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WPGM Commentary: Nina Leo Tackles Mental Health And Independence On Her Debut EP ‘Fake It’

I am Nina Leo. An indie rock artist based in Canberra, Australia.

My debut EP is titled Fake It. It’s a five track concept EP that shows themes of mental health, growth and independence.

No two songs on the EP are the same. Some songs were written many years ago and have been worked on lyrically and structurally throughout the years before being taken to the studio. A few were written months before recording and had already established ground when I brought my demos in to my bandmates Evan (on Bass) and Finlay (on drums)

The end of last year was when I realised I had a whole story here to share that I’m pretty sure many are going to relate. It was such an easy decision on what songs I wanted to take to the studio and the order of the EP. Everything connected and it all just made sense.

“Spellbound” opens the EP with a grunge/psychedelic touch. I feel the vibes for this track really make sense to the meaning. This is the oldest song and one of the first I ever wrote. It talks about my struggles with myself.

I am a strong advocate for mental health and have grown up with chronic anxiety since I was very young. My bedroom walls were my audience for way too long. “Spellbound” signifies the point of view of a negative mindset and the difficulty of dealing with these problems alone.

The next track, funny enough, is upbeat and bouncy with a crunchy edge. “Fool (You’re No Good)” was written for fun originally. It’s like the present me, is talking to the past me about what I’m really like.

My past had negative energy that bled through friendships and family. There was a very dark cloud in my vision so I couldn’t even see who I was pushing away. It also sounds like a break-up song. A breakup between my past and present self.

I think I finally started stepping out of my comfort zone with “Break The Renegade”. This song is as raw as it can get. I released this track as my ‘sophomore’ single in August.

This is another one of my oldest songs. I was sixteen/seventeen, going through personal troubles while balancing toxic friendships. I had so much anger and confusion at this time. “Break The Renegade” truly speaks for itself.

At the end of the track where I scream my lungs out, was not planned at all. It felt like the biggest release in the studio and I will always remember that feeling forever. I knew I had that grit in me, just took it’s time to come out.

The album title track “Fake It” is one of my favourites. It’s high energy and super fun. This one really gets the crowd jumping off their seats.

I wrote this one as a sequel to “Break The Renegade”. These two tracks go hand in hand.

This is a song of power and gratitude. I pushed myself to move on from the ending of a dark situation, surrounded myself with loving people, practiced self-love and found this power and confidence I never knew I could have.

I thought the perfect way to end my journey was with my ‘debut’ single “Recover” that I released in April. This track really shows my soft side. It brings intimacy with a dreamy psychedelic influence.

I wrote it late last year whilst mucking around with different guitar tunings and found the melody for the song. I wanted to record it in a way that sounds like I’m speaking directly to you. To draw you in on the journey and close the experience with a positive mindset.

My debut EP is my biggest achievement and always will be. And though it feels like it has just started and ended, I am ready for another new chapter and what I have in store next.

You can listen to Fake It below!

Words by Nina Leo // Follow her on Facebook + Instagram

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