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Get to Know: Nardean

23 August 2018 | 9:05 am | Emma Jones

Before she heads to Brisbane for BIGSOUND, we get to know musician/poet/rapper Nardean to talk her album, 'Creatress', and what's still to come.

BIGSOUND is always an exciting time as the Australian music industry congregates for one week to catch a glimpse at the next crop of emerging artists all showcasing exactly who they are and what they're about. Every artist playing has something special to bring to the table, but some stand out from the pack a little more than others.

One such artist is NARDEAN, a Western Sydney musician, poet, rapper and more who has had a thrilling 2018 so far. From releasing her Creatress EP in May, she's since played at SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS, supported MARIBELLE and embarked on her own tour, and is now set to shine bright at this year's BIGSOUND. Combining her love of spoken word and literature and injecting her hip-hop influences, she's a unique voice that's only growing louder.

Using her record to dissect her experience of growing up in Australia with Arabic roots, she opens up about the culture clash and provides a warm embrace for those who can relate to her story - and sounds incredible while doing it. Before she heads to Brisbane for BIGSOUND, we got to know her a little better to discuss who she is, Creatress and what's still to come.

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Who are you?

Well this is an existential crisis inducing question! For now, I am Nardine aka Nardean aka Happy aka Minnie Small Tiny (but not little). However, I am always changing. My background is Egyptian, I grew up in Western Syd and studied English Lit at uni. I love words and humanity.

How did Nardean come to be?

Nardean came to be when I decided to quit my teaching degree and become a rapper. There were a bunch of serendipitous events that took place to put me here, and it’s safe to say my life is not turning out how 18 year old me thought it would (or how my parents hoped it would).

I started making music at around 21. Got super into poetry for a while, and then turned it into rap. It’s been so incredible for it to be so well received !!!

What are we talking, vibes-wise?

We’re talking... no real definition/genre. It is mostly based in hip hop, but the beats and instumentation are always different. If it makes me feel something, I write to it. Lately I’ve been writing songs with just voice and piano - no rap. It’s always different.

The common thread throughout it all is my love of poetry.

Tell us a bit about your new album, Creatress?

Creatress is a conceptual, storytelling work. It’s essentially the heroes journey, realising you’re unfulfilled in your “ordinary world,” leaving everything you know, learning a bunch of sh*t and then returning home as a changed person.

It took about two years to write. I’d spent about a year on it, then scrapped most of those ideas once I spent two weeks at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada. I realised that it needed a lot of work....

The sounds and beats came from a collection of places - some of them co-produced with others, some of them given to me.

It was a hell of a process and I am so proud of it. For about two weeks after I finished it, I seriously disliked the record. I couldn’t bear to listen. Then I went for a walk on the beach and listened from top to bottom and thought .... “alright this is pretty dope.” 

What can we expect from you moving forward? 

More music!!! Bigger and better!!! Festivals!! Collaboration!! World Domination!!!

Where can we hear more of your work?

On all the things - Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud...or at live BIGSOUND Festival


4-7 SEPTEMBER, 2018


Introduction by Emma Jones

Image: Supplied