“There were a lot of things that had really been challenging me as an artist and as a person. I was really questioning whether music was the thing for me because I really just reached a point where I had no steam left over, I had no fighting power, I just wanted to sit in a corner and feel sorry for myself,” Ngaiire says.
It hasn’t all been positives for Sydney based singer Ngaiire (pronounced Ny-ree) since the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Lamentations, although the album helped score the singer support slots for icons such as John Legend and Alicia Keys as well as securing herself a spot in The Glastonbury Festival line up. The negatives in Ngaiire’s life come from a much more personal level.
“There were a lot of life changes that happened in my personal life,” reflects the enigmatic singer.
“I split with my partner of about five years and he used to play in the band and produced the last album. So there was a bit of a messy moment there for me and I needed time to recover. I just needed to take some time out and I’m glad I did because I am really happy with the result.” So what is the result?
The impending release of her sophomore album, Blastoma, and the anticipation couldn’t be any higher. The first single ‘Once’ has already earned its well-deserved spot in the triple j Hottest 100 of 2015, making her the first ever Papua New Guinean born artist to obtain this achievement, but yet Ngaiire stays humble as ever.
“I feel very proud and very honoured to be the very first artist to be ahead of a whole bunch of other young people in PNG who will be able to do the same. It’s a big thing to be celebrated, I’m happy,” she says.
The writing process of this album was a bit different than prior releases, incorporating collaborations from artists such as Megan Washington and electro-icon Paul Mac. Whilst Ngaiire is very happy with the overall product she admits at times it wasn’t always easy.
“I let people into my writing process, which in itself is a challenge because I had been writing alone for the last couple of years. It was really interesting, it was such a learning curve for me to be able to trust other people’s creative instincts,” Ngaiire says.
The second single ‘Diggin’ is set to be released soon and is said to be more upbeat compared to the beautifully slow and powerful ‘Once’. “It’s more kind of a celebration of coming out of something ugly or dark. So far people have been reacting to it quite well at live shows so it’ll be interesting how it translates on the radio.”
Freshly playing to the masses at Falls and Field day, Ngaiire doesn’t have much time for rest and relaxation. Set to go off on an Australian wide tour supporting Sufjan Stevens and to play at both Groovin’ the Moo and The Hills Are Alive, she already has an extremely busy 2016 ahead of her. And with Blastoma set to be released soon there is no telling what she has in store for us.
“I frustrate my manager because I’m constantly creating and constantly wanting to do different things. That’s just what I do. Fashion to me or even visual art is all the same, you’re still creating,” she says.
Written by Alex Callan
When & Where: Groovin’ the Moo, Bendigo Showgrounds – April 30