NewTracks New Artist: Nia Maxx

NewTracks New Artist: Nia Maxx

With her first single only released in July last year, Nia Maxx certainly qualifies for the ‘new artist’ badge. Interestingly that song was called Start Again, possibly reflecting that European-born Nia hasn’t long been a NZ resident, though is clearly loving it here. Or perhaps it was being honest about just how new she is to music production? Single #2 is called To the Judge, a sparkling electro-pop track that features on NZ On Air Music’s NewTracks compilation in February 2022.

What’s your given name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

My full name is Nadia Susnik. Originally I come from Slovenia, Europe. I moved to New Zealand in December 2017, and have lived in Christchurch since then. I play the piano.

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

Yes. When I was a kid I showed a lot of interest in music, so when I was 10 years old my parents enrolled me to music school in Slovenia where I learnt to play the piano. Ever since then playing the piano and making my own music has been my passion.

About a year and a half ago I got into music production and I completed a music production course in Tūranga Christchurch Library. It was an amazing course and I learnt all about how to record and edit tracks in DAW.

I have always been into electronic music and I wanted to learn more about the music production of this genre, so I completed an online electronic music production class with Kygo. It was a fantastic experience. I learnt so much, and also Kygo is one of my favourite producers and greatest inspirations!

Is there a background story to how Nia Maxx came to be as a project? 

I have been inspired to produce music by Kygo, Avicii, Alan Walker, David Guetta and so many other great artists. Amazed by their music and success stories I wanted to give it a shot myself. So this is how Nia Maxx came to live.

How and when did you come up with the artist name?

I came up with the artist name Nia Maxx before I released my first single Start Again. Some of my friends call me ‘Nia’ as it is short for my first name Nadia, and ‘Maxx’ represents my dedication to always give my best in making music.

How is your production (or music) evolving do you think?

To The Judge is my second release and the main difference from the first single is that it has more lyrics and is a bit more upbeat. I also used more instruments/sounds and effects in the production.

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date? 

Reaching over 20,000 streams on Spotify for my first released single, Start Again.

What made To the Judge stand out for you as a single option?

It stands out by its lyrics that many can relate to, upbeat rhythm that you can dance to, and a catchy melody!

Who did you produce/record the track with? 

I wrote, recorded and produced the song in my home studio in Christchurch. When looking for a mastering engineer I came across Austin Leeds, who collaborated with Avicii, Paul Van Dyk and many others. He offered to master my track which was absolutely fantastic!

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

My favourite moment is in the second build-up, where the song gets intense, and right before the tension is released in the second big drop.

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

The importance of spending quality time with people who love, respect and appreciate you. Live your life to the fullest, listen to music, dance and have fun!

How do you generally work out what would make a good single?

I believe it is important for the song to have meaningful lyrics that listeners can relate to, a catchy melody and a great beat. When I am producing a song I also think of the emotions I would like to bring out in listeners. So in a way music is like telling a story. This is one of the most important things I learnt in the Hans Zimmer MasterClass – telling a story with music. I always try to keep that in mind when producing a song.

Is there anyone else in your team?

Currently, I am a self-managed producer!

Can you please name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song.

There are so many great local tunes to choose from, but I think these ones would fit well with my song on a playlist:

Have any previous NZOA applications not been included on NewTracks? Got any advice for others out there?

To the Judge has been my first application for NZ On Air. I only applied for NewTracks inclusion at this time. My advice is to stay positive, focus, and don’t give up. Keep on going. You will get there.

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

Yes, I am super into listening to music and tutorials of my favourite artists on Youtube channels. I follow Kygo, Avicii, Alan Walker, David Guetta, Hans Zimmer and many others.

Who did you make the video with?

With a limited budget, I made the video by myself, with a paid plan of online royalty-free videos.

Any last words?

Yes, absolutely. I would like to say that it feels surreal that my music has been selected for the February NewTracks release. It is a dream come true. I am beyond excited!

And thank you so much for featuring me on as one of the artists of NZOA’s NewTracks compilation this month. I appreciate it so much. I hope listeners will enjoy the song.