Everything has a beginning, including the timeless debut songs of the singer, Nona. In her early twenties but with the voice of an old soul, her songs are full of raw feeling and, above all, they are heartwarming. You can warm your numb hands on every sentence that Nona sings, from the dilapidated nightclub grandeur of ‘sealed my lips’ to the steaming album opener ‘It’s Alright’.
Everything has a beginning and the beginning of Nona’s music lays in her home, a bastion of music love, broad music love, with a heart of rock. Home was first a small village in the Netherlands, then a campsite, and then a town where her parents had a record store. “You could even smoke in their record store, so people often chilled for hours on a barstool. I also loved to be there often, even during breaks at school”. At home she was encouraged to play music herself, and she tried the flute, the piano and the guitar. But Nona’s instrument was already determined; it was her voice.
When Nona was in secondary school her father died suddenly. What followed were years of unrest and rebellion. Nona went from school to school, and did some jobs in clothing stores, restaurants and a coffee shop. She also travelled to Curacao to work in a holiday park and a whiskey bar. She laughingly says “ I was fired there, three times...but we had fun!”
Back in Holland Nona finally finished school and gained her diploma. She met Steve, an older English blues guitarist with a love for The Stones and Howlin’ Wolf. They started playing together in pubs, at jam sessions and in the streets of Eindhoven, Den Bosch and London.
Nona has been singing since Christmas concerts at school, and she knew that it was what she wanted to do. She started with the songs of other artists, from Otis Redding to Etta James, and then from her small room in Eindhoven she started writing her own lyrics. She has been doing this ever since she can remember, with a seemingly endless stream of full notebooks; “I am always writing, really always...”
Eventually Nona started writing with others, and gained the interest of a major record label and a major publishing company. This accelerated her creativity and eventually led to a recording studio in New York, where she was introduced to a great bunch of American musicians. “It became more and more what I meant” she remarks. The rock she had grown up with at home, the blues learned from Steve, the hip-hop that she loved, all of these influences flowed together. What this has created is a warm bath of a debut album, from the sensitive and very personal ‘Sleeptalking’ to the swinging declaration of love in ‘Givin’ It All’, from the groove that propels the cinematic ‘Last To Know’ to the dazzling soul wrapped venom of ‘Big Talk, Small Town’.
Nona is proud of her six-piece band (sometimes nine-piece when live), with whom she has already played several great shows and festivals, including Noorderslag, Down The Rabbit Hole and Parkpop. She went to festivals with her family and friends as a child. She was crazy about it and that definitely hasn’t changed. “How an artist is live is all-important,” she declares.
So that’s what Nona wants. To bring her music, live to everyone, everywhere. “There’s nothing better and more fun than to see a band live on stage, then you really see and feel it and that is what I want for the people listening to my music”.