Edinburgh singer Nina Nesbitt honoured at music awards
Nina Nesbitt picked up the coveted ‘Women In Music’ gong at the Scottish Music Awards on Saturday night – and the Edinburgh singer now hopes her success can inspire the next generation of young female musicians.
Speaking exclusively to the Evening News after the ceremony, Nina said: “Seeing someone doing well that you can relate to because they come from the same place makes a huge difference to your self-belief when you’re starting out.
“I hope that any girls who are making music in their bedrooms at home in Scotland can take a bit of confidence from the fact that we all started in exactly the same way.
“It’s hard work, but the Scots will get behind you no matter what town or city or village you’re from and that’s a huge advantage at the start of your career.”
It's been a long road to the top for the 27-year-old, who started her music career as a teenager, writing and recording songs in her bedroom in Balerno and uploading the videos to her YouTube channel.
Championed by Ed Sheeran, she soon signed to the mighty Universal Island label, and went on to enjoy chart success.
But the former Balerno Community High School pupil felt uncomfortable singing shiny pop songs and making big budget pop videos such as the one for her single Chewing Gum, which had her frolicking in a shower with a half-naked hunk.
In 2016, she took to Facebook to announce she'd quit her label.
"For the past couple years I've felt a lot pressure to have a hit, to sound like other people, to keep it safe, become someone I'm not comfortable being,” she wrote.
Free from the constraints of the music industry “machine”, Nina was now in complete control of her career.
On Saturday in the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, Nina performed live for the first time in two years at the Specsavers Scottish Music Awards.
That she won the Women in Music Award during the star-studded ceremony was a massive cherry on the top.
“I’m really proud to have won the Women In Music award this year," she told the Evening News afterwards. “It’s a big honour, especially as it’s from the Scottish Music Awards.
“It was my first proper show back which made it extra special.
“There’s so much great music that comes from Scotland and it doesn’t always get recognised, so it’s important to have this celebration every year.
“I’ve been inspired by some amazing Scottish women, like KT Tunstall who took me on tour in 2017, Amy Macdonald, Annie Lennox and Emeli Sande.
“The awards give a huge boost to new artists every year too, like Bow Anderson and Brooke Combe who are doing really well, which is especially great as they’re both from Edinburgh too.”
It was great night for Edinburgh artists all round, with Portobello's Bow Anderson picking up the best pop act and Tunstall winning the eco award.
The best album going went to West Lothian indie rockers The Snuts, whose debut offering WL went to number one in April.