Interview with Nevena
Renowned Serbian artist Nevena released a poignant single a few weeks ago titled "Nevena". This emotionally charged ballad is a heartfelt tribute to her beloved niece, capturing the struggles and solace of a performing artist navigating distance from loved ones. We sat down with Nevena to discuss her music and much more. Here's what he had to say:
- Hi Nevena! Can you start by briefly introducing yourself?
Hi everyone. My name is Nevena. I am a singer-songwriter, pianist and music educator from Serbia. I currently live in Belgrade, Serbia with my dog Buddy.
- Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your new single "Lena"? How did the idea for this touching tribute to your niece come about?
My niece's name is Lena, and she lives in Serbia. I was performing and residing in Boston back in the days, physically far away from her, and that is when I wrote this song. Being a performing artist requires so much travelling; we often must sacrifice time with our loved ones. Although a distance from our family and the people we love can stir up a feeling of sadness and emptiness, it can also remind us how much we love them. This song is about my lonely nights, far away from my niece. This song is about my love for her.
- "Lena" was recorded at the Village Studios in Los Angeles. Can you share your experience working there and collaborating with producer Dusan Alagic?
I recorded the piano for “Lena” at the Village studio, but the vocals and other instruments were recorded at the L8NightStudio in Belgrade, Serbia. Dusan Alagic is the owner of the above-mentioned studio and also a remarkable producer. I’ve worked with him on my previous projects, where he was able to make me feel at home. He knows what to say to make an artist feel good, while giving constructive criticism. I’m looking forward to our new collaboration.
- Being a performing artist often involves a lot of travel and time away from loved ones. How do you cope with the challenges of maintaining those connections while pursuing your musical career?
It is challenging. There is always a little bit of emptiness we feel when we are far away from our loved ones. However, humans get used to everything and eventually learn to suppress that feeling of emptiness. I left my house at 15 when I went to boarding school and went to Berklee College in Boston at 19. I got quite used to being away from home, but everytime I come back and have to leave again, my emotions get stirred up and I become sensitive and more perceptive.
- You established the "Monody Music School" to share your knowledge and experience with aspiring talents. What motivated you to start this school, and how has the experience been in nurturing the next generation of musicians?
When I was younger, I wanted to study psychology. Although I decided to study music, my interest in psychology persisted and I have read plenty of books about it.
I started teaching a few students, when I realized that music education requires you not only to be a skilled musician, but also a skilled psychologist. It somehow came naturally to me and helped me achieve impressive results with some students and build an amazing community of grateful students and parents. It is truly a fulfilling profession.
- With your international tours and experiences performing in various venues, do you notice any differences in how audiences connect with your music in different parts of the world?
It might sound cliche, but music is the universal language. It is interesting how music without words can take you to different places of sorrow, pain, and happiness. We are energy beings, and that is why live performance will forever be valued. That is where the artists can touch peoples’ hearts and connect with them. That is how I feel whenever I perform, and it makes me feel grateful every time.
- There's a lovely music video accompanying the track - is it fair to guess that it is the real Lena? How was the filming process?
Yes, that is Lena. We filmed it last summer, when she just turned four. It was tiring for her, but at the same time she enjoyed all the attention. I’d say it was a successful mission!
- Any upcoming plans you can share with us?
This summer was my time for replenishing and writing, which we all need sometimes. I will be working on new singles, performing mainly in Serbia and the USA and opening another Monody Music School location in Serbia. I can’t wait to share with you more in the near future.