Nive Nielsen- 9th IMA Folk/Singer-Songwriter Nominee

Nive Nielsen- 9th IMA Folk/Singer-Songwriter Nominee



BAND NAME: Nive Nielsen & The Deer Children


ARE YOU SIGNED OR SELF-RELEASED? Released on my own tiny label.

NAME OF LABEL: Tuttu Recordings.

HOMEBASE/COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: I’m from Nuuk, Greenland


ARTISTS ON THIS TRACK: Nive Nielsen (haha of course), Jan De Vroede , John Parish, Howe Gelb, Angu Motzfelt

WHERE WAS SONG RECORDED? Toybox Studio, Bristol (UK)

WHERE IS YOUR MUSIC AVAILABLE? There´s a CD out in Greenland –just in Greenland- on my own little label. Then, there´s a tour-only 7”. And an EP, which you can find on iTunes. Also, the Greenland CD can be obtained from rough trade. There´s a bunch of tracks floating around to download for free, too.


WHAT’S THIS SONG ABOUT? This song is about pirates. It also is about relationships, and expectations. Oh, and treasures, too! I wrote it back home in Greenland during a sailing trip, thinking about how sometimes in a relationship you start competing in really silly ways, like who loves whom most and stuff. Also, there´s all these “prejudices” about your partner, because of having this fixed image of him or her in your head – but we all change, of course. And also, regardless of all that, there’s love and happiness. So, this competing or under/overestimating each other and stuff becomes rather silly and funny. Anyhow, that was the start. I was thinking of that. Then a song about pirates came out. Cause we ´re all pirates, yup yup!

WHY DID YOU SELECT THIS TRACK TO SUBMIT TO THE IMAs? I like this song a whole lot. I guess that´s a good reason, huh? Also, it´s a short one, which is good because I get easily bored. It´s a bit of a strange song, perhaps- as in there´s no conventional structure or chorus or stuff. That´s just how my songs turn out, mostly. But, it´s a catchy and happy-but-not-sugary-sweet sounding song (well, I hope so anyways). And well, singing it makes me happy!

WHAT UNUSUAL INSTRUMENTS OR TECHNIQUES DID YOU USE ON THIS ALBUM? Well, the song structure is a bit unusual – see also the “why this track” part above. Howe used his magic blue guitar pedal – that makes a totally unpredictable sound every time you press it – and we went with that. I love magic blue pedals!

As for writing: I made the lyrics and the melody plus chord structure at the same time, during a boat trip back home in Nuuk Fjord. Feeling a bit pirate-y I guess.  I love using simple chords. I didn´t want a verse/chorus structure because I don´t like that formula too much – on the other hand I like music that feels organic, natural and not too “artsy” or forced. I feel that the structure and build-up of this song is both a little unconventional and yet quite logical. It moves forwards. And it makes me smile.

DID FANS HELP FUND THIS PROJECT? Well I guess so, my mum´s a fan also, see!

WHO IS SITTING IN YOUR AUDIENCE: I have no idea. My very first concert was this summer in June. Since then I´ve played huge festivals, art houses, house parties, clubs and what not – and it´s been different every single time. I‘m not known at all. My record is not officially out yet, except for in Greenland. So, the people that come to my shows abroad typically would be curious, into discovering new music, and of course totally awesome.

WHAT MAKES YOUR FANS UNIQUE? They know where Greenland is and that there´s people living there… even a ukulele-wielding Inuk girl who sings about vacuum cleaner killers and pirates, hi,hi!

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO PLAY? Kitchens. Oh and places with good espresso machines!


Wow hard question – there´s been a lot of those “wow” moments really…

For myself, I ´d definitely mention finishing my record, after traveling and doing bits and pieces for well over a year.

And then there’s our first concert ever: that was this summer back home in Greenland, to celebrate our growing independence as an almost-country. The whole atmosphere was amazing: It was a real historic day, the whole town was out and proud and happy – and then we played and partied and everybody there was really enthusiastic and proud of us. Oh, and the Danish Queen was there! We had made 1000 CDs –that was all I could afford to press- and we were gonna try and sell some after the concert. But our friend who would bring them on the plane from Denmark (that’s where we had them made) missed that plane – so we had no CDs. I was really really bummed out, and joked a bit about him missing that flight between two songs while on stage. I told people what happened and said that those who wanted a record could just come to our house the day after. Then we played, and I was very nervous ‘cause it was the first time on a stage – but the show went super well. We all partied and the whole band crashed on our floor. The next day, at an impossibly early hour, someone knocked on our door to buy a record. And well, people kept knocking on our door to see if I had more CDs, haha.  At one point, there was a line outside our house !  That was an absolutely crazy experience. We sold out in two days !  It was really cool – especially with all my friends in the band there. Yeah that was awesome.

But recording with my hero, Howe Gelb, at John Parish’ studio was a dream come true too, as was our first gig abroad. And tour. So many firsts this year!! Releasing the record myself back home, and selling out in days.

WHAT’S IN THE WORKS FOR 2010? Hmm… 2010 is going to be super exciting I think (I hope. I know. Yay!!) First of all, my record, Nive Sings!, will be totally done and ready to be released. Also, I´m recording some new songs for a tour only LP – cause there´ll be many concerts, and I have many, many new songs, see.  I´m starting the new year with a showcase concert at EuroSonic, and then I ´m off to the Sundance Festival – a film I made the title song for is part of the official competition there. So that´s pretty cool. I ´ll be touring a whole lot. Recording some new material, also – and doing a bunch of one-off collaborations while traveling. Besides that, I ´m planning a new documentary up in the Arctic. That has nothing to do with music. Well, not directly anyways. But it´s also fun.


WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS? Making a living of playing music. I’ve dreamt of being able to travel and play my songs to people here and there -who want to hear them – that’s been going really well, so success already! It still amazes me when I get a mail or a letter from someone somewhere who heard one of my songs and engaged with it – it’s so amazing that people actually listen to what I ‘m cooking up in my attic.  Ideally I’d love to record in a slightly better way, and travel even more – so far, being able to play with people I really look up to has been utterly wonderful and really more than I hoped for. I ‘m really happy.

WHAT’S ON YOUR IPOD THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR FANS? Haha, my fans (well my friends at least) know I listen to loads of strange stuff. I´m pretty into doom  and Black Metal. Lately, I´ve been listening to southern Rap a whole lot.

NAME SOME ARTISTS YOU ARE CHAMPIONING: Clues. Gambletron. Desoto Caucus. Giant Sand. Matt Bauer. Elfin Saddle. Lightnin Hopkins. JJ Cale. Bee Gees. Ralph Carney. Jonathan Richman. Apparat Organ Quartet. Wu Fei. I dunno… there´s so much cool stuff!!! Many way too little-known old stuff that´s just amazing and many awesome new artists. Sigh… See, now I want to go the record store again!

1 Comment
  • matt grimaldi

    December 22, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    excellent discovery, definitely want to hear more of her.