NEFΛEΛI is a Netherlands, Rotterdam based singer and songwriter who is well versed in the arts of rock and contemporary pop sounds. NEFΛEΛI has recently released an original single titled “Slime”. It talks about a “drugged state of mind, a life formed by materiality and vanity. A condemned existence that traps us into the status quo, constantly seeking for society’s approval and never our own for ourselves.” We had a few questions and answers with her where she talks about her creative process, inspirations and about the release. Below are exclusive details on Harpa and her new release.
What’s your official stage name and why did you choose it?
My stage name is NEFΛEΛI and it is based on my real name, Nefeli. I chose this stage name because it still resembles my name, but in a more unique way, allowing me to host a slightly different personality without feeling that I am losing my identity.
When did you decide to pursue music as a career?
Growing up in a family of professional musicians I was very directly inspired for my future profession. I started studying classical piano, writing original music, and performing with my family. But I think what really gave me my own opinion about music, outside of my family environment was high school. I was singing all the time in plays and events being encouraged and supported by two amazing teachers who inspired me with their passion and love for music. I became a member of the school orchestra as a keyboard player and singer from the first year of high school, and didn’t stop playing with them till the day I finished school. I think I didn’t want to stop doing that after the end of my school years, and music was already a very big part of my everyday life. So, here I am.
How would you describe the music you typically create?
My debut album “I breathe” could be described as electronic alternative dark pop. For me, “honest” is the only steady description for my music though. It can be a bit confusing for me, but if you listen to all of the music, I have created the last 2 years you will not be able to fit it under the same genre because it can differ from time to time. Sometimes I feel that each period of time I write like a different person. I feel that my taste and ideas are never standing still and constantly evolve, and this shows a lot in the music I write. I am not mad about it either. That’s just how it is.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?
I would say that melancholic feelings are the ones that usually drive my music. I like dark and mysterious concepts. I feel that mental health issues and difficult situations have been my basic source of inspiration. I think my creativity gets triggered mostly when I am lost. But there are a lot of times that as a producer I enjoy writing and producing music in a humoristic concept, completely opposite from what I would release under my artistic persona. I like having fun while I create.
Which qualities do you think make a great musician?
The concept of “great musician” is in my opinion very subjective. A lot of people, including my past self, are really focused on the level of musicality, and tools. For me, a great musician can be called whoever is exposing their honest feelings through their art. Those feelings don’t necessarily have to be deep, or expressed through a very complex concept for me to enjoy it and admire it.
What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who listen to your music? Are you surprised by the reactions you get?
I don’t really have a specific goal when writing music. I mostly base my sound around what I feel at the moment and what comes out of instinct. I, myself, have a very specific image in my head when I listen to my music. It feels like I already have a “video clip” in my head while I write the music, but this is not what I am trying to trigger for others. Usually, I am very curious to find out what people feel and think about my music, but reactions vary. Some people stay still and just listen with no visible feelings, others can be moving and yelling because they like it and others seem to enjoy it by moving a little bit. In the past, there have been times that someone may be seeing a specific image that happens to be very similar to what I was thinking while writing and listening. A lot of people think of water, and for me water is one of the main elements of this album. Liquids in general. I am interested in all of the reactions. Until now, I’ve only received good reactions and people seem to be interested in what I do and I really appreciate it. It makes me even happier that many of my close friends are interested in joining the project, in any way they can, and become a part of this experience. It brings me extreme happiness and joy.
What’s your creative process like?
Usually, I sit down in front of the laptop, open my DAW and start experimenting with one sound. It can be a beat, a nice synth sound, or a vocal line. Sometimes, a whole song might come out of this process, very fast and unbiased, and other times it leads to having a small first draft that may be continued in a different moment. Jamming on my midi keyboard can trigger a lot of different ideas. I am still in the phase of life where creative moments are very frequent and my need to create and share is very big. I hope this will not stop in the future.
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of music?
I always liked creating visuals, in a very beginner/ lo-fi way, that I always enjoyed. I liked finding a visual idea and creating some pictures around it. You can observe this development through my Instagram account that I always liked being consistent. Also, this past summer, me and a group of friends created a short independent film, called “i breathe”. We are in the middle of editing it and hopefully release it soon. When you watch it, you will be able to identify the connection between the film and my debut album “I Breathe”.
What is this new release about?
My new release is about a person drowning deep in their dark feelings. It is a trip of life dilemmas, difficulties to connect with inner self and society. I created this album through a period of my life that now feels very blurry. It was mostly me, creating music by myself without any specific goal in mind. I spent a lot of time in front of my computer late at night, avoiding sleep. After some time, I started feeling better and looked through my files and found out that all these tracks that are now released sounded very well together. I put them in order, listened and felt very connected to the story created. So, this album is connected to my trip.
Who and how many people worked on it?
Vocals, Writing, Arrangement, Programming, Production, Mixing, Engineering, Art Direction
Electric Guitars (Performed and Written) (track 1)
Upright Bass Improvisation (track 4)
Ioannis Makrygiannis (Gorilla’s Nest Productions)
NEFΛEΛI & Dimitris Kalogeras
Album Cover Artist Manager
Art Direction, Copywriter and Text Editor, Production Team
What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?
Apart from the plans I have for this project (NEFΛEΛI), I am currently working for other artists. I arrange and produce music for them. The short film I mentioned above, should be edited and released within the next few months. At the same time, I am a member of a newly formed band called Nocturnal Dysphoria, I am producing, co-writing music and lyrics, arranging vocals and singing vocals (back and front). We are now preparing our first EP. It is so cool.
If you had one message to give to your fans, what would it be?
I would like to spread a message that comes from my good friend and manager Sofia Siafa. “Be vibrant, be supportive, be kind.” And I add; don’t hesitate to express admiration. Don’t be afraid to compliment people for doing amazing and cool stuff. Don’t forget to remind everyone around you how much you value and love them. Support people, and learn to ask and accept help and support too.