Nuuxs and 10 questions with TotalNtertainment. A deeply personal writer and performer, NUUXS’ music is closely intertwined with her experiences. Raised in a cult, where she was cut off from wider culture, her musical awakening began at school, forming an indie band and writing hooks for local grime artists. We got to chat with her about new new single, living in London and more…
1. Thanks for your time, you’ve just put out a new single “SPF” with a video that pays homage to your father’s Laotian heritage. How did the idea and concept for the video come about ?
Growing up with a Laotian culture I really wanted it to come through in my music video with Charlie across the artist and animator. We spoke a lot about the lyrics and how they could mirror the literal meaning as well as the deeper symbolism behind it. For example “you’re a holiday” lyrics are interpreted with a giant pineapple being sliced in half and turned into a cocktail you’d have on a beach somewhere. The river scene is more subliminal as it represents the love I have for my father and his culture, the Mekong river in Laos and the grilled fish he’d cook for us at home, it’s a sweet nod to him and his birth country. I can’t take the credit for it though Charlie is a great listener and has hand drawn/ painted everything and his interpretations of what I want as a songwriter have been spot on. You could say he’s painted my words.
2. What do you know about your dad’s heritage ?
I was lucky enough to have gone to Laos with my dad and brother once and I honestly didn’t want to leave. Food is so important to our family as it’s a time to share and be present with each other and also my dad is a chef so if you can’t cook in our family it definitely raises a few eyebrows. For breakfast we’d eat Pho which Laotians borrowed from Vietnam, it’s such a comfort food for me I love it. We also love catfish curry made with dill, roasted garlic lots of big bamboo shoots and never go easy on the fresh chilli. I’d just watch my dad and uncles eat whole ones and just constantly making this shushing sound because it was so spicy but they love it. Laos was colonised by the French and is also the most bombed nation in history from when the Americans dropped over 2 million tons of cluster bombs during WWII. The Lao Civil war was why my father made his way to France and later England. As a people they are super kind, love to party and sing karaoke, I love learning about Laos through my father and family just listening to their stories.
3. The track is taken from your upcoming album “Heirloom”, what can you tell us about the album and the songs on it ?
I chose the name “Heirloom” because each song represents a moment or experience that has made me who I am today. I sing about love, about the political environment I grew up in, the struggles with building my career as a female solo artist on an indie label, my childhood in all its glory and tribulations. It’s a real diary in poetic form held together with a dramatic backdrop and cinematic sounds and backing vocals inspired by old Hollywood films I’d watch as a kid and even now. It’s the heirloom that belongs to anyone who will listen and my gift to my supporters.
4. Born in France, living in London, you’ve obviously been exposed to a variety of cultures. Do you like to explore that in your music?
Absolutely, I definitely take on quirky melodies which I believe I got from listening to all the Lao country music my dad would blast on maximum volume in the house and parties with family where my dad would sing his heart out on karaoke. He bought a massive tv which is just quite frankly too big for the living room-so he can sing along to his Lao music karaoke dvds. I’ve also been influenced by a lot of R&B because my big sister would always play it with her friends and I’d say I love listening to anything old. I love old Hollywood vocals, I love jazz and I’m really into deep and funky house. It’s a mixture for sure that I like to tap into all of them sometimes blending it one song.
5. Growing up what were your first musical memories and how much of an influence did you parents have on your musical taste ?
My dad loves his music but so does my mum. She really was a fantastic dancer and ballerina and she’d pirouette around the house to songs by Bon Jovi, Gloria Estefan and France Gall. So yes for sure they’ve influenced me. My first musical memory would have to be when my mother saved up as much money as she could to buy me a keyboard. I was on that thing all day long and that was probably the first time I felt a real connection to songwriting and music in a personal way.
6. You’re doing a live-streamed set on August 4 in support of domestic violence charity Refuge. How did that come about and what are you hoping to achieve with it ?
It’s important as artists and human beings in general to use whatever platform we can to help others. As a survivor of domestic abuse I felt strongly about their cause and my heart goes out to anyone trying to escape a situation like that. It’s never easy so the more support available the better. Raising awareness is the best way to switch people on to help and be mindful.
7. Despite the high profile case with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard at the moment, do you think enough is done to raise awareness for domestic violence ?
I think it’s definitely something people are afraid of talking about, a lot of people prefer to look the other way and stay out of it. It’s not easy for victims to ask for help because often their form of communication is controlled by the oppressor. It’s also important to know that abuse can happen to anyone and isn’t always physical so if information is more readily available on signs in shops or taught in school then I think people would be braver to admit they need help or even better eradicate any core belief system that makes the oppressor believe they can treat people in such a way.
8. Are you involved in any other work like this ? Any plans for anything similar in the future ?
I’m exploring more options on how I can make a difference with how I work using what I can to help.
9. Just for fun: if you had to dance to save your life, which of your dance moves would you bust out of your repertoire ?
It’s gotta be the “Falsa” which is basically fake salsa, I don’t know why but every time I’m with my best friend and our tune comes on I just bust my wannabe salsa moves with her except that she’s now actually learned how to properly do it. There’s another thing I can YouTube.
10. Thanks for your time and good luck with the album. Just to finish what can we expect from Nuuxs in terms of promoting the album ?
Expect radio plays, more interviews, more shows and a lot more music videos.
You can read more about her latest single here: https://www.totalntertainment.com/music/spf-is-the-latest-track-from-nuuxs/