interview by JANA LETONJA

Singer and songwriter NERIAH fearlessly infuses her music with raw emotion, uncovering the unfiltered realities of life’s journey. She debuted her new single ‘First Time’ during the final show of Madison Beer’s west coast tour, which she was the opener. NERIAH also just announced her new album, embracing her Lover Girl era with uplifting music that will light up your summer playlist.

NERIAH, you just released your new single ‘First Time’. Tell us more about the story and inspiration behind it. I am so excited for everyone to hear it. 
I’ve never been happier in my life. I am in such a healthy relationship that makes me feel like I’m falling in love for the first time every single day. After releasing a 24-track album about my ex and our toxic relationship, I really wanted to start this new chapter with a song as fun as ‘First Time.’ I am so excited for everyone to hear this new music. Let the Lover Girl era begin.

You debuted the single during Madison Beer’s west coast shows. How was it opening Madison Beer’s, and what did you enjoy the most about these shows? 
It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. I am so grateful that her and her amazing team let me join her for this tour. The fans were absolutely incredible. Looking into the audience and seeing people sing my songs along with me is such a surreal feeling. Every show was the biggest room I’ve ever played. 

With the new album, you are embracing your Lover Girl era, releasing more uplifting music. How would you describe this new era in your life and career, and what does it mean for you? 
I am so excited. I think the vulnerability in my music is something that a lot of people can relate to, and this new music is such a different sound and story for me. I always worried that if I was happy, I wouldn’t be able to write as much music, but this is my favourite music I have ever made. It is such a different sound for me. We all go through so many phases and experiences in our lives that shape us and I am absolutely loving this new era I’m in, and I hope everyone else does too.

Since the release of your first album, how have you developed as an artist? 
I am constantly trying to develop, change and grow. The evolution of my personal life and professional life go hand in hand. Writing music has always been my outlet. It’s no secret that a lot of my previous songs are about heartbreak. The past few years I’ve been in relationships that have taught me so much. If I hadn’t been through those relationships and experiences in my personal life, I wouldn’t be writing the music I am today in my professional career. I’m in a completely new place and I wanted this music to represent that change. We did a lot of studying and brainstorming before jumping into the music and the brand. I learned a lot of new vocal tones, watched movies and listened to music for inspiration, created mood boards, you name it. I had so much fun writing this music and am so proud of this next project I’m releasing.

How and when did your love for music develop? 
I wrote my first song when I was five. It has been in my blood for as long as I can remember. My parents say I started to sing before I ever talked. Growing up, music was my therapy and I still can’t believe this is my career now. 

Who are your biggest inspirations and idols in the music world? 
Julia Michaels.

What has been the most significant moment in your career so far, and why?
Before The Spinnin Tour, I would have said selling out The Troubadour, but now I’d say playing the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Playing for an audience that big has been a dream since I was little. 

Besides music, what other things do you enjoy the most? 
I love eating noodles and bedazzling. I am obsessed with arts and crafts.

What other exciting projects do you have lined up for the rest of the year?  
There are a bunch of exciting things coming. Expect a lot of shows and a lot of new music. Sophomore album is coming up.

all photography by CHRISTINA BRYSON