Made To Hurt: An Interview with NERIAH

by - March 16, 2023

Photo courtesy of Maxine Bowen

Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter NERIAH has no issue with sharing her music at all stages of the creation process. In fact, she thrives off of it.

She jokes that she can’t release 100 songs a year, but that has yet to stop her from writing them. She has spent the last year experimenting with everything she can in order to discover who exactly NERIAH is.

“This was in my transition period where I was doing one to three sessions every single day for over a year,” she said. “I was writing with a bunch of different writers, a bunch of different producers, a bunch of different collaborators, and I was really figuring out what NERIAH is.”

From these experimentations came her upcoming six-track EP, No One Cries Forever. The EP explores themes of heartbreak, sadness and self-discovery, which she said focused on one relationship that felt like she would never get over.

“We all have that ex that we swear we’re never going to get over and we’re going to miss for the rest of our lives,” she said. “But no one cries forever; everyone moves on eventually. Sometimes the journey it takes to get there is really important and there’s a lot of growth, but I promise one day it will all be ok.”

She really enjoyed the process of figuring out who she is as a songwriter and allowing herself to be honest in her lyrics. There was no pressure to sound a certain way or have a completed track at a certain time, so she found her time in the studio to be enjoyable.

“Each song is so different from each other,” she said. “There’s a little bit of a hyper pop song, there’s a ballad of course; there’s a lot more experimental tracks which I think are really special. Every single one is written by someone different and produced by a different producer, and it was just this world that I thought was really cool and this evolutionary moment where I could show all of the different versions of my songwriting and the variety in it.”

By having the freedom to finish this project at her leisure, it was important for her to sit down with each song and decide if she still feels the same. If she wrote five songs about the exact same topic, is there one that stands out the most? One that explains the feeling the best?

She also takes into account what her audience is looking for. By sharing every stage of the creation process on social media and in her live performances, she gets real-time feedback that can help determine how she is feeling about the song.

Something she has learned in the last year is to not hang onto songs too much. A major part of her writing process is that it helps her get through the emotions she’s feeling. She recognized that there are so many ways a song can turn out, and there’s nothing wrong with working on a song all day only to realize that it doesn’t work.

Since completing No One Cries Forever, NERIAH feels like she has discovered exactly who she wants to be. These six tracks might not be 100 songs a year, but this also isn’t the only release she has up her sleeve.

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