Having toured the country, formed a fan base and received her first airplay on Radio 1, 2012 has been quite the year for 18-year-old Nina Nesbitt. The Scottish singer-songwriter spoke about her hectic year and her plans for 2013.
Like many modern artists, Nesbitt used the Internet to help launch her career. She explained: “I started writing and singing from a very young age, then I put up some YouTube videos about two and a half years ago. After that, I started playing little gigs around Edinburgh and then I got the opportunity of going on tour with Example and Ed Sheeran.”
Nesbitt didn’t know what to expect when she was a support act for Example on his arena tour. She said: “I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but it went really really well. The crowd were really good and they respected that I wasn’t a dance artist and they really listened. It was a pleasant surprise. It was good.”
Nesbitt rose to fame with her song, “The Apple Tree”, which made it to the Radio 1 playlist. Nesbitt recalled how she felt when she first heard her song being played on the radio: “It was mental. I remember like sitting on the train on the way down to London and my manager texted me, telling me I’d been added to the playlist.
“It’s really weird and I was so surprised. Radio 1 has been really supportive of my career, which has been great, and it’s just been like really weird hearing it on the radio but really good at the same time.”
Despite only being on the music scene for a short space of time, Nesbitt has often been regarded as the “female Ed Sheeran”, though she doesn’t see the comparison: “Maybe it’s because we both play acoustic guitar and I guess some of my songs maybe they sound a bit similar to some people.”
She continued: “I think because I supported him on tour, they draw that comparison. But I don’t think you can really make that comparison with the album. It’s pretty different.”
Having already released three EPs (“Live Take”, “The Apple Tree” and “Boy”), Nesbitt is currently working on her debut album. She said: “I think the album is kind of in-between The Apple Tree and Boy. It’s a little bit more mature than The Apple Tree EP but not as influenced as Boy is.”
She added: “It’s all written and it’s about half way recorded. I’m going back in [the studio] next month to finish it off.”
Nesbitt is working with Jake Gosling to co-produce the album, who has already had success with Ed Sheeran’s “+” and Paloma Faith’s “Fall from Grace”. Nesbitt said: “It’s really really great to be working with a really talented producer and he really gets my ideas and stuff.
“I’ve not done producing really except in my bedroom, so it’s great to be able to work for him. He can take the ideas from my head and put them on to the computer and it just kinda comes out which is really cool.”
Nesbitt’s fans are known as “Nesbians”. But where did the name come from? Nesbitt explained: “One of my fans just said it one day. They were like: ‘We should name ourselves. Let’s name ourselves the ‘Nesbians’. It caught on and people find it quite funny.”
Through social-networking websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Nesbitt interacts with her fans. She launched the “Pen Pal Challenge”, which had her fans sending a piece of paper to as many different countries as possible, and she also visited Cadbury World in Birmingham with two lucky Nesbians.
Nesbitt explained why her fans mean a lot to her: “They’re kinda like the reason I play live. I think it’s great to be interactive with them and they’re all really nice. They’re nice fans. I enjoy doing all that kind of stuff with them. They almost feel like friends to me so it’s really nice.”
In October, Nesbitt embarked on her second headline tour, which took her all over the UK. She said: “I think my favourites were Glasgow and Newcastle. Glasgow was really overwhelming seeing how many people actually came out, which was really lovely.
“Newcastle was just mental. It was just hilarious. They were all jumping up and down at the end and they broke the ceiling, which was funny.”
With her next EP in January and her debut album releasing later in the year, there is no stopping Nina Nesbitt, who is certainly an artist to keep an eye on in 2013.