066 - Nailah Hunter

Nailah Hunter is a harpist, producer and composer from Los Angeles making gorgeously immersive and meditative music. Built upon glistening synths and the delicate strings of her magnificent harp playing, her brilliant 2020 EP Spells has been one of the years musical highlights, The 6-track release, for local label Leaving Records, is a short, but incredibly sweet affair with each track created as it’s own spell, a singular magical world.

For her Métron mixtape Nailah has created a playlist of healing songs each representing one of the four original elements, earth, air, fire and water. These are tracks she listens to regularly whilst practicing yoga and meditation and, as such, the mix is instilled with a deep sense of calm and clarity. Better still, the mix opens with a brand new piece from Nailah herself - one that she describes as ‘a sonic plea to the universe’.

It’s wonderful to hear this new work and leaves me ever more excited to hear what Nailah offers up next, as she works on her debut full length. In the meantime I can’t recommend Spells highly enough. Head over to Bandcamp to purchase and support a talented artist and an excellent label.

You can read a short Q&A between myself and Nailah below:

Artwork by Jack Hardwicke.

Thanks so much for this wonderful mix, can you tell us a little about the selections here?
Thank you for having me on! All of the songs on this playlist are elemental * see list above. They are healing, not only in their frequencies, but also in the beautiful imagery that they provide my mind with.

What role does music play in your own practices of meditation?
Like a lot of music fans would say, music helps me to find my center. I've only begun to focus into more consistent meditation practice in the last 3 years. So I still find it hard to just drop into the zone. Music guides me there.

You open the mix with a new creation of your own - what inspired this incredible intro?
The intro was kind of like a sonic plea to the universe to drop me in / beam me up into the creative space where one does not even have to think. Where one simply is. It's a hard place to access if you let your brain get in the way. So I explored sounds that reminded me of hyperspace travel by interacting with my synths intuitively and just listening.

Your debut EP 'Spells' came out earlier this year, it's a magical release that seems to have gained great momentum - how has the response been and how have you felt sharing your music with the world?
I've been so delighted by the response to the EP. It's very specific in vibe, so it's fun to know that there are people out there who resonate with the very particular place I was coming from with this music. It feels wonderful to have this project out because it's probably the first musical project I've ever released that I felt 100% proud of and invested in. It's also really nerdy and perhaps even indulgent for a first release maybe hahah.  Really glad to know that some musicians I've always respected are getting into it. Feeling the love.

When did you first start playing the harp and what is it about the instrument that connects with you?
I first started playing harp about 8 years ago after someone gifted me a baby folk harp. I'd always wanted to own one ever since I was 16 and sang in Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols (which is a choral Chrismas piece that has a lot of beautiful harp moments in it). I think the harp allows whoever is playing it access into another realm. I've always been attracted to that aspect.

Do you have a dream musical project, something you would love to be involved with or create?
My dream musical project is to score a fantasy movie or television show!

What do you have planned for the rest of 2020?
I plan on getting rest, getting better at harp, and writing the rest of my full length LP.

Nailah Hunter - Intro
LEYA - INTP  [fire]
Geotic - Troperens  [water]
Nagamo - Pillar of Light  [air]
Mart Lattimore & Paul Sukeena - Dreaming of the Kelly Pool  [water]
Punka - Ephemaurora  [air]
Bing & Ruth - Blood Harmony  [earth]
Green House - Soft Meadow  [earth]
Métron Records 2018. Hampshire, UK.