Words by Matthew Spence:
Thank me now, cause I’m gonna save you thousands of dollars in Berkley Tuition and Masterclass courses. Regarding music theory, all the shit we’re taught like keys, circle of fifths, Canon D, I IV V I, and all that shit that you can use to look like a musical douche whenever we listen to a prog-rock song and point out the diminished G-flat/B-augmented7th chord. Save that shit for Charlie Puth. Energy is a key player in what can bring a song to life (according to Santana’s masterclass, Energy is the key to legendary guitar playing). An artist goes through a recording process like Mario trying to get to Bowser’s Castle. Pen the idea, production choice, writing Phoebe Bridgers-specific lyrics, and adding Waka Flocka Adlibs, combined with other elements, accumulating to form a musical product. Yet, the energy they transmit through every aspect is what tingles our aura in various ways. Whether it’s being lit out of your fucking mind or feeling every ounce of the world’s despair trickling down on you. We’re all walking rainbows (and contradictions) the only downside, we don’t have unlimited access to gold and Skittles. Surrounded by colored energy, whether it’s a song that turns your aura into silver or pink.
Silver: you’ll be like “Call Me If You Get Lost era” Tyler
Pink: You appreciate your loved one and the idea of love existing, so much that your blood type may be “Love”
Enter Nehway, whose Purple aura seeps through Spotify to the listener.
A Connecticut native, songstress, self-proclaimed “Flower-Girl” [my dumbass should’ve asked what her fav flowers are…. oh well], has been signing for a big chunk of her life. Being a wee toddler around 7 or 8 years old when she started to pick up her vocal instrument [the first she learned. However, a physical instrument didn’t come into play until 10 years later. All hail the ukelele. Leading to the next step up: rewarding her with her dad’s acoustic guitar and it was here where the amp would be cranked up to 11. LET THE ARTISTRY BEGIN!!! Releasing covers from people like Amy Winehouse and the Neighborhood on Soundcloud. Demos of original material, it was like a playground musically, testing the waters, and figuring yourself out while still trying to have the fun that comes with it. Take “IMY Freestyle“, with a more rough recording combined with natural (probably recorded under a staircase), it sounds unpolished in the vein of a 90s demo you’d find on Youtube before they clean it up for an anniversary boxset for an album. All (unofficial) prequels to the main trilogy of her 3 official singles 2021, would mark her debut single “Better”, 2022s “Wonderworld”, and 2023s “LA”.
Each track contains sweet production, feels like we’re on a journey to healing alongside her. Hence the purple aura: self-awareness we need. Combine her with more raw vocals, leads to a powerful experience. Now, on an average ass day, I got to ask her questions about stuff. Oh and other stuff. Then had an extra day to reiterate some answers. The intro is over…..
Describe Your Sound
I like to say it’s Alternative R&B and Soul. Ambient and Meditative. I try to make things that are pretty you know? I have a hard time trying to describe what my sound is to people so I say Alt. R&B. Music that sounds and feels good. I like to chalk it down to experience
What goes better with your music: Scented Candles or Sage?
Scented Candles. I’m a God-girlie, I don’t rock with sage. I would like a good scented candle with a cup of tea
Your music feels like a reflection of your diary/journal. Does performing and getting love for your honesty give some type of feeling of closure from those trials and hardships?
I feel like that feeling comes up but IDK, it’s also kinda hard held back by something because its hard to feel closure to something if it’s still happening. The music does help with those emotions but I don’t think so—[BREAKING NEWS. She changes her mind in the middle of her answer]
I think I experience relief just because having someone tell you “your performance meant so much” to them is like an indicator that they’re feeling what I’m writing about, so it may not be closure but relief, connection and understanding.
With 3 official singles under your belt, do you feel like you’re not releasing music as consistently compared to everyone around? Do you ever feel you’re better off taking your time making music no matter how long it takes
That’s a difficult to answer not gonna lie. I feel like I’m a weird person on the inside. I feel there’s a part of me that’s ok with taking my time putting music together—[A close friend of hers, Gem, bassist for Ángel Loor offered Nehway a quote that struck her like a wisdom dart. “Things take time for people to understand”]
— With that in mind, it’s easier for me to digest that people are taking steps.
Nehway would go on to explain how she’s not the same person she was at the beginning of this year. Her growth has helped change her changed her mindset from foggy to crystal clear. Caught up in the track race trying to feel legitimate and valid as an artist. Trying to negate the doubt amongst herself and others, plus merging with experiences she’s gone through the year, has led to a more reformed person. Not just as a creative but as well as her living being. “My priorities have changed just a little bit, how I don’t care how long it takes”. Whether individual tracks or overall career, she’s fine with taking her time, at the end of the day the destination is the same. But getting there in a healthy is still important. In essence, it’s like one of my favorite lyrics.
The point is, she’s happy with everything she’s brought to the artistic world.
How do you stay grounded and not try to fall into trying to succeed so early?
I don’t know if I’m grounded in that, cause as much as I do believe I have time. But, right now I’m focusing on my health. Finding the balance of “pause and go”. I try to think about and hold on to the happy feeling I get when I create something. Cause I can get caught up on wanting to show it instead of the making of
What did you feel like you were showing?
The first thing that came to mind was the show at the State House Looking back on it now, I feel like I was trying to do the most. Like trying to show more than the craft of everything. I feel like I didn’t own my gift. People loved them [the sets she reflects on more negatively] and thought were great but I want to be able to trust myself—
This makes sense, being a student of artists like Lauryn Hill, and Tracy Champman, and a peer of hers Shamiqua. They have an ambiance that entrances the crowd naturally. So taking notes and learning from experience, she’s still trying to build her presence. Realized she “tried to show the fire she had” instead of it just naturally letting burn the stage. As someone who’s seen her live a few times… I thought her stage presence was amazing, but hey, we are our biggest critics. All that being said, she’s trying to go back to the elementary school fundamentals: focus on having fun on stage
They say you are what you eat, musically she is who she listens to. Kendrick Lamar, Cleo Sol, Tracy Champman. Artists that balance vulnerability and balance energy in various forms.
How do you separate Nehway Sahn “The Artist” and Nehway Sahn “The Individual”?
Nehway the Artist: I wanna be like her. She’s fire. She likes that SZA lyric from “Drew Barrymore”. She knows what to say and how to say it. Loves people. More vulnerable
Nehway Sahn the Person: I’m shy, but I’m goofy. A goofball, I be goofy
Nehway the Artist: I feel is very reserved but around my friends, I’m more goofy but its hard to differentiate the two.
Why do wanna hide your goofiness under a vulnerable side to the public?
I feel like that gives other people more room to judge me <laughs>
I wanna live creatively. I think I wanna see what I can do. I wouldn’t want to reach the end of my life knowing I never tried. Music is something I feel like God gave me. I don’t feel like this gift is mine. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do with my music though.
Where do you find solace in Creative doubt?
I find solace in myself. Trying to keep it fun!
Follow Nehway on her social media and Stream her music on platforms where music exists. My advice: use vanilla-scented candles when streaming LA