Being an artist is about finding your voice.
It’s not an easy thing to do, and every creator has a different path in doing so. For LA-based pop artist Nadine, she has finally done just that. Coming in the form of her most recent single “Missed Call”, a three minute entry that recounts reluctantly ignoring a call from an ex lover, she’s honed her craft in to the point she always wanted it to live at. “It feels like the most Nadine song for me to come out with,” says the 22-year-old singer-songwriter, “…it feels like I’ve finally found my sound.”
Words and photos by Andy Gorel
Andy: So you’re from Miami?
Nadine: Well I was actually born here in LA, but my family moved to Miami when I was 12 years old, so I know this area really well. It was a part of my formative years. One day my parents were just like, “we’re gonna move to a place you’ve never been to before” and i was like “absolutely not”. I was devastated. But it was the best thing they ever did for me. I made the best friends ever, and was surrounded by so many amazingly chill people. LA is like the complete opposite.
Growing up in Miami was literally amazing. I was in my high school band, and we traveled. It wasn’t a very musical school though. I did musicals growing up, so I was obsessed with that. But once I was like 11 or 12 I was like “I wanna be a popstar”. My dream was always to go to USC and be in the Pop program. I was that girl that walked around school with the USC hoodie and sweatpants. Everyone knew that was my dream. If I didn’t get in Nadine probably would never show back up to school and would die. But I got in and it was the best experience of my life. All my best friends are so talented. I’ve never had friends that shared the same passion that I do. It makes such a difference. They’re all incredible singers, songwriters, musicians, and so on. It inspired me to keep working on my craft.
Andy: What brought your family to Miami?
Nadine: Literally my parents randomly went to visit friends that we met on a cruise. Completely random people that if we hadn’t gone on that cruise, we never would have met and my life would be completely different. They convinced my parents to buy a house and move our whole life to Miami.
Andy: Are they still there?
Nadine: Yeah, they’re obsessed. They never looked back.
Andy: But they’re from LA?
Nadine: So my parents are both French. I’m French. It’s my first language, I speak it fluently. My dad came here when he was like 20 and went to Cal Tech. He started a life here and met my mom. They raised us here and had never been to Miami except the first time they visited. We had my bat mitzvah and then moved two weeks later. It was the peak of my life back then. All my friends were here, my whole life was here. I was devastated, but it was the best decision they ever could have made. So random, but so great.
Andy: And then you came to USC what year?
Andy: Is that when you started writing songs?
Nadine: Yeah, I started senior year of high school, and was recording myself without any producers. It’s really random when songs hit me. I’m not a person who can wake up every single day and write a song. I sometimes go months without writing a song.
Andy: Do you feel that makes your songs better?
Nadine: Totally. 100%. I always felt overwhelmed because I have friends who wake up and write five songs a day, and they’re all bangers. But everyone is different, I can’t do that. Like today with this rain, I wrote a song about it. It’s like the first song I’ve written in a month. And it just happened because I was sitting here feeling whack about this stupid rain. It just needs to be what I’m feeling in the moment, and I can’t force it.
Andy: Did you start writing songs knowing you want to be an artist? Everyone’s path to songwriting is different.
Nadine: Yeah, I’ve only ever written songs knowing I want to do them for myself.
“This new single, ‘Missed Call’, it feels like I’ve finally found my sound. Whenever people would ask me if I had found my sound, it would piss me off, because I felt everyone else had, and I hadn’t. I felt so behind. Then when I recorded this song, it felt like I finally found the lane I want to run in.”
Andy: So you started releasing music last year. Tell me about the inception of your artist project.
Nadine: This new single, “Missed Call”, it feels like I’ve finally found my sound. Whenever people would ask me if I had found my sound, it would piss me off, because I felt everyone else had, and I hadn’t. I felt so behind. Then when I recorded this song, it felt like I finally found the lane I want to run in. It made me feel like, “Ok. This is why I’ve been working so hard, and this is where I wanna be.” So I’m super excited for the next single, and the ones to come after that. I think they’re all in the same vein.
Andy: How was your release weekend for this song?
Nadine: It’s been so chaotic. It just feels like, “now what?”. I’ve just been so overwhelmed. It’s like having a birthday. It’s very stressful. It’s even bigger, and I’m obsessed with my birthday. There’s so much more riding on it. It’s a lot.
Andy: I know exactly how you feel (laughs). Would you say this song feels like your debut single in a way?
Nadine: Yeah, it really does. It feels like the most Nadine song for me to come out with. I had been holding onto it for a while so it’s nice to have something tangible that I’ve been working so hard on, that I love so much, to be out into the world for everybody to hear. It’s a weird feeling, but it’s really cool and rewarding.
Andy: There’s the line in the song “why is it called falling in love?” What were the song’s origins?
Nadine: I was in my apartment in March with my two best friends, and we were just drinking wine. We don’t usually drink wine when we have dinner at my apartment but we were. I was two glasses in, and I look down at my phone, my ex boyfriend is FaceTiming me. I’m like, “…what?” So we’re all looking at the phone. My friends start screaming. I start screaming. Pure chaos. I look horrible, hair in a bun, no makeup. My friends are yelling “Pick up the phone!” and I’m like “No fucking way!” It rang all the way through. My friend took a picture of it, we’re screaming.
Andy: Did you wanna talk to him or not?
Nadine: Yes, but not looking how I did (laughs). And I was kinda drunk too, and confused. They were yelling at me to pick it up. I was like, “What is happening right now?” I didn’t pick it up and then we just sat there in silence, and reflected on it like, “What just happened?” Because I hadn’t talked to him in a really long time. Then I got a text from him saying “Sorry. I didn’t mean to call. Hope all is well.”
So we were trying to think of all the scenarios. I’m probably gonna sound like a psycho here. We concluded there’s no way you can butt-dial an ex. That’s just not possible.
Andy: Was it IG video or FaceTime?
Nadine: No, it was a real ass FaceTime. There are a lot of steps to get to that so it doesn’t make any sense. We sat there thinking of all the different scenarios, you know, his friends stole his phone and pranked him, or whatever. They were like, “You know what, we’re going to leave you. Go into your room, lock your door, pour yourself another glass of wine, and write a song.” And them pushing me to do that – I would never have thought to just go write it down. So I did just that and wrote the whole thing out on a piece of paper in like an hour. My roommate came back, listened to the song, and he was like, “You should call it ‘Missed Call’”. I was like, “That’s a really good idea.” He loved it, so I brought it to my producer the next day, and we recorded it. It’s the stupidest little things that can give you inspiration.
Andy: So is this single part of a bigger body of work that’s to come?
Nadine: I’m just doing singles right now that will probably turn into an EP, but we’ll see. I have more singles lined up that I’m super excited for, and can’t wait to share.