Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Shooting my music video

The cover for my first Single
Video shoot tomorrow and soon my song will be released! 

I am so excited and I must admit it feels like it has been a long drawn out birth of my music. I have been waiting for this moment for such a long time and I constantly found things I needed to do before I could release my song.

I could not make up my mind on anything as I wanted it to be perfect, so I came to a halt (again).

A few months ago I sent my song to Universal in Germany and an AR for Sony and both said no to releasing it for various reasons. This just made me want this even more, yet I knew I had to do it alone. I did not really know where to begin at first, but no good sitting around doing nothing, cause that won't get my song out !

So I made up my mind and now I am gonna release it myself through CDbaby. It is a ”one stop” aggregator (same as Tunecore) that ensures your music gets on iTunes, spotify, Amazon and a ton of other places. Also, the artist gets 91% of the money from a sale. There are many pros and cons of the different aggregators out there and I suggest you read this thread below before you make up your mind - it made me go from Tunecore to CDbaby instead!


I asked a friend of mine today if he would help me make a cover for my song and 15 minutes later I got what I asked for. I went for simplicity. I love it and you can see it here on my page.
I wrote and asked another friend of mine here in Berlin if he would use some hours with me tomorrow filming me. I did a lot of filming alone today and I use a Super 8 app for iPhone and just hope for the best. The next few days it will be made into a video for my song. How cool is that! I got the inspiration for the App when I watched the film Searching for Sugar Man. Most of that was shot with this app on an iPhone!

No need to go all fancy when things can be done in a very simple way and they need not cost an arm and a leg. All it takes is asking for help (!) and being creative and… once again I remind myself that beauty is in the imperfection and authenticity. Sometimes we need to take action and not plan it all to death, cause otherwise you risk that the magic from the whole project vanishes in a pile of "to dos" - and you risk never getting it done!

So, I cant wait to present it all to you very soon.

Nina x

Friday, March 22, 2013

So, HOW does it feel to follow a dream?

How does it feel to throw yourself into the unknown and follow a dream?

I decided to write about this because some of you may be thinking it can't all be rosy and red or can it?

The first two weeks after I had stopped my full-time job at Zalando in Berlin I was high. I was gonna follow my dream and do everything to make a living of my music and I was gonna make it or break it! It is always easy to talk about what you dream about but a whole other ballgame to go after it, embrace it and live it.

I wanted to wake up every morning and feel good about what I do. If not 100% of the time than at least 95%! That is why I love Steve Jobs and his quotes. He was his passion and he lived his dream. He said that if he woke up too many days in a row feeling unhappy about work he knew he had to make a change and he did.

The first 10 days of my new life were great. I was in Denmark visiting friends, having meetings with music people and a photographer I have worked with. I came back to Berlin full of energy and with a detailed plan with big goals. After a few days I hit the wall!

How was I gonna pull this off? I could not see the road ahead. I had no real structure or guarantee of success. No safety net. I had moved passed my comfort zone and was freaking out. For a while it felt like complete chaos would swallow me up.

I had so many ideas but I did not know where to begin. I needed a website, a video for my song, a whole bunch of people who could spread my music and tons of other things. I had saved up some money so I could stay floating for a while without an income, but then what? How would I make money again soon?

Then a close friend said to me; "Nina, why do you need all this? Why do you need a video before you can release your song (that has been finished since Oktober 2012 !).  Why do you need to blog about it all before it is even begun? It is moving your focus from your music. Is the key to it all not just getting up on that stage and singing?" 

I fell silent. He was right and it annoyed me. I could not write about following my dream until I had performed my songs live for an audience. I needed to break all my big goals into smaller ones and start with the most important; performing my music.

I felt that my product (my music) needed all this fancy wrapping for people to be interested in it. I needed a blog, a website, a music video, interviews... you name it! The next few days I was confused. I set my website on a halt. Stopped blogging. I put a post on facebook where I searched for musicians in Berlin and one hour later I was lucky.

This was one month ago and since then I have performed my songs 3 times and have set a goal to keep doing this every week and test my material. When I am on stage I feel like I am in my right element and it clears my mind and reminds me of what I love the most and why I quit my job and "old" life. Trough my music I can express the real authentic me and doing what I love gives me such a boost. It makes me feel that anything is possible! I know there is still quite a way to live of my music, but I made the first moves towards it and that is key!

I have teamed up with so many artistic and creative people here in Berlin the past few weeks and this gives me courage and inspiration and possibilities to perform even more places! It feels so good to be around like minded people - we lift and help each other!

All it took to get me "moving" again after hitting the wall (and in the right direction too) was some honest advice from a friend and one single post on facebook (ahh ok, and pusing myself past my comfort zone as well).

It may not be rosy and red to follow my biggest dream, but I would rather have my ups and downs and get bruised along the way than keep playing it safe and never daring to do it. I feel more alive now than ever before and that in itself is worth every bit of it!

In case you want to read Steve Jobs great quotes - here is a link: http://www.freemake.com/blog/steve-jobs-quotes/

Love Nina

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I did it again - Open stage in Berlin

Yes, I did it again. 

Last night I performed my two songs "Better off Alone" and "Heaven is a place on earth" at an open stage night at club Sally Bowls here in Berlin. It was so much fun. I had had no time to practice at all, as I have been on Gran Canaria all week, so I came in 1 hour before the show began and played my songs through a few times. Thank God I could do that. I also sang a few cover songs last night and fortunately they went well.

I am so happy I finally dare to get onto that stage and perform my own songs. The cover songs are a total different and more easy ball game for me as they are not written by me. So, they are not so emotional for me to sing AND I don't play the piano while I sing - I only have to do one thing. Yes, when it comes to music and multitasking I am still challenged!

It was such a thrill to perform again and it went even better this time. There were so many fantastic acts and the crowd was so supportive and responsive. I love it. I will be performing there again in one month.

Here is a video of my Cover of Lana Del Reys fabulous song Video Games, from last night. Dimitris Grydakis and I managed to practice it one time before we did it live. Great to work with such talented people!

Bye for now ;)

Saturday, March 09, 2013

My first live performance - all alone!

I did it!

I performed two of my own songs live at an open mike night here in Berlin a few days ago. I was so nervous. I have never performed any of my own songs live and never played the piano and sung for anyone before.

I knew that performing my songs live on a stage was the key to opening Pandoras box and facing my all time fear of failure; what if I was not good enough; what if I made mistakes; what if people did not like my music. It would kill my dream! To sing and write music is my biggest passion and the only thing I feel like doing. I was so wrapped up in this trail of fear that I was not realizing that I myself was killing my dream by not daring to get on that stage and do it! It was all in my head. Only my thoughts were my enemy. So, once I realized this I found an open mike night here in Berlin and decided to do it! No more talk and thinking. Now it was time for action. I had to make it or break it.
I invited friends to come and see me perform, so I would not bail out in the last minute.

I was so nervous on the day yet determined to do this no matter what. The one thing that made me relax, face my fear and be ok about most likely making mistakes during my first performace was a brilliant video by Brene Brown. It is on TEDtalk and it is about daring to be Imperfect and Authentic. That hit the spot for me - so true and so inspiring! The link for the video is posted at the end of this blog post.

HOW did the big night go?

After a big glass of redwine I pulled myself together and got up on stage. I think there were about 15 people there. Not more (that is including my friends!). I was a little nervous, but the good type where you are focused and not controlled by it. I sat alone behind a lovely old out-of-tune piano and gently touched the keys and took a deep breath. This is it, I thought to myself! Lets make it or break it!

As I performed I felt such peace inside. It actually marveled me as I had expected to be so nervous. I felt every word I sang came from my heart; I felt the piano under my fingers; I was in the moment; I sang my soul out. After the first song was over I realized I had done it! I had even made a few mistakes and survived it. I did not even care about that I had made mistakes. I just felt so incredibly happy and high. I played my 2nd song and the funny thing was that my focus was not so much on what people thought about my performance, but more a feeling of personal achievement. I had done it! It is the most amazing feeling I have had in a very long time. I kept saying to myself; is this really what I have been so afraid of all this time!?

I was so ready for more performances that I got up and played Better off alone at a bar in Berlin 3 days later and was asked to come and perform there the following week. Hurray! I am on my way. I love it and I cant wait to perform again.

Here is the link for the TEDtalk video I wrote about above:


Here is a video of my first ever liveperformance of my two songs here in Berlin at Maxi Fish.

The lyrics are below the video clip ;)

Better off alone

I am living my life like I want it to be
For the first time in life I am feeling free
Living my life like I want it to be
There ain't gonna be more of you and me

I'm better off alone
Your love is best when I'm gone
Don't change to bring me home
cause I'm better off alone

You broke my heart don't break more of me
I'll be loving you for eternity
I take with me a happy memory
and leave behind all the misery


"Heaven is a place on earth"

I'm hungry - I don't eat
I'm tired - I don't sleep
I can't see - when I am lost
I can't hear - if I'm too loud
I can't move - so I pray
I can't love - when I do
I don't believe - so I pray

Do I live when I die,
Or do I die when I try

Heaven is a place on earth
I hope to see before I die ....