Meet Greenwich, London-born UK Open Mic performer, Niemba:
Hi niemba, thanks for joining us! Let’s get into it:
Do you play solo only, or also in a group?
How old are you?
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
How did that place influence your music? (if at all!)
I don’t think it was down to the place, but my upbringing. So I’m Congolese, my parents loved playing music and both sang around the house and I think it just got passed on to me.
Where are you based now, and why?
I’m based in Woolwich in London still.
What got you into making music in the first place?
I was a part of choirs/singing clubs in secondary school and always looked forward to my music class. I was writing poetry really young, it wasn’t perfect but then I figured that I could also be writing song lyrics. Again, at the age of 11/12 my penmanship was not the best, but I’m glad I stuck with writing, because it’s become an outlet for me and I’ve been able to perfectly capture really complex emotions in lyrics and song, something a lot of musicians do.
What instrument/s do you play?
Singing, Music Producer
Who would be in your top 10 musical influences, and why?
I think my musical influences resemble that of Steve Lacy, Hope Tala, Rihanna (her ANTI period) and I want to say Joy Crookes but that might not be the case and there may not be that much of a resemblance for any of them, I just enjoy their music and their work so much.
Do you write your own songs?
How many years have you been writing songs for?
I want to say around 10 years.
What process, or processes, do you often find yourself using when you write songs?
I think most of my process comes from self-sabotage or experiencing really intense emotion and only having the energy to write about it or make a song out of those situations
Why did you get into playing open mics in the first place?
Seeing as I’m just starting out, I think it will not only give me more confidence but also allow me to socialize with people and build a stronger network.
What advice would you give new performers who are just starting out playing their first open mics?
I can’t say much because again I’m just starting out, but it’s always good to go for things even if you’re bad at them, because you’ve at least learned something by the end of it and can go away and improve.
What’s the hardest thing, for you, about playing open mics?
I mean, actually playing them, standing in front of people you may or may not know and being vulnerable.
What’s the most bizarre, or fun, open mic, or gig, you’ve ever played, and why?
My second-ever professional gig was the most fun. I played at the Amersham Arms and I just felt so in my element, although the videos don’t do it justice (help)
If it’s not already, are you hoping to make music your full-time career?
What do you currently find the hardest and biggest obstacles to moving your music career forward?
This damn cost of living crisis. You have to have the best equipment, you have to book studio sessions, you need session musicians and instrumentalists. I studied Music Technology at university and it’s taught me to become this one-man-band kind of person but really and truly, collaboration will always give you the better result even though it’s not always possible. I also think my degree has left me more confused and I just am unsure about how to get where I want to go. Such is life I suppose.
What’s the one truth about you that people often find surprising?
If we’re speaking in general terms, I think it’s how anxious or emotional that I am. I feel like I have a very tough exterior and it’s not so common for me to be as transparent with my emotions even though I experience a lot of emotion and anxiety on a day to day basis if that makes sense
What’s the most exciting project you’re working on at the moment?
My debut EP. I had all my songs written and for my dissertation, I just bought them together to make an EP which I’m now excited to release
Do you have music on streaming? What’s your main streaming channel to send people to?
Where is the main place people should go to find out more about you?
We’re done! Anything else you want to share before we go?