Well-established as an international model, our Ms Forde has more strings to her bow than making clothes, makeup and hairstyles look wonderful…she has acted and dances and is now moving into the music field. Is is fair that this Irish lass has SO much going for her ?? Pete Sargeant, a mere mortal hopes to find out as her calls her for chat……..
I have no idea what Nadia is expecting with this conversation as she is relatively new to the music press though perfecr fodder for the tabloids, for some timei
JLTT: Good evening. How are you?
NF: Good evening. Pete. How you doing?
Pretty good… now *** has sent me your video clip and some information because I like talking to music makers of every age, description and everything else
Yeah, that’s good !.
I play every kind of music and I’m interested in every kind of music as long as I feel there’s some heart in it. That’s why I asked her to have a word. By the way,whatever ***t has told you about me is completely and utterly untrue…
(Laughs) She only had good things to say !
That’s what I mean. It’s all lies
No we get on really well and I work with her on a lot of stuff. She knows I will listen to everything and not just heavy metal for example. I’m a psychedelic guitarist mainly, but there you go
Wow! How cool!
Let’s talk about the single ( ‘BPM’ )straight away. I’ll be frank with you, I got this through and I listened to it a few times and watched the video and it doesn’t matter if you go red at this point because I can’t see you. My notes say ‘The single is very classy pop and the key is dead right for her breathy voice. Plus she looks hotter than the desert.’
( Gasps ) – Who said that !????
I did !
( Whispers) I’m burning up on the inside now as well !
Come on! Be honest, it’s probably the most sensuous video I’ve seen since Holly Valance
Yeah I do
I thought it would be…alluring… I wanted it to be like getting ready for a night out.
Yeah. Does that alright
Very pretty scenes..they worked with me on the lights, clothes…to get it right ( Pauses). Holly Valance is pretty f***ing hot though !
It looks sexy. I know that and you know that. It actually goes with the song and that’s the best think about it
The words are very sexy. Yes. When we recorded the song it was a bit weird to be….it’s kind of wacky and you’re nearly speaking the verses and not really ‘speaking’ so much
Yeah. The effect is there
Actually, the verses we used in the final version of the song were the ones I had in demo when we wrote the song. So we didn’t actually change much. I guess the verses were supposed to be sexy and I wanted it to be like a sweaty, hot night out and the feeling you get when you’re dancing to your favourite song. That’s what I wanted
That’s good. It does that. Who wrote ‘BPM’? Did you have any input on the lyrics or anything?
Yes I co-wrote it with a producer called Ben Martin who’s based in L.A.
There’s a quality in your voice here….and I imagine you’ve got two or three different voices you use depending on the mood of the song
(Emphatically) Yeah. Absolutely
But there’s a little touch of Jennifer Paige in there.
I do a song of hers called called ‘Crush’ and I’ve lowered it two octaves but it’s the sexiest song about a love affair going wrong. But’s there’s something of Jennifer Paige, in your delivery
( Intrigued ) I’ll have to look that up
That’s good because it doesn’t sound as though you are trying to be the next Jessie J… that’s what I’m saying Nadia.
( Laughs out loud ) ( I’m not trying to be anybody!
I studied music in school so I sang a lot of different genres growing up. But for this particular EP it’s just the way things are. You’re the first person to say to me this Jennifer Paige stuff. I just sound the way I sound. My first album I got was Toni Braxton. Those low notes I got from wanting to be like her. I probably bought her album when I was like.. seven
Oh yeah. Toni Braxton ‘Unbreak My Heart’ ?
Also all of her other album tracks. So I think when I was growing up that’s the person I modelled myself on. So my lower register is pretty ok, having worked on it
That’s interesting because there isn’t any great country sort of element. Obviously, I know The Corrs and all that where there is a heavy slant of country in the (Irish) music you likely first heard. You don’t seem to… I get the impression that you weren’t grabbing a hairbrush and singing Shania twain when you were ten. You were listening to other stuff
Oh definitely. I was listening to like Toni Braxton, Janet Jackson and I grew up with Britney Spears. I was listening to them but I definitely was a fan of The Corrs. I have to say Bono was my first influence ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’.
(Laughs) neither has he ! the key !
It’s interesting because obviously you can’t escape it if an Irish act does well everybody in Ireland —–(Ponders) You’re right; Ireland’s known for its indie bands and country influenced acts and not so much pop. I wanna change that though !
That’s what intrigued me about it. Obviously, when I was a young lad I was listening to Rory Gallagher and early Van Morrison.
Yeah. I love Van Morrison !!
I ended up opening for band called Them one time and they invited me to play with them. It was Van Morrison’s band and they were amazing guys. But you are I think, not from that are ? Where are you from?
I’m from Dublin
Ok. Were you born in Dublin?
I was born in the north side of Dublin ..actually not far from where Imelda May is from.
Ok. The bit of Ireland I know best is Cork, The Ring of Kerry. I remember my father hitting me over the head when I was very young because he sent me out of the hotel to get a newspaper and I came back with a paper called The Cork Examiner. He thought it was a trade paper for people who examined corks. I found Killarney quite enchanting that whole area around there. I think we went to Limerick as well. But Limerick now is quite built up isn’t?
Yeah it is. Limerick’s like a proper big city now, definitely..not like it was
Now when you make music, if you’re writing songs do you tend to work round melodies or do the words and titles come to you first?
We know what the subject is, we know what style we want whether it’s up tempo or dance or ballad. When we were writing ‘BPM’ the first thing was the figure that you hear in that track. Some tracks you get and you just add lyrics to them so it just depends. I’ll have a subject in my head that I wanna write about
From that point on as we build the mood, we kind of embellish it and then we go and sometimes we don’t finish it in a day and we leave it if we’re not getting anywhere. I think with ‘BPM’, we wrote the verses and then we came back and did the chorus like two weeks later. I wrote another song about my parents not being around for me when I was a kid and living with my grandparents and that pretty much came out pretty quickly within a night
What’s the title of that one?
Ah yes ! Again, with your voice and what I’m hearing from it there’s no reason you shouldn’t skirt the edge of Motown for a sound if you felt that way about a particular song
What do you mean?
Well there’s a little richness in your voice and the classic Motown melodies always brought people’s voices out the best whether it was Marvin Gaye or Mary Wells or whoever. I am hearing that element.
I love Marvin Gaye. That would be cool. That could be done, definitely….
That’s what I mean, Motown was that ultimate blend of danceable and melodies you couldn’t get out of your head. The best Motown cuts I think are a template for that style of music.
Yeah. Well I don’t know, one of my favourite songs is Rolls Royce ‘Wishing on a Star’.
Ah, Ms- Guthrie. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful song…
It doesn’t matter who covers it, it never ages.
I do that as an instrumental..soaked in delay out of two amps
Do you? Whew ! – I love it it’s a great song.
It will silence an audience as they haven’t heard it played they’ve only heard it sung. You work with other musicians and producers. How do you decide who to work with?
I actually have been placed with people and then we do a writing session and then from that you either get on with them really well and you start churning out songs with whoever. I do like working with other people because then I know the ones I feel comfortable with and the ones I get the best ideas with. I think it’s important to have a variety of people to work with because it means you always have fresh ideas in the pot
Yeah. Of course, at that point you have to forget about how you’re looking and everything else and just get into the music. Put everything into the music.
(Laughs) I don’t think about how I Iook ! I think you think about image and stuff later in the game when you are thinking about image for the song. But you’re right, when you’re in the studio it’s more about what’s happening. I’ve been in studios in my pyjamas
Ok…. ( Your scribe now has the picture of Nadia in pyjamas in his head..but must continue )
Kinda relaxed you know?
Yeah. I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day who’s a session musician and he’d done a session with a quite well known female recording artist. To Finish an album. She’d cancelled the recording session to do a fashion shoot and he was not impressed. The label were saying we want two more tracks and I thought ‘My God this is so unprofessional.’
I think it’s a difficult situation because there’s so much of the music business overall that IS image conscious..all the publicity you do. So I think it’s striking a balance because if you don’t put the work into the music in the first place there’s no point doing the other stuff
I’m glad you’re saying that because attitudewise that’s a good thing. I think someone like Madonna just liked being photographed and threw together some soundtracks so she could wear different outfits. But if you’re coming from the other side of it (and I appreciate you’ve been making music since you were young) so you’re not in this to be famous. It’s something you’ve gotta do isn’t it?
(Serious tone) Yeah. I think that was the biggest misconception for me because obviously I have a history in the modelling world, the tv world and the acting world but music was always a love of mine. It just wasn’t something I did as a job, and I never thought I’d get the opportunity to do it as I just didn’t know which way to go about it. To be honest, I didn’t want to go into a tv show just to impress people and I’m happy having it (music) as a hobby, almost. But in the weird twisted way of the world, it became part of my job. I think sometimes I can be too picky, but I am learning how to put it all together… I like writing the music, I like putting the style together, I like deciding what the video’s gonna look like, I like the production, I like to hear the songs back four or five times before we decide the arrangement. So it’s a really interesting job for me and I really enjoy it. The tv stuff will always happen as it’s part of my job but it’s nice I get to mix it with something I love so much.
This is the interesting thing, doing a bit of research on you you’re tabloid fodder…
Yeah !…they do follow me, Pete
Generally speaking, someone like me a musician and a writer, you probably wouldn’t come into my planet. But recording seriously brings you into my world and it must be terribly difficult to balance being in demand generally and a media magnet and stepping out to make music. There is a precedent because Twiggy Lawson the Sixties model, beautiful girl but she made some terrific country pop records in the late Seventies. People didn’t altogether take her seriously because they said ‘She’s a model. What’s she doing in music.’ I thought that was a terrible injustice because the records were good.And top flight players involved, now they weren’t stupid
I think there is a definite… ( Stops)people try and pigeonhole people in general and it doesn’t matter what industry. But I think it’s important to encourage people to challenge themselves. That’s the one thing I found working over in in L.A. They WANT you to try and be successful and be what you can be. They want you to develop in whatever way you want to develop. I feel like whatever job you are in you have to keep learning and keep yourself challenged mentally to progress as a person
I couldn’t agree more. People always want to box you in , to one thingand I’ve had that all my life, in my own humble way
I’ve had friends of mine who I’ve had since I was a kid listen to some of the music and go ‘Do you really like this?’ I’m like ‘Yeah.’
Have you heard the new Scarlet Johansson stuff?
I didn’t know she sang!
She works with other guitar players. Scarlet Johansson’s made some really nice introspective records. She’s an amazing actress and a good looking girl. But her records are pretty good but is it some people don’t want her to be good….?
Yeah definitely. Sometimes I think people try and everyone should encourage each other. You know what I mean?
I agree. Here’s a question; what’s this ‘Nadia Goes to Hollywood’?
That’s a TV show I did and I’m actually in preparation for the next series. I’ve done a couple of TV shows in the last couple of years and comedy bits here and there for the last five years. This particular show, is a reality style show…it’s kind of modelled on MTV Behind the scenes show and it basically shows the industry and how it works and my journey going from a girl to whatever
(Without me saying anything, Nadia senses my frown at the mention of ‘reality’ TV..how smart is this girl ?)
Please promise me it’s not like the Kardashians!
Yes and no.There’s personal stuff in there. I spoke about the story behind the song ‘Haunted’ because obviously it’s a part of my life and I wanted to express to people what the song was about. About my parents not being around and a lot of not accurate information was out there and I wanted to set the record straight myself so I thought what better way than write a song about my own experience. It’s definitely a guilty pleasure show it’s not serious but they’re serious elements to it. I wanted it to be easy watching TV of a crazy world which is this industry. There was the creative and timescale pressure and then it shows the gigs and making the videos.(Sighs) I admit I loved watching those shows when I was growing up…
Ok… ( Curse my doubtful tone, she is answering my question after all)
So I feel lucky that I get to do that for other people
This won’t surprise you, but I can’t stand reality shows. The reason is, that once a camera’s on there goes the reality
Yeah definitely that’s true for some BUT the way I am on the show is exactly how I am at home. The other shows I’ve done, I do a comedy sketch show and I play different characters depending on the scene. But when I bring up situations about my own childhood I’m gonna be myself. I said in another interview before, how people judge me from that show I’m absolutely fine with because am myself in that show
Good. Well that’s it. If you’re comfortable with it then that’s nine tenths of it really. Now I’m presuming you’ve got an album coming together from these cuts.
When do you think that’s going to be available?
I think the album will be available at the end of the year I hope. We’re working on it now and it’s just getting the time to dedicate as I’m currently promoting the first single and stuff. Also,constantly you get ideas from all over the place. Time to work ? I just get my skates on
Geographically where do you find yourself? The first thing I said to *** was ‘Is she ever over in London?’ Where do you spend your time?
At the moment I’m in London and this year I’ve lived between Dublin, London, L.A. and that’s where I spend my time. The management company have an office out in L.A. and that’s why they put me with producers over there. I have a couple of gigs coming up in Ibiza next month. I guess the thing is music is so diverse and it can reach people everywhere. It can change your mood in an instant. I’m happy to go wherever work takes me
When you’re in a band whenever you go play somewhere you’re kind of behind enemy lines as a unit aren’t you? If something goes terribly wrong, you cling together and get through it somehow. It’s that spirit of being in a group with one purpose- which is to go and entertain.
We wanted to see how people reacted to. That was amazing . performing for people. I just feel like, it’s a very fortunate life because you’re doing what you love to do and it’s your job. Very few people get to do that’s why I love the TV show because I hope it inspires people to do whatever the hell they want to do
The fascinating thing about an audience is, I can go out on stage with a band and play an hour’s music and I always talk to people afterwards and I always take requests and stuff.But they’ve all liked different things..
Yeah ..Now that’s so true. Yeah. I think once you’re comfortable on stage it’s fine
You’re right. The thing is, on stage I always say ‘You guys could be anywhere else and you’re here, with us. So just be aware that we appreciate that.’
(Passionately ) – One hundred per cent yeah !!!
It’s true though. You’ve gotta realise Nadia, most people don’t have the nerve to do what you’re doing or the talent to do it and they’ve actually got a bit of admiration for you going out and doing it
( Hesitant) I don’t really talk about it like that
No but they’re on your side. I once interviewed a drummer of a rock band years ago and I was young and he asked me ‘Have you been playing lately?’ I said ‘Yeah last week, but we had a bad audience.’ He stopped me dead and goes ‘Pete, there’s no such thing as a bad audience.’ Now whose job is it to entertain? I go ‘Well, me.’ He goes ‘Precisely. Find a way of connecting with your audience and you’ve got the room with you.’
Yeah I totally agree. I think it is in the hands of the person on stage because I know myself I’ve felt very uncomfortable on stage before and I’ve felt that the performance is never as good as when you let go and just enjoy it. I did the national anthem for Ireland last September at the Aviva stadium and I remember the first couple of seconds just being so nervous. But by the end of it, the whole stadium was a singing along but the feeling was incredible and it was electric and it was an amazing night to be part of. I was just very blessed to be there to experience what it sounds like to have fifty thousand odd people sing the same lyrics as you. It’s surreal and very cool and when you do it for your country as well there’s that feeling of ‘I love Ireland! I love being from this country!’
That’s it. What we’re talking about, most human beings are beset by work problems, family problems or money problems but they naturally love music. What you and I have to do, in what we go out and do is connect with them.
Yeah absolutely. It’s an escape…. like going to the movies.
It is really. I once went to the Hayward Gallery to look at the painting of Monet and I thought I’d been there half an hour and I’d been there two hours
You just lost track of time ?
I lost myself in looking at the way he painted people and things. I said ‘That’s a good two hours of my life spent’ because I was taken somewhere else without the use of alcohol or drugs which I keep away from. That gave me a high that lasted for days
That is what ‘BPM’ is all about. That’s what it says in the chorus, that feeling that you get when your favourite song kicks in and that’s what I wanted to talk about. I think when I was on my way into that writing session, I was listening to a song on the radio and I loved it. All of sudden for three and a half minutes you love it, you relate it and you’re singing along. That’s what the song is about. But I want you to hear all my others !!
Yes please, Nadia
Thank you. I’ve actually really enjoyed my drive from rehearsal and the chat…
FOR INFORMATION go to nadiaforde.com
Footnote – In passing we have mentioned an astrological chart I have found and I send her a copy, as I have promised to. Then a couple of days later, I hear on the news that Nadia has flipped her little sports car in bad weather and is in hospital. So I text her to see how she is and wish her well. Nadia takes the trouble to text me back saying thanks and assuring me that she is on the mend. Not so the car ! Bless her …