grrrl talk: niia
the noir songbird on lana del rey, bleaching her eyebrows, and her new ep!
My name is Niia! I'm a singer.
How would you describe your music?
It's hard to describe my personal work sometimes. It's always changing. I come from a deep jazz and classical background which I think is always present in some way or form. People have been calling my music "modern noir," which I'm cool with.
What are you coming out with next?
I just finished my first EP that will be released soon. I'm really proud of it, and I'm glad I can play it for my mom so she understands what I've been doing out in L.A this past year.
What are some of your biggest musical inspirations?
I'd say right now I've been really into Leslie Gore, Annie Lennox, and Nina Simone.
Who are some of your ultimate beauty icons in music?
Diana Ross, Sade, Carly Simon, and Nico from The Velvet Underground.
If you could form the ultimate fantasy girl band with musicians living or dead, who would be in the band?
Can I make two bands? My first band--for when I want to sing some big power house songs in a sparkly dress--would consist of: Shirley Bassey, Gladys Knight, Candi Staton, Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Etta Jones. My second band--when I'm feeling more moody and serious--would consist of: Dusty Springfield, Lana Del Rey, Shirley Manson, Fiona Apple, K.D Lang, and Joanna Newsom. And I'd want Ariana Grande and Shirley Temple to open for us always, as a duo of course.
What posters did you have on your wall growing up?
I had a framed Les Miserables poster from the musical, and a Leonardo DiCaprio poster.
What do you usually keep in your makeup bag?
My Perricone MD No Lipstick Lipstick--it's amazing, YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Pen, eye drops, Marc Jacobs Brow Tamer Grooming Gel, Kevyn Aucoin The Mascara Volume Mascara, Dior Capture Totale One Essential, and some old eyelash curler that doesn't work anymore.
What are your all-time favorite beauty products?
I have just recently been getting into discovering beauty products that I love. I grew up with an Italian mother and aunt who did a lot of holistic and homemade beauty remedies, my aunt has been making and selling homemade hand creams and soaps for years. I am obsessed with my Perricone MD No Lipstick Lipstick, it's non-chemical, mineral-based, and plumps and hydrates my lips to Angelina [Jolie] levels. Those SK-II Facial Treatment Masks really work! I just discovered Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream that brightens and depuffs. But, using egg whites for a face mask works wonders too!
What is your signature scent?
I'm currently wearing a L' Artisan Parfumeur scent called Dzing! It's only meant to be worn at night. On the glass bottle there's a woman in red stockings riding a tiger, so it seemed like a must have.
What is your haircare routine like?
I have worked really hard at growing my hair back out to an inappropriate length. It does takes a lot of maintenance, but once you find your routine it can be really therapeutic. I use Komenuka Bijin Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner. I also sometimes use Caviar CC Cream for Hair 10-in-1 Complete Correction. My secret weapon is my Tangle Teezer brush, it almost looks like a plastic horse brush--one of my friends who models turned me on to it because after hours of styling, hairspray, and damage to her hair she needed something to brush out all the tangles without making things worse! I bought mine on Amazon. It's under $10 too!
What’s the best and worst beauty advice you’ve ever received?
To bleach my eyebrows. It was the best because I felt super cool and looked like a sci-fi character--but it was the worst because no one prepares you for what they will look like when they start to get roots!
What’s the best advice you can pass on to our readers?
Don't make compromises. Try not to worry so much about what others are doing. These days it's hard not to constantly compare ourselves to others. In my opinion, all that matters is trying build something that you're into and finding happiness within yourself and that journey. Try everything and find what works for you. Make your own way, and screw what anyone else thinks. Don't take any of my advice, unless it works for you! But, try the egg whites...I swear!