EMQ’s with Nur NH
Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQS interview, this time with Indonesian Metal Singer/ Songwriter, Nur NH. Huge thanks to her for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Nur NH, I am a singer and songwriter. I have been playing since 1996 as a solo artist. In the early 2000’s I played in gothic rock bands and my first solo EP was released in 2011. I took a personal break from music for a long time and this is my return to music.
How did you come up with your band name?
Nur NH is just a nickname. Nur means light. NH was a nickname from my days as a rock singer when playing with a band long ago. I have kept this name to this day as it felt fitting.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I am from Borneo, Indonesia. The rock music scene is really strong and has many passionate bands. They are starting to produce some really awesome viral musicians using social media and spreading to more of a global sensation. The metal scene isn’t as strong yet but it is growing. I have played across Europe and my personal favorite was Belgium and Italy. I think the Belgium rock and metal scene is amazing and people should really check out this region of the world’s artists more!
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
I have just released a video and song called ‘Unbroken’ on the 7th October which was recorded and filmed between Sydney and Borneo using a professional producer and crew with the help of the traditional Dayak Tribe of Indonesia. This is the first taste of my newer, darker and heavier music and I am planning to continue down this style of music more in the future. This is a special song to me. It means a lot to me personally and culturally and if you watch my video you will see I have featured both of these together.
Who have been your greatest influences?
I have many symphonic artists who I adore but mostly I must say Amy Lee from Evanescence. Amy Lee is an amazing singer with a great charisma and awesome range, and very unique vocal style which is instantly recognisable. I practice her music often and use her music as inspiration when writing vocal melodies and song structures in my own work often.
What first got you into music?
The feeling and the soul of music attracted me at a young age, it makes me feel special. It lets me express all my feelings when simple words aren’t enough. I started when I was a teenager, I was very shy and the only time I felt like I could be under the light, or in the center of attention was when I was holding my Microphone, which made it all go away.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
A silly dream maybe but I would love to go toe to toe next to Alissa White-Gluz and have her teach me to scream. In future releases I want to make some proper heavy metal, real heavy metal. Not garden variety like some people claiming to be heavy then singing all clean and acoustic, I’m talking Arch Enemy, Cradle of Filth, Septic-Flesh or something dirty and dark like that.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Oh that is easy, Wacken Open Air 2022. Lindemann, Arch Enemy, Slipknot, Lacuna Coil and that’s just off the top of my head. I wish I could turn back time and jump on that specific festival and share stages with nearly my entire dream lineup of bands I want to see (again), and work with. Europe and Germany are leading the charge for heavy festivals featuring symphonic music and I really hope to perform there eventually!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Things I’ve been given are many flowers, many offers of drinks, but one that comes to mind is a sort of sweet, well-intended anyway, middle aged man who sent me a video message proclaiming to be my biggest fan while singing one of my songs to the best of his ability while he was driving, a long distance, to my show.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thank you for being so patient while I was getting ready to release my EP and thank you for your support. I’m still here and still singing and smiling because of you.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Can I trade and put a few current “rock-stars” in the ground instead of some greats who passed? No, maybe I won’t go there. I want to bring Kurt Cobain back. He inspired a whole generation of new young musicians to get up and play, I think every musician out there has learnt to play in their band covering songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and similar. The industry needs pioneers like him.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I like the expression and opportunity it gives, I like the attention that comes with it. Love the spirit that some of the fans bring. What I dislike is the drama that it brings, the bands that ‘battle’ each other for scraps in the form of social media wars and slander to make the other look bad with hopes they’ll get booked and their competition won’t. Thankfully this isn’t all of them and I have surrounded myself with amazing musicians and good promoters from the music community who are my colleagues and trusted friends.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I’d love to see the current media bias towards pay-to-win popular music reach a level playing field based on talent. More respect for beginning musicians is needed from above, people bringing thousands of dollars gear from hundreds of Kilometers away get less respect for working harder and usually not paid well either. It seems unbalanced and unfair.
Name one of your all-time favorite albums?
Evanescence – Fallen. This has been played and worn out, purchased again and worn out again in my CD player for years (well until everything went digital). I heard this as a young rocker and it instantly spoke to me, it was motivating. The music on it was dark and beautiful, to this day still is. I don’t think the emotion captured on that album can ever be topped by any artist, probably even by them.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
CD by far. All the benefits of digital tech and still something you can hold, study and read in your hand. Artwork was still physical and there was still a store you could walk in and just browse. You’d be surrounded by posters and ads for artists and you’d walk out with half a dozen CDs in a black bag with your favorite record store logo on it, half of which you’d never heard but the art looked cool and the guy behind the counter said you’d love them. Digital Download is really convenient but I miss my store.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Each show seems to bring a new contender to this but my favorite looking back is the celebration of Indonesian Independence Annual festival, Yogyakarta 2008. We played in an open air setting with an audience as far as you could see, dancing and letting off fireworks as the locals and also offshore residents who had traveled from great distances came to celebrate an all night long traditional festival.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’d be an artist, I love making abstract art on canvas and have a large collection of my oil paintings. I probably will do this even being a musician though to be honest. One day I’d love to open a gallery and have my own exhibit.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Amy Lee who is my #1 idol, Tarja Turunen just so I can listen to her voice which is amazing, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who was my childhood superhero from Smackdown, Matt Bellamy so I can pester his about Muse questions and finally, Slash because he is just all out cool and loved him since I was a teenager.
What’s next for the band?
Next I am joining forces with some experienced musicians to collaborate even darker and heavier new music than I could ever have achieved by myself. This will incorporate everything my fans love from the Nur NH songs and add a new layer of depth to it for the future. I’m really excited by this project and where it’s been going so far and I can’t wait to make it public soon.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I’ll be honest, I had to Google what a Jaffa Cake even is? Is it a biscuit? Is it a cake? Not even the internet knows. Here we have something just called Jaffas which are these hard rock orange flavored candy kind of thing with a coated chocolate shell. Are they candy? Are they Chocolate? All I know is they hurt when you bite them too hard.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you so much for having me and sharing my interview on Ever Metal, I’ll be sure to be ever watching and ever listening for your releases in the future. It’s great to have exposure to some of the other sides of the world’s media and I have discovered some amazing publications and new shows to watch, read and listen to.
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