During the month of June, everyone is celebrating love and the freedom of expression. Brooklyn-based artist Niva (aka the Soul Diva) celebrates both with her latest EP, entitled Life Love and Music. I had the pleasure of chatting with Niva about her songwriting process, the making of her latest music video, “Hennessey Love,” as well as her recent performance in Washington DC for the Capital Pride Festival. With her influences including the Rolling Stones and James Brown, Niva shares her multi-faceted approach to songwriting. Read on to learn more…
Congratulations on your latest EP, Life Love and Music! What was the songwriting process like for these 7 tracks?
Most of the tracks were written by my producer, ”Brother Jonathan” and myself. Usually, I tell him when I come up with a new idea, then we will record the idea in a scratch recording with just my vocals. Later on, he will call in musicians from my band to start laying down parts. Then, I will come back, record my vocals, and that’s it! For my track “Hennessey love,” I received the track from producer ‘stay high 149’. Brother Jonathan took the track, remixed it, and added my vocals. For the track, ”I Am a Warrior,” we received the track from Chiba of Groovy Miles Productions. I went to his studio and recorded the vocals to the track. It is so much fun collaborating with such talented people and I think that is the key to success.
Who are some of biggest musical influences in your songwriting?
I listen to a lot of the classics. There is not one songwriter in particular that is an influence. It is a whole entire genre of the classics from rock, soul, R&B and even jazz music. My influences are everything from the Rolling Stones to James Brown to Destiny’s Child. A good songwriter should listen to everything and absorb the best part of the music that fits them.
I see you performed for the Capital Pride Festival in DC. What was it like performing in front of the Washington Monument in our nation’s capital?
Performing at the Capital Pride Festival was some of the most fun I have ever had. When you are on that big stage in front of all those people you know that this is what you have worked for, this is what you have trained for and you must deliver. I did another show at Shrine NYC the night before, only getting about two hours sleep before going to Washington DC, but I still got on stage and gave it my all. When I heard the crowd screaming and saw them jumping up-and-down, I knew it was all worth it.
I enjoyed your latest music video, “Hennessey Love”. What was that video making process like? Was the choreography your own?
The video making process was so much fun for me because it was the first time I had a stylist, a choreographer, and a makeup artist with all of the things that come along with her first-class production. We made the video in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and in a studio. The choreography was done by choreographer Prince Hairston. He and his dancers were patient with me and really helped to bring out the best in me. He was very encouraging and his direction was firm yet calm and caused the production to be very smooth. I look forward to working with him again.
What can music fans look forward to from Niva the Soul Diva for the rest of 2018?
I plan on releasing a new ballad that my producer and I have been working on for a while now. We will also be re-releasing remixed and remastered versions of my previous projects. Our main goal for 2018 is to get on major network television because that is when people start to care, when you get television exposure. We have a great live show that generates raw and powerful excitement and I know that when we present our product on late night television no one is going to change the channel!
For more info: NivetheSoulDiva.com