Let's meet Niina Rosa. He is an independent artist living and working in Toronto (ON) in Canada.
D. Blais: Please introduce yourself to our readers?
N. Rosa: My name is Niina Rosa and I’m an artist living and working in Toronto, Ontario.
D. Blais: Who is your biggest musical influence and why?
N. Rosa: Artistically, I’d say my mom has been my biggest influence for a long time, she played piano for me when I was young, introduced me to music and ultimately got me playing again a couple years ago and has been my biggest supporter and motivator and teacher.
Inspiration wise, I’ve drawn from a lot of different genres and artists. Books, movies and visual art are also sources of great inspiration for me.
D. Blais: How did you learn music and the music business?
N. Rosa: I’ve collected information here and there, some through school but most just through my own education online and searching for what I needed at the time. I’ve mostly taught myself everything, but I’m currently taking jazz piano lessons with a wonderful private teacher here in Toronto.
D. Blais: What do you suggest to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
N. Rosa: All I can say is whatever you feel called to do, just do it!!!! And do your best to disregard peoples opinions.
D. Blais: Have you signed a record contract or a publishing deal or are you an independent artist?
N. Rosa: I have signed a sync deal with DL Music in the states for 5 of my songs, but other than that I’m completely independent. I write, record and produce all of my music in my bedroom.
D. Blais: What do you think are the biggest challenges for independent artists?
N. Rosa: Definitely marketing. It’s arguably one of the most important steps in the whole process of making and releasing music. Though, I’m kind of not worrying about any of that personally at this point I’m focused 100% on making music, releasing it and practicing to get better.
D. Blais: What means do you take in order to establish your marketing activities?
N. Rosa: Right now it’s pretty much just social media, submitting to blogs, and word of mouth. I think at these very early stages paying for any kind of marketing is fruitless. I just want to make music I like, people will find it when the time is right.
D. Blais: Do you believe that social media has a positive financial impact on your career? How?
N. Rosa: At this point, it doesn’t go one way or the other, but it’s certainly an extremely valuable tool, I mostly focus my energy on Instagram.
D. Blais: What is your creative process?
N. Rosa: Generally speaking, if I’m approaching a song from nothing I’ll either sit down and start playing around with sounds or I’ll play the piano for a while until something hits. I like to approach song writing and the process of music creation with a grain of salt, I find if I take it, or myself, to seriously, I have a hard time getting anything I like to come out. When I’m just playing around and approaching it with a child like mindset of exploration and zero pressure, that’s when the magic happens.
I find if I take it, or myself, to seriously, I have a hard time getting anything I like to come out.
Lyrically I like to get inspiration from reading poetry or some of my favourite books or movies or pieces of art. I also write a lot of my lyrics in the moment by free styling on an instrumental I’ve created.
Depending on what I’m going for, sometimes I’ll work late at night, sometimes I’ll work during the day. But I think the late night stuff needs to come to an end it constantly throws off my rest...but...
The creative inspiration from working at 2am is kind of unmatched!
D. Blais: What achievement are you most proud of?
N. Rosa: I’m proud of myself for having made it this far in my abilities to create and produce music, it’s just the beginning.
D. Blais: What is success for you?
N. Rosa: Making art that I’m proud of, that speaks to me.
D. Blais: Do you prefer to work in the studio or perform in concert?
N. Rosa: I haven’t done much live performing, I’d love to do more of that when the time is right.
D. Blais: What are your future music business goals?
N. Rosa: I’d love to sign a publishing deal and/or just build more relationships so that I can write songs with/for more artists.