‘MOST of my life is a typical teenage life. The only difference is that I make music and sometimes I get to go to fancy events
As Nina Nesbitt sits munching crisps while chatting to her best friend and worrying about her “bad hair day”, you could be inclined to agree with that statement.
But most “typical” teenagers aren’t hiding away on the top floor of Princes Street’s HMV store waiting to meet the hundreds of adoring fans stood lining the street outside.
“I was getting Tweets about people queuing from 5.30am,” says 19-year-old Nina. “I was thinking ‘please go back home, it’s too cold outside’. I feel very honoured that people would do that. I never expected a lot of people to turn up.”
It’s fair to say there are aspects of Nina’s life that are far from typical – like, for example, the reason for her visit to HMV: to launch her debut album Peroxide.
The album has been years in the making for the young singing sensation, who grew up in Balerno and shot to fame after posting videos of her music online. “I finished the album in November. It’s been a work in progress for three years. It’s good to have a range of different parts of my life on it – it sums up a typical teenager.
“The album means a lot more to me than the singles because I have been working on it for so long. Hopefully it will do well.”
Judging by the reaction to it on its release date on Monday, it’s already doing very well.
It went straight into the iTunes album chart at number two on Monday morning and HMV staff in Edinburgh were continually replenishing their stocks as hundreds of fans queued to get it signed by Nina.
“I still hadn’t seen the CD until I saw the first one here,” she admitted while in the Princes Street store on Monday.
2013 was a massive year for the young singer, a former Balerno Community High pupil, but she’s very humble when it comes to talking about it. She lists her single Stay Out getting into the Top 40, a T in the Park performance in front of 10,000 people, a tour which took in New York and Hong Kong, and singing on a John Lewis advert as a few of her highlights from last year.
“I got to cover one of my favourite bands, Fleetwood Mac,” she smiles, her face lighting up at the memory.
In true Nina style, one of last year’s highlights also included something much more personal and closer to home. “I did a headline tour in October and played at the O2 ABC in Glasgow,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to play there because I’ve been to so many great gigs there, and it sold out in advance. One of my friends came up and sang with me on stage.”
Last year also saw Nina sing Flower of Scotland in front of 50,000 football fans at Hampden in September.
And she kicked off 2014 on a high too, performing at Edinburgh’s world famous street party, on a bill that was headlined by The Pet Shop Boys. “I had never been to the street party before,” Nina admits. “So it was lovely to have my first experience of it when I was playing at it.”
Nina found herself the victim of a tabloid fashion “scandal” during London Fashion Week last week while she was attending the Joseph presentation at the Serpentine Gallery by going bra-less in a very sheer top. She groans and laughs simultaneously as she explains what happened.
“Basically it looked stupid with a bra. My hair is really long so it was like a top. I forgot it was windy. I walked out of the car expecting to go straight into the venue. But I had to walk through the park for five minutes to get to the venue in gale force winds. It was quite embarrassing.”
Nina’s Nesbians – the name her army of fans go by – will be able to catch a glimpse of their idol once again next month as she returns to the Capital to perform at the Usher Hall, a rescheduled date following the closure of the Picture House.
“I was really looking forward to playing at the Picture House,” she says. “I saw Ellie Goulding there and that was one of the gigs that inspired me to pick up a guitar.
“The Usher Hall, where I’m playing instead, is double the size. It’s crazy to think I’ll be playing there.”