Coming to Southwestern Ontario by way of Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and Victoria, British Columbia, is 19-year-old ‘Noita‘ who is set to infuse the independent music scene with her dreamy brand of dark, downtempo R&B. Noita’s hypnotic vocals mingle with melodic mixes that embody her international upbringing.
“Growing up in Mexico really started my love affair with the colourful culture and music and I try to incorporate that vibe in everything I do, that’s why I chose the name Noita. Noita was my Spanish nickname when I was a little girl and it’s very special to me. It’s something that’s always stuck with me so it felt very natural to use it as my stage name,” – Comments from Noita in an e-mail to Indie Underground.
In “Over Here”, the first single off her upcoming EP Pink Noise, Noita explores the “impatience of being infatuated with someone or something you know is terrible for you but you can’t get over” – a feeling that will resonate with many of Noita’s listeners. Listen to “Over Here” while you continue to read.
An equally mesmerizing follow-up to “Over Here” is “Zone”. It’s a track that conveys the uncontrolled restlessness of early infatuation and sets the stage for the impatience expressed in her first single. Thanks to an advanced stream of Pink Noise, we can let slip that you can expect similar things on the rest of Noita’s debut EP.
Thanks to Noita for taking the time to answer questions before her show at the Rosewood Room which took place on Friday, January 20. Noita performed alongside London-based R.Flex, as well as LUXE and Saya, both from Toronto. Check out the Concert Preview here. Want to see photos from this show? Check back soon for some sweet snaps from Indie Underground Photographer, Alex Lam!
Interview conducted by Steph Schinkel for Indie Underground.
You’ve lived in Playa Del Carmen, Victoria, and now London/Toronto. Has living in so many different cities impacted the way you approach making music?
A: Growing up in Mexico definitely impacted the way I think about music, but has more than anything inspired a lot of visual ideas that will accompany my music. Victoria BC is where I started writing music so the music scene there really impacted my own style in a lot of ways. I’ve noticed since living in Toronto my music has taken a darker, moodier vibe and has become a lot more influenced by the R&B scene here.
What inspired you to begin producing music?
A: I actually started producing out of necessity. I started writing at 15 and I needed beats for my demos. I started making my own in Garage Band and soon grew to love it and continued doing it for myself. Sometimes I write to tracks from other producers but my demos always usually start with me playing around with a few beat ideas and then I write to that.
Are there any artists that influence your work?
A: There are so many artists (both musicians and visual artists) that inspire me, but currently I’m definitely drawing inspiration from BANKS, FKA Twigs, The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey and the classics like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye (just to name a few).
“Over Here” got some great coverage when you released it last year. The song tells a story that I’m sure will resonate with a lot of people – can you explain how this song came together? How important to you is it to draw on your personal experiences when you create new music?
A: Tony (AODAN) and I started working together in September of 2015 and this was the first song we made. He was looking for an artist to produce beats for and we liked each others vibes a lot musically. I was going through a lot emotionally at the time and all the music that I was writing dark and relatively sad. I like to stay pretty general when I’m writing and this song was about a couple of different situations that were on my mind at the time – both romantic and not. I try not to be too specific as I want people to interpret my music in their own way.
“Pink noise” is the perfect way to describe your EP. Can you tell us why you chose the name “Pink Noise”?
A: The EP feels very ‘pink’ to me. If that makes any sense whatsoever. I wanted a name that would encompass the feelings of the songs and I felt that the colour pink described the femininity of the content. I chose Pink Noise when I was sitting in class and my teacher was describing Pink Noise. The minute I heard it I wrote it down in my notes and the decision was made.
Is there a song on Pink Noise that you’re most excited to release? What makes you most excited about this track?
A: There’s a song on the EP called “Zone” and another track called “She Bang”. “She Bang” is about strong women and thinking you’re the shit. I’d like to think its pretty empowering and sonically it’s definitely my fav at the moment, but that always changes when I’m listening to the EP.
I really enjoyed your cover of The Weeknd’s “Secrets”. Is there anyone else you’d love to collaborate with or cover?
A: There are a lot of artists that I would die to collaborate with. I love Kali Uchis, Abra, Princess Nokia and Sevdaliza a lot right now, they’re just super powerful up and coming women and I’m very into that right now.
Watch the video for Noa’s cover of “Secrets”:
What’s on the horizon after the upcoming release of Pink Noise? Are there shows in the works that you can tell us about?
A: Right now our focus is gonna be on the EP. We’re gonna be pushing that for the next couple of months. We have a video lined up for “Zone” and we’re hoping to create a few other visuals for the project. In April I’ll be moving to Toronto full-time and I’m excited to say that I will be getting a live band together.
What song could you listen to over and over and never get tired of?
A: Mykki Blanco ft. Princess Nokia – “Wish You Would”. The song just reminds me of high school and its very nostalgic for me, might be a weird pick as most people probably haven’t heard it but it never gets old for me.
Listen to “Wish You Would”:
Something we always ask artists we interview is what’s your favourite track to break out at karaoke?
A: Corinne Bailey-Rae’s “Put Your Records On”. It’s my go-to karaoke song!