• Blessing Borode

Gaidaa Speaks On Her New Single 'Falling Higher'

After having her single Morning Blue debuted on COLOURS, which now has over 7M+ views, Gaidaa has continued dropping small teasers to her forthcoming EP. Her most recent track Falling Higher, which features video game-like visuals, displays creativity that extends beyond her songwriting and smooth buttery vocals but into the overall experience of the song. We see her in the form of a video game character jumping upwards from one cloud to another collecting items on her way up. We had the chance to speak to Gaidaa on the vision behind Falling Higher, her musical experiences and the journey in her career so far.

NW: Where did you grow up? 

Gaidaa: I grew up in the Netherlands in a small town called Eindhoven. I lived in Sudan for a year and the UK for a couple of years, but most of my time was spent in the Netherlands.

NW: What was your first experience with music and songwriting? 

Gaidaa: I’m not sure to be honest. My dad is a musician so I guess I’ve always just had him singing around the house and playing the stuff he likes. I know I was annoying my parents with my singing from early for sure, but I think I started writing songs when I was like nine. I vaguely remember writing songs with my friends to perform to each other. If there was ever an assignment at school where we could choose our outlet, I would always opt to write a song, but I was always singing, always recording voice memos. 

NW: All of your songs so far, ‘Morning Blues’ and ‘Falling Higher’ especially, have such magnetising grooves and melodies - who are your musical influences? 

Gaidaa: I’ve been greatly influenced by a lot of different things, but my problem is that I listen to so much music that I don’t know who or what it is half the time. I'm mostly influenced by people like Hiatus Kaiyote, Jazmine Sullivan, Amy Whinehouse, Lauryn Hill, Frank Ocean; real people who aren’t afraid to get real, whose vulnerability is their strength.

NW: How much does your home and culture influence your music? 

Gaidaa: I can’t really specify how much my home and culture influence my music. If anything, they're an important part of who I am. The culmination of who I am and my lived experiences affect my music. In that sense, all of my music is highly influenced by my home and culture. 

NW: Describe your sound in 3 words: 

Gaidaa: Soul, vibes, live. I really don’t know lol 

NW: Talk to me about the ‘Falling Higher’ video - what was the process and idea behind that?

Gaidaa: My good friend Yousra Elbagir came up with the concept and directed the lyric video. Marrwan Elhussein did all the animation. It was a full Sudani production, which I couldn’t be happier about. Super happy with how it turned out. It was a fluid and collaborative process and so fun. I really can’t wait to continue to create with them. 

NW: What’s your creative process when writing and making music? 

Gaidaa: I’m always freestyling. In general I’ll hear a chord, a sound, or a groove that I like, it could be anything really, and I just go from there. Most of the time I'll record straight away so that my natural ideas don’t slip away if that makes sense. Usually that’s where the feeling is. Then I listen and write. 

NW: What are some of the things you’d like to explore in your music? (whether it’s writing styles, genres etc.)

Gaidaa: I really want to learn how to produce. I feel like I have so many ideas but no technical skills whatsoever haha. I also want to work with more live musicians, and to improve my guitar playing skills, so that I could go back playing it live at my shows. I really want to write for other artists too. 

NW: What’s been a highlight in your career so far?

Gaidaa: For the past couple of years I’ve been trying to spend my winter holidays in Sudan, and this last December was such an incredible trip for me. It was my first time properly performing in Sudan, and it was just so humbling and meaningful, especially seeing and genuinely feeling the love and support that I apparently have there. It made me feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I look forward to this trip every year. 

NW: What's your upcoming EP about? 

Gaidaa: It’s basically a snapshot of my life during the writing process. If I was to pin point a specific underlying concept, it would probably be self discovery. My music career launching was happening at the same time as a lot of big changes in my life. From most of my family moving to a different country, to quitting school, pursuing music full time, to traveling for music and starting to slowly live the life I want. 

Essentially this EP is me getting to know who Gaidaa is. My introduction to myself. 

NW: How are you occupying yourself during this time? 

Gaidaa: Eating, singing, school, watching movies, FaceTiming friends, conspiracy theories, singing, school, painting, sleeping, then rinse and repeat. 

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