Interview: "Poured Out" - Nilka
I was blown away by Poured Out - it resonates with me because of my interactions and experiences with a certain individual. What is the story behind this song, and what does it mean to you?
Nilka Thank you for your kind words. It means a lot to me that this song resonates with you. My husband is a paramedic and can handle an immense amount of stress - more than the average person- and he thrives in it. This song was inspired by a time when he was working full time (48 hours a week) and taking a hard college course online to complete his Bachelor's in Emergency Management, and the stress got to be so much that, without telling me how overwhelmed he was, he stopped submitting any work for the class until he failed it and went into his own self-shaming bubble which translated to constant anger and judgment towards his surroundings. It was so unlike him but he didn't know how else to communicate his shame and feelings because he rarely would get that stressed out. Since then I have learned to watch for the signs when he is getting overwhelmed and we try to take preventative actions so he knows he is never alone in his stress, but what I learned from that experience was just how human my husband is. It's easy to think we know a person when we are with them long enough but the truth is that we don't know 100% what is going on in their mind especially if they are good at pretending they are okay. I wrote this song to be a reminder of how deep sacrificial love goes. It doesn't give up on anyone.
How has being a Florida native influenced you and your music?
Nilka: After living in Tennessee for 8 years, I didn’t know how much I would miss seeing the palm trees and the beaches of my home state. While everyone knows the sunny Florida beaches to be a prime vacation destination (and I do love the Gulf coast), I’ve always felt drawn to the dark and mysterious atmosphere of the marshes. Those have influenced my branding and my music to some degree. My music has been more influenced by growing up listening to my mom’s Motown music and the salsa music playing at my dad’s house.
Your website indicates that you started creating songs at the age of 9, and learned how to play guitar five years later. How has your relationship with music and this journey influenced your worldview?
Nilka: Music and songwriting have always been my way of communicating my experiences and emotions when I felt like there was no other way to share them. I think art and creativity are so much deeper than showing off a talent; they are the outlet we need to better cope with the ups and downs life throws at us and they are a gift for everyone, not just those who are “good at it.” In a world full of so much tension and fear of the unknown or loss of control, I think music and art, in general, could teach us to be more empathetic because of the deep connection through emotion and relatability, therefore, less self-centered or narcissistic. I hope music could be as therapeutic for the rest of the world as it has been for me.
When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?
Nilka: I grew up always knowing I would be a songwriter but it wasn’t until my senior year of college that I realized that my writing is so influenced by my perspective and voice, the songs felt less authentic performed by someone who didn’t write them. I know my voice has its limitations and I have so much room to grow in my writing but I always want to share my truth in my writing and my voice plays a major role in sharing that.
If you could collab with any artist in the world, who would you choose and why?
Nilka: Labrinth! I’ve always loved his eclectic style and unapologetic lyrics. He says what he feels and his melodies are so unique. I would love to see what we could come up with together.
Being where you are now if you could talk to your younger self, what advice would you give her?
Nilka: If I could talk to my younger self I would tell her that her voice matters and not to let her doubts or other people’s opinions hold her back from what she wants to accomplish because it only slows her down.
Interviewed By Vanessa Siebrass