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Nexus Meets… Edwina van Kuyk

Hailing from Limerick, Irish-Dutch songstress Edwina van Kuyk (pronounced “van kowk”) will melt your heart with soulful melodies and engaging lyrics. While she has been performing in the music industry for years, it is now that she releases her debut single ‘Hurt For Me’. We speak with Edwina about the new single, uniqueness and future plans.

Why did you decide to enter the music industry?

I’ve been writing music since I was eight. I don’t think I even made a conscious decision about entering the music industry, more so that it was the natural progression of things and it felt as though it were something I needed to do.

What is the backstory to your debut release ‘Hurt For Me’?

The context of what I wrote the song about isn’t so important. What I think is relevant is the universal feeling of “I simply have no clue as to how to feel better”. It’s that conflict of wanting something but also wanting nothing at the same time. “I don’t want to talk to you” but “why won’t you just call me?”. It can be really isolating when you feel as though you’re experiencing something nobody around you can understand. For me, it’s a helpless place to be and it just takes time to resolve. 

Is the single significant in any way?

Yes! Simply because it’s been such a long time coming. I’ve been performing and writing for so long but releasing music was always a bit of “wait until you’re 100% ready” sort of thing. I had a single set to release last year that hasn’t been released as of yet. Life got busy and painful and hard and it wasn’t the right time to release it. I’m glad I held off with that, but with ‘Hurt for Me’ it just felt like I needed to put it out into the world immediately. I didn’t want to be the only one experiencing it because it felt so heavy and raw to me.

What was the writing and recording process like for ‘Hurt For Me’?

I wrote hurt for me in about 20 minutes, start to finish. I usually spend a number of days/weeks working on a song, but with ‘Hurt for Me’, it was just an outpour of emotion and it felt so cathartic to get down on the page. I couldn’t articulate the way I was feeling in conversation, but through writing, it was as though somebody else had articulated my feelings for me. It felt important to keep the song minimal in arrangement because it was just so raw, but the cello added a beautiful depth.

The song was recorded during the first lockdown of the pandemic so everything happened remotely between New Zealand, Ireland and London. It all happened reasonably fast, but it just felt urgent to me to release it at the time I did. I think that’s the effect the pandemic was having on me – a sense of urgency.

What do you hope people will take from this track?

I hope people can relate. Sometimes words fail to express how you’re feeling but when you hear lyrics and melody together, it can represent how you feel perfectly. I’ve found that with music and I would love to think someone could find that in ‘Hurt for Me’.

How would you describe your music to a new listener?

I get told I write ‘sad girl songs’ all the time. 😄 Which is totally fair and based off of the Spotify playlists I’ve been added to it seems to be a reasonable representation. I’m more upbeat and positive in my own life but I definitely channel my pain into my writing.

What do you think makes your music unique?

I’m really honest. It can be quite daunting sharing my music with people because it’s not far from what I would write in a journal. I’ve essentially opened my diary for everyone to read and that can be overwhelming, especially since I would describe myself as a private person. Hopefully, it also makes my music quite real and relatable, and that makes it worth it for me.

What is your creative process?

I went to a music college and learnt all about different songwriting techniques and creative processes. I learnt techniques used by some of the greatest musicians and songwriters, and yet I feel as though it really just comes down to me sitting in front of the piano and writing how I feel. If something is troubling me or I’m feeling particularly emotional, I experience a calling to write. If I can express how I’m feeling, it usually leaves me with a sense of closure which can be so therapeutic.

What do you believe is the best way to discover new music nowadays?

I’m really excited about the prospect of a new app a friend of mine is developing. It’s called ‘Blank Bar’ and it’s going to help us discover upcoming artists based on what we enjoy listening to/want to hear. I get so frustrated with the algorithm on Spotify and how hard it can be to get your music heard when you don’t have the platform, so this app couldn’t come soon enough for me. Also, as a listener, I’d love to just hear new artists as opposed to what is ‘popular’.

Do you have any future plans?

I’m currently planning my second single release for early next year. The track is called ‘Fault’ and it’s been a long time coming, so I’m excited for what the future holds.

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