Diary Is A Waste Of Paper feels like you’re reading through Nia Chennai’s treasured diary—a diary full of raw feelings and sincerity. Every song feels like a page ripped out, as the voice notes draw you into a world full of feelings. Nia is beautifully honest and personal, and we got the chance to break down five of her favourite songs from the project.

Call It Quits

This track wrote itself, to be honest. In my first session with Hoost (the producer), we sat in the studio chatting for over an hour, and then we got stuck in. The intro of the beat had me so excited! It has this spooky, neo-soul feel. At first, I started to write it about someone I was feeling at the time, but as the production progressed, the song made me want to shed light on old feelings I had experienced. It was a time when I was in a “relationship” in college and wasn’t the only girl in the relationship. I feel there’s something so powerful about regaining your power after ending a relationship, so I just wanted to express that.

Coldharbour Lane

Again, this was created in my first session with the production duo, Evil Genius. I stepped in the studio, having listened to Lily Allen on the way there, whilst on the train… I’m ALWAYS on the train. They showed me the beat, and they said, “Hey, look, we’ve shown this to a couple of artists, and they all didn’t wanna touch it.” They proceeded to show me the 4 key changes in the beat, and I just knew I had to jump on. I haven’t yet, but I’m waiting for the moment I get to perform this live with a band. I’m certain it will POP OFF!

Since We Ain’t Together

The fan fave! People always ask me if I’m sick of this song because everyone loves it so much, but for me, it makes me love it even more because they’re giving the song life and cultural meaning as they truly connect with the lyrics. My goal is to have my music impact people’s lives. I wrote this track in the middle of summer, after a bad breakup, and I was so tired of moping around and feeling sorry for myself, so the writing process helped me pick myself back up and be that girl again. This was produced by Ewan Vickery.

Tea Lady

An ode to the wonderful Erykah Badu’s ‘Bag Lady’. Mama’s Gun was on heavy rotation around the time of me making this. I was at home babysitting, and I put on a random beat and just free-styled. Just me, the notes app on my phone, and my voice notes. Tea Lady is about gossip culture and the people that thrive to spread gossip, but ultimately, a tea lady lives in all of us. The beat of this has a Hip-Hop/Neo-Soul fusion, so you just can’t resist bopping your head when it’s played. This was produced by Hoost.

Homage To My Hip-Dips

I think as an artist, you have a responsibility to talk about relevant subject matters. Just like Miss Nina Simone once said, “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times”. At the time, body image and appearance were heavily on my mind, and I felt as though everywhere I looked, there was some ad or somebody telling me what was deemed as top-tier beauty. Being the oldest sibling, I’m always offloading advice, so I wrote this as a letter to my sister, particularly to help her understand that she is perfect as she is. My sister gave her advice to the listeners at the end with a little voice note, which was just the cherry on top. This was produced by AB Youniverse and Ewan Vickery.

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Nicole Lewis