D. Blais : Please introduce yourself to our readers?
NILUM: Sure, I’m NILUM, a London based fully independent artist, which means that I write, produce, mix and master all of my music as well as film my music videos. And also everything else that happens to fall in between ahah!
D. Blais: Who is your biggest musical influence and why?
NILUM: I have always listened to such a varied amount of music genres, that what I inevitably find most inspiring are artists who are able to blend two or more genres together, creating something new. One of them would definitely be Astor Piazzolla, with his bold blend of tango and classical music which was so daring and different at the time, as well as Linkin Park, which would be a blend of rock and hip-hop, one that really hits home with me. I have also been greatly influenced by Marilyn Manson and his bold and ‘outside of the box’ look on the world and society that is reflected in his lyrics writing. I think The Beatles also deserve a mention, since they have inevitably influenced my songwriting, whether it is perceivable or not, with their timeless production and good quality melodies.
D. Blais: How did you learn music and the music business?
NILUM: Music was really an entity present throughout my whole childhood, that culminated in me obtaining a degree in classical guitar and then eventually changing my path, and deciding to pursue an artist’s career. I went on to study songwriting at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, which was where I had some contact with the current music industry and the business. However, I think I mostly learned on the way, and by experience, rather than in school. I have read a lot of business books, not necessarily music business ones I should say, and also by watching Youtube videos, such as Gary Vee and also channels dedicated to independent artists.
D. Blais: Do you write your own music?
NILUM: Yes absolutely. I have been songwriting pretty much since my childhood, and have been part of several bands where I was writing our material, so I had a lot of opportunity to practice this craft across many projects and genres. That has all eventually led me to study songwriting and now, I write for my own project NILUM, which musically would be a bled of hip-hop and rock, but I also write for other people too, as I do love a good catchy pop song!
D. Blais: What do you suggest to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
NILUM: Two words, stay focused.
Stay focused, no matter what. Don’t deviate from the path, or goal you have chosen, don’t speculate, don’t overthink and most importantly don’t look at the neighbors grass, cause it isn't greener.
D. Blais: Are you an independent artist?
NILUM: I am fully independent at the moment.
D. Blais: What do you think are the biggest challenges for independent artists?
NILUM: Most definitely industry connections. It is clear to see how some signed artists manage to finesse a lot of placements off of their various industry connections that independent artists would never even dream of getting. Not to even mention how fast and easily that is done. And even if, as an independent artist you may posses a certain budget for placements it still remains a closed door, unless you have the right connections. Apart from that I think that having a team of people, is always better that working by yourself as it is very difficult to joggle all aspects of being an artist by yourself, if compared to someone who has a team.
D. Blais: Do you handle the marketing yourself? How?
NILUM: Yes I do. I enjoy doing market researches and I always try to come up with new ways of building and reaching my potential fan base. For me, every single fan is of vital importance, every single fan matters. I aim to be active all over social media, whether it’s Instagram, Youtube or TikTok, while keeping an eye out on my analytics as well as streaming to see what content performs the best and which not so well. I also manage all of my placements too.
D. Blais: Do you believe that social media has a positive financial impact on your career? How?
NILUM: Oh absolutely yes. If you have a strong social media presence it can truly become a platform for your visibility and that exposure can equal a conversion. That conversion may mean selling a song, selling a ticket or even selling your merch, all thanks to social media. I think it would also be fair to mention TikTok and their way of enabling people to monetize while doing a live stream, which is something quite revolutionary and can help a lot of artists.
D. Blais: What is your creative process?
NILUM: Overall I think there are two ways I usually go about it. Either i start with the melody or the production. I often get random ideas of beats and melodies that I just quickly record on my phone and then develop them later if I deem them worthy ahah! Or I can start with the production, make an interesting beat that gives me ideas for top lines. My creative process is very flexible and intuitive and I can approach the same task in many ways.
D. Blais: What achievement are you most proud of?
NILUM: It must be the fact that I have taken all the necessary time to learn the various skills that usually a team of people would be required for. From writing to producing, mixing and mastering as well as operating filming gear and video editing softwares, to be able to release music absolutely independently. Knowing that I could do so now, with our without a label or anyone’s help, I think gives one an incredible freedom, creative one as well as financial.
D. Blais: Do you have any music videos?
NILUM: Yes, I currently have two released music videos, for my singles ‘Numb’ and ‘Coffins For Rent’. They were both done independently by me. I also intend to soon release a music video for my latest single ‘Nevermind’ and many more are on the way.
D. Blais: What is success for you?
NILUM: It would most definitely be being able to make a full time living out of my own music. Having a large fanbase that would enable me to live comfortably while doing the type of music I love most. That would be the ultimate success.
D. Blais: Do you prefer to work in the studio or perform in concert?
NILUM: Working in the studio can be enjoyable because it can feel like a safe, stress free zone, compared to all the things that can possibly go wrong live. However setting this aside, I will have to say that I most definitely prefer performing live, most probably due to my rock music background and the fact that I used to be a part of a few bands where I developed a genuine love for performing. The energy of the live crowd and the connection one can have with people as well as hearing them singing your lyrics back to you is incredibly rewarding. It really makes all the songs you’ve written in your dark antisocial Victorian haunted music studio live!
D. Blais: What would be your dream gig?
NILUM: Oh there’s a lot of them! If I had to name some I would definitely love to perform on a festival such as Rock am Ring or Download.
D. Blais: What are your future music business goals?
NILUM: Releasing a lot of content in order to continuously expand my fanbase is a priority. I would also like to create a stronger presence on Spotify, including being featured in Spotify curated playlists. As I mentioned, I also have my own merch that I intend to continue to develop by creating more design and promoting it extensively as not only a my merch but also a stand alone brand.
D. Blais: What are the next steps for you?
NILUM: Currently I am working on my new single ‘Graveyard Dance’ that is going to be released soon, as well as ‘Nevermind’ music video. Overall however I want to focus on releasing more, way more music and music videos, and eventually start playing live shows and hopefully also an international tour!