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INTERVIEW: Nessi Gomes

Hi Nessi, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Good, just resting from an incredible Shambala Festival that took place in the uk last weekend. I played there with my band and had an awesome time. One of the best festivals I have been to actually. Everything they stand for is spot on.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “These Walls”?

I guess the song is about the walls inside of us, the voices that limit us and attempt to keep us small. The voices of fear, doubt and wanting to break through. All these little companions that we carry around with us during our life.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Yes, It was written during the days when I began recording my album. I guess because its my first project like this that it brought a lot of insecurities. The pressure was almost too much. Early on this whole venture just felt far too big and scary and I felt like such a fraud for wanting to do such a thing.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes, I was filming the video two months ago in a small mystical shell grotto in Margate which was sponsored by the Guernsey Arts Council from the island that I am from. The location we chose is an amazing place..I am really happy with the clip and it will be released on VEVO in the next week.

The single comes off your new album Diamonds and Demons – what’s the story behind the title?

My whole journey in life is basically walking the thin line between my inner demons and the diamonds. We all carry darkness within us, we all carry light. None of this light will show up unless we face our demons, our shadows. So there is always a very delicate dance between the two elements and honouring both. Sometimes those demons are there to push and challenge us. Sometimes it feels like an internal war and its part of our growth to face it and break through and where we finally get to meet our strength. And most importantly this duality is a real part of our human-ness.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was very challenging sometimes, especially because the recording process can be so dry. Thats one of the things I love about performing, your in the moment. I can sing the same song over and over and never get bored with it because I’m constantly feeding from all that energy and electricity that I receive from the audience, and each audience brings something different to the space each time. It becomes my muse and awakens something very magical within the whole room which I use to weave into my performance. However, when i’m recording the first thing I’m faced with is that annoying click track which kills everything that inspires me. You instantly get into your mind, counting, checking if your on the right part of the song. Initially I had so much resistance to it as I felt so disconnected from what I was doing and it meant that I needed to dig deeper to connect to the emotional elements of the songs despite the sometimes dryness of the recording process. I guess it was an important muscle for me to exercise and happy I got over it.

Regarding the writing process, for me at least the one thing Im always looking for when Im putting words onto paper is the physical reaction to the lyrics. Sometimes I write a sentence and it just feels weird in my system, so I keep at it until it clicks into place. That resonance. I really love to play with words. Sometimes Im playing a melody on the guitar and it will trigger many images and visions and its from there that I write. Sometimes the lyrics don’t even make sense or are a bit dark but its what I see. But I love that because it enables me to explore all those little weird corners of my mind. Sometimes lyrics come really quick and sometimes I need to sit with it for ages. Its really a mixed bag.

What was it like to work with Duncan Bridgeman and how did that relationship develop?

Duncan was a lot of fun. I felt very comfortable with him which was important for me. This project was a long journey and over time we have become very good friends. We went through a lot together. Sometimes it was like watching a mad professor in his labotory throwing things together.

How much did he get to influence the album?

He brought a lot of his experience to the table, many different flavours and techniques which seem to be inspired from his other projects like 1 Giant Leap, What About Me? and Hecho en Mexico. This kind of fusion and kelidescope technique that you see clearly in his previous projects definately had an element within my album.

How has your upbringing have influence your music?

Well I guess my upbringing influenced my music in different ways. I had a challenging childhood like I assume most young teenage girls and music became a great escape. It was a place for me to express stuff that was stuck inside. I had an older brother that had a huge library of music and I remember from a young age going into his room when he was out of the house and just listening to endless amounts of albums and checking out and exploring an electic mix of sounds and genres.

What role does Portugal plays in your sound?

 I absorbed a lot of the melancholic traditional Portuguese folk music called Fado. Those woman with big voices and black dresses that sings about loss and longing and a general sense of nostalgia I feel has a very strong imprint in my music.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Mainly from hard moments but also from a space when I have been struggling with something and then suddendly I have clarity about the situation. I rarely write about happy things or guys. Well at least for now. That may change.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! In the next 3 months i will be performing in some 10 countries in Europe. And during October I will have some dates in the Uk. 20th Bristol, 22 Brighton and on the 26th October I will be having my official album launch in London which I am really excited about.

What else is happening next in Nessi Gomes’ world?

After finishing this long process of making the album and sharing the work in different places I am really eager to go back to the creative cacoon. To forget and to strip all that I know and have learnt about music, writing, recording and start again. I really want to do it all in a new way. I don’t want to make another Diamonds & Demons or feel that I need to limit myself to what I know but rather to explore a new way of expressing that which is in me.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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