SHE is yet to release her debut album (titled Peroxide, scheduled to hit stores in February next year) but Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt, 19, is already making her mark in the entertainment world.
Nesbitt has been playing sold-out gigs in various countries, is the face of fashion brand Yumi’s Autumn/Winter 2013 collection, and is showing no sign of stopping there.

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Contrary to popular belief, Nesbitt’s music career was not an overnight success. Nesbitt started uploading videos of herself singing on YouTube at age 14 because she was too young to play in most gig venues in Britain.

But all that changed when she met English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.

They met at a radio gig in Edinburgh, Scotland and hit things off when Nesbitt, then 17, asked Sheeran for some tips on being a successful musician. Sheeran must have given some killer advice ‘cos look at her now! Nesbitt has been on tour with Sheeran and was even featured on the music video for his 2012 song Drunk.

“We kinda started off in a similar way,” said Nesbitt, during a one-on-one interview with R.AGE in Hong Kong, where she performed at the Clockenflap Festival.

“Obviously he’s doing amazing now and he’s way ahead but he started when he was about 16 as well and it didn’t happen overnight for him either. He’s just very true to himself and I think that’s very inspiring.”

While things have so far gone smoothly for Nesbitt career-wise, the same can’t be said when it comes to her personal life. Nesbitt hasn’t been lucky in the love department, and revealed that all three of the relationships she has had ended badly.

“I think like careers, growing up, moving away and all that kind of stuff (get in the way of romantic relationships). I think between the ages of 16 to 18 you do the most changing, as a girl anyway, and maybe I pick people that I’m not compatible with. I’m not sure.”

At least she knows how to look on the bright side of things.

“I think when things go really badly in the relationship, I can at least think a good song might come out of it,” she joked.

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It’s not hard to see why Nesbitt is so popular. The bubbly teenager isn’t shy about her feelings and is relatable to people her age. She says she mostly looks up to female musicians, and gushed about how much she can relate to Taylor Swift.

“(Taylor Swift) has got so many songs and like, whatever you’re feeling, she has a song that explains it! So I think she definitely gets every thing to do with relationships.”

As for her own music, Nesbitt reckons a lot of her fans will be able to relate to the song 18 Candles, which is about growing up, and confessed that the songs The Hardest Part and Tough Luck (from her upcoming album) were really personal.

“I just like to put all my feelings into songs, really.”

The future is bright for the young performer, and although she hasn’t made any solid plans yet, Nesbitt knows she is capable of doing more than just music.

“I think music will be something that just happens for me. I write without meaning to write. It’s just something that’s kind of in me.

“But I think I would love to do acting. I’d love to do a film. Like a 60s style kind of thing. I’m obsessed with people like Bridget Bardot and Marilyn Monroe. I think that would be really cool at some point,” she said.

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Nina Against Bullying

NOT too long ago when Nina Nesbitt was still in school, she found that some groups of people are just naturally difficult to get along with.

“I don’t know if it’s just girls. Obviously I’m not a guy so I can’t really speak for them, but (teenage) girls in particular can just be really snarky and immature. I think that’s why a lot of my friends are guys just cause they’re much easier to get along with,” said the singer.

As the saying goes, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop and Nina reckons that the bullies she went to school with were nasty because they just had too much free time.

“People just love to be horrible when they’re that age because it’s like, there’s not really much else going on in their lives so they try to find drama to talk about,” she said. “I think one thing to remember is that you’re not going to be around these people forever. You’re just kinda there (attending school) because you have to be there.”

Unfortunately, as a victim of cyber-bullying herself, Nina has learnt the harsh reality that bullies are hard to escape.

“When you leave school you think that people grow up, but I’ve discovered that sometimes they don’t,” she said. “I think that wherever you go there’re going to be a few people that are just generally bullies and always will be. You almost feel sorry for them that they are bullies.”

Being the smart girl that she is, Nina does have good advice for victims of bullying.

“I think it’s important to not surround yourself with negative people and people who try to make you feel bad or put you down. It’s better to find a few nice friends than lots of fake ones that do stuff like that,” she said.

If you’ve been a victim of bullying, or you want to support the campaign against bullying, go to R.AGE Against Bullying is supported by UNICEF, Befrienders, Childline Malaysia, Help International School, StarRFM and Churp Churp. YES is the telco sponsor.

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