Danielle Mustarde chats to the London-based duo to find out how they’re staying creative in the times of corona
BY DANIELLE MUSTARDE, IMAGE ROXY LEE
NIMMO are Sarah Nimmo and Reva Gauntlett, a London-based duo who have been making music together since they were 14. We caught up with them to find out what inspires their sound, their “new way of working” during the pandemic and their hopes for the future.
Where did you both grow up?
NIMMO: Kilburn, North West London
Describe that place in three words
Diverse, Stimulating, Deviant.
When did you first start making music?
When we were about 14, we started creating together – making mix tapes and recording tracks in our bedrooms.
Who influences your sound? Growing up and/or today…
We are massively influenced by club culture in general, the social and musical elements. We also spend a lot of time also listening to artists like Roísín Murphy, Little Dragon, Cocteau Twins. Generally speaking, we have never had a solid single influence. We are constantly meeting new people, finding new art and music that inspires the next steps for us creatively.
What defines NIMMO? As artists and as songwriters/producers?
Our friendship and connection, I think. The atmosphere we create when performing live is a big defining feature for us. All the time and experiences we have shared mean that naturally so many stories are born! [Laughs] We have many and those experiences work their way into the body of our lyrics, for sure.
You’ve begun DJing recently. Tell us about your upcoming remixes?
Yeah! We were dipping in and out of DJing from as far back as when we first met. We love it. It was a very natural progression for us as we are always throwing parties for friends and running the music. The remixing side of the project is really growing at the moment – it’s so nice to have more creative avenues to grow and try new things. We have an exciting remix release coming this summer but we are not currently allowed to announce it yet! Watch this space though…
How are you adapting to the ways in which the world has changed lately?
We have found a new method of working. It’s obviously very much based around working independently and then sending things backwards and forwards for each other to edit. It’s been an interesting change, but we’re managing to make it work so far!
What do you hope might be a silver lining from this situation for musicians/artists/creatives, if any?
This is fundamentally a very sad and scary time for so many people, but there are always some positive and eye-opening things to learn from difficult times. Creatively, it’s been quite freeing for the both of us. Sometimes you need to be forced to slow down and isolation has enabled us that time to look closely and objectively at the work we are making.
We are all used to being creative in a half-exhausted state of overdrive where pushing forwards and being 100% motivated is the foundation for great thinking. Don’t get me wrong – some of our best ideas come when we are really pushing ourselves and that’s a very exciting space a lot of the time. But nothing bad ever came from changing that and finding new thought and energy in a new headspace. That, surely, can only be a good thing for creatives.
It won’t be easy and there will be lots of times where the tedious routine will actually block so much creative thought but still. Whatever new stuff comes will probably come from a totally different part of our heads and hearts and that’s something interesting for sure! Plus, the excitement about getting back out there eventually is also keeping us all going.
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