North Wales based neo-soul singer-songwriter Nia Wyn has released her latest single “Who Asked You.” Relative to the likings of Duffy and Amy Winehouse, the Welsh songstress has gravitated towards music since her early beginnings. She collected old soul records found in junk shops, and absorbed her dad’s taste while he played music around the house.
Produced by Pat McManus, the song launches with an anthemic milieu unveiling the singer-songwriter’s cheeky personality while conversing about managing the poor energy that sometimes comes with unsolicited opinions.
She sings: Now I got something to say, who asked you? // You should just retire, cause who asked you? // Did someone here say something? Cause who asked you? // I got nothing left to say, but who asked you? Who asked you?
Speaking about the track, Wyn says “For me this track is about being faced with unsolicited opinions from others – whether that’s from judgemental people you knew back home who always doubted you or called you unstable and weird because you didn’t fit in with others. There’s also the message of what goes around comes around in some way and how that negative energy people build up will ultimately hold them back whether that’s now or later on.
Back in February, the singer-songwriter shared her EP Love I Can’t Ruin after a plethora of single releases. This assemblage of truths received acknowledgement from Mystic Sons, GIG GOER, Earmilk, The Most Radicalist and more. She was featured on BBC Radio 2’s Blues Playlist, BBC Radio One and BBC Introducing. The songstress was also named by Huw Stephens as one of BBC Introducing’s “Ones To Watch” in 2019.
We got to speak with her below!
Can you tell me about your first musical memory?
Hearing northern soul cuts played by my dad in the house.
What was the first song you’ve ever written? What was it called?
Empty Shell – I was an emo.
What is your current songwriting process like? Do you have one?
Sometimes both melody and lyrics come at the same time and I have a quick burst of writing, other times I’ll have some lyrics or chord structures/a beat and it’ll take time to form. If I’m working with someone else we go back and forth but I usually like writing lyrics privately.
What’s the inspiration behind “Who Asked You”?
Leaving a small town/small town mentality. I was stigmatised for struggling with mental illness, I couldn’t see myself staying and thriving there, and I didn’t fit in. It’s about batting away unsolicited opinions and negative energy from other people.
What was the writing process behind “Who Asked You”?
I had actually originally written the track to a sample of an Esther Phillips’ track about two years ago in a different form. Then Pat (Producer) and I switched it up and made the groove more wonky, we changed the chords and arrangement. I had a lot of fun writing the BVs. Pat had some mates lay down brass too which was great.
How excited were you to have released your EP?
It was an amazing experience I had waited for a long time for. The response to the project made me feel very grateful and spurred me on to write the music I’m making at the moment and set to release this year.
If you could have written any album, which one would it have been?
Closing Time by Tom Waits or Beautifully Human by Jill Scott.
What’s your dream concert lineup?