telling my story through music is something I was deprived of for so many years. It feels only natural to tell it this way now”.
The one thing she’s held closest to her heart is to never give up.
Her new EP, ‘Pearl’, touches upon personal experience. Something which she bases all her songs upon. “As dramatic as it can sound, it can help me see the funny side too. Especially when my friends start singing along mockingly. I have to love them for that though. I can only be myself, which already makes my music different”. Like anything personal, it is often hard to share though. “I get nervous and scared of what people will think. But I also know that music has helped me in ways that my favourite artists will never know”.
From start to finish, Nuuxs knows when the time is right to get into the right headspace to write new material. “It’s an urge to just write again, and musically I am inspired. I begin having ideas for artwork and videos. It becomes a whole process. It’s very exciting and I love being in that headspace where I can ‘Dear Diary’ to my heart’s content”. Often, words will be rewritten and rearranged until she is happy. As an artist, she’s hard on herself and contentment can be hard to find. Nuuxs doesn’t want to do her music, her story, an injustice by being lazy and having a ‘that’ll do’ attitude.
“Knowing I’m not alone with my anxieties means to the world to me”, she finished as I asked her if she’s writing for herself, or others. “I’m not alone in my insecurities, or my joy. And if there is the slightest possibility that my songs reach people who feel the way I do, then my music is certainly for them”.