NewTracks New Artist: Nu

NewTracks New Artist: Nu

Born in the UK, Nefertiti Teare, aka Nu, crossed the world to first call NZ home aged 15, bringing with her the nickname-turned-stage name NÜ – a brand that may or may not be Teletubbies related. Her dance-pop music is influenced by her childhood love of musical theatre, refined through degree studies at MAINZ. Her debut single Run, co-written and produced by William Henderson (Theia, Thomston, Nakita), made it onto NZ On Air Music‘s NewTracks compilation for the first time this November. 

What other projects might we know you from?

I’m the lead vocalist and songwriter for independent Auckland based pop/rock band Three Letter Acronym (TLA). We have been a band for about 18 months, and within the first 12 months we wrote, recorded and released our first album ‘Remember Friday’.

What’s the background to how Nu came to be as a project?

I have always wanted to have a solo aspect to my music career, especially writing and performing pop music. It has always been a goal of mine since I was young.

How has your songwriting evolved from your beginnings to where it is right now?

Looking back, when I first started songwriting my work was absolutely awful, haha! My songs were depressing acoustic songs oozing with cliches and crap one-liners. My melodies were barely average and they certainly weren’t pretty or catchy. I was such a newbie, I really struggled with imagery and confidence. It wasn’t pop at all.

I remember getting so frustrated because it wasn’t the kind of music I wanted to create. So I started just writing every day religiously, and now I’m pretty confident with writing strong catchy hooks. Now I really like where my writing is going. I still have a long way to go, but I’m happy. Each new song is getting better and better.

How did you come up with the name for your project?

Well, my friends and family nickname me ‘Nefe-noo-noo’, like a weird/cute pet name haha! To be honest I’m pretty sure it’s because I have a huge appetite for food, like ridiculous. I swear they have named me after the vacuum cleaner from the Teletubbies! I have never really liked Nef or Nefe and thought Nefertiti was a bit of a mouthful. But I like Noo, it’s easy to remember. I chose to alter it to NÜ so the accent above the Ü emphasises the pronunciation, plus it looks boss.

What makes Run stand out for you as a single?

It’s an upbeat pop song, which is great for summer. I thought is was such a great way to introduce myself into the industry as a pop artist. The lyrics actually make me feel pretty vulnerable but it just felt right, especially given what the lyrics are about and the headspace I was in when I wrote them. The lyrics are pretty literal. I promised myself I would achieve all my goals this year. One of them was to write a great song and get it to feature on NewTracks. This song just felt right so I trusted my gut, and voila it did it!

What is the story behind Run?

Lyrically, the song resonates with anyone who’s ever left a relationship and struggled with that ‘moving on’ phase. It’s about avoiding an ex ex-lover who wants to catch up and make amends but the girl isn’t ready. She doesn’t want him to know she is struggling without him. Instead, she wakes up every morning and exercises and works towards her goals to better herself, keeping her mind busy until she finally moves on…

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

My favourite part of the song is the pre-chorus and the tribal drum fill right before the chorus drops. I reckon it’s so dope.

Did you write/record/produce the single with anyone else?

Run was written by myself and William Henderson, who also produced and engineered the track.

Describe in one sentence what you want listeners to take away from this song.

When going through a break up, just focus on you. Work towards some new goals and set out to achieve them.

In general, how do you decide what song would make a good single?

For me personally, I know I have written a good song when I show people. I will check to see if they are bobbing their head or tapping their foot in time with the song, and if they are by the second chorus, or even if they are singing along, I know it must be catchy. It means it sticks in their head and then I know I’m on to something. If not, I will go back to revise and tweak the song.

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for?

Absolutely! You can expect much more music from me! Three Letter Acronym is also working on more music too!

Can you tell us three other local tunes that should be on a playlist alongside your song.

OMG, I’m addicted to the song Win You Over by Abby Wolfe. She is so talented.

Soaked by Bene

Mitch James (all of his songs)

Had any previous applications that didn’t get funding or included on NewTracks? Got any advice for people out there? 

I didn’t put any applications in until this one actually. I just new all my music wasn’t good enough and I’d be wasting my time. However, in saying that, I have received a lot of rejection from so, so, so many different artists and producers who didn’t think I was good enough to work with. It’s a heartbreaking process, truly gut-wrenching.

You work so hard, but it’s an industry that takes a long time to see rewards. But I can promise every single artist out there, that it’s not impossible, and you can do it. No one will believe in your music more than you and if you really love it you will go back and keep revising and tweaking and working and prove those people wrong. Also, you have to face that heartbreak and rejection… it’s so necessary. It builds grit, and when you’re successful you’re gonna need it, and that’s something you have to accept.

Was there an NZOA criterion you struggled with in the application?

I think some of my social media links weren’t satisfactory, but if you put the time in to come up with a strong social media strategy to increase your followers and stuff then it’s something that can be resolved relatively easily.

How can we find you on social media?