Thursday, December 05, 2013

11 days in New York that changed my life.

Part one – My first ever Couchsurfing experience!

5th Avenue New York
This is the story about 11 days in New York that changed my life. No, it was not the sightseeing that made the difference, it was the fact that I tried Couchsurfing ( for the first time; went to the authentic and lets say more dirty areas of NYC; did “my thang”; met so many incredibly friendly and inspiring people; listened to live music and that I did the most energizing, inspiring and challenging seminar by Tony Robbins called Unleash the Power Within where I also walked on burning hot coal – yes I did the “Firewalk”.

Now I am back in Berlin again, writing this post from one of my favorite cafés here in Mitte (St Oberholtz) digesting it all. I feel excited and nervous at the same time and both feelings reside in exactly the same place in my body – my tummy, yet one (fear / nervousness) is the key to stagnation in my life and the other can propel me ahead as I realize my biggest dreams, because that is what I am in the process of doing right now and that is why I decided to go to this seminar in NYC. I needed a final push, I needed leverage as Tony Robbins would say!
First time I heard about Couchsurfing
View of skyline from Brooklyn
Anyway, about 6 months ago I met a Mexican girl here in Berlin who was lost and needed directions. She told me she was couchsurfing and I had no idea what it was. When she told me that she was travelling through Europe staying with strangers who offered travelers their hospitality and a couch or guestroom for free my initial response was wow, what a brave girl. My friend who was with me was so worried on her behalf cause just think what could happen when a girl travels around alone and stays with strangers. I could feel that this meeting had sparked an interest in me and I found the concept intriguing yet also nerving, cause I never tried anything like it before. 

Its all about TRUST!
Just think about how much you can travel and see the world when you do it this way and all the friendships you make along the way. Many of you may also be thinking: how can you be sure you end up with a nice “host” that wont try to rape you, steal or your things, lock you in a room and make life miserable for you? Well, turn the scenario around for a minute. These people are opening their home to a total stranger who may steal things from them or be crazy! You see, it is all about trust; about wanting to help others;  about meeting new people; about learning about other cultures; about curiosity and contribution. I believe this concept makes us open more up to help strangers and maybe realize too, that in spite of living in different cultures we share the same dreams and fears and challenges in life. 

A New Yorker with style
The reason why I went to NYC in the first place was that I was going to this rather famous Seminar called “unleash the power within” by Anthony Robbins. He is the no. 1 coach in the world, and he actually invented the word “coaching” some 25 - 35 years ago (where people laughed at him and said a coach was someone who was in a sports team) and he now coaches presidents, top athletes & businessmen as well as normal people like me through seminars. I will write about this in my next blogpost. When it was time for me to plan my trip to NYC I really wanted to stay longer than just the 4 days the seminar lasted, yet my savings did not allow me to. I thought that there had got to be a way around this and I was gonna find it! I decided to push myself past my comfort zone and try Couchsurfing. When I told my friends I would do this 50% of them got a shocked look in their eyes and immediately shared all their thoughts on what could happen to me and the other half were as excited as me and loved the concept. 

How does couchsurfing work? 
I created a profile on with a good and honest description of me and I posted on the couchsurfsite that I was coming to NYC from 1.11 – 11.11. One day later the offers began pouring in, yes, they literally poured in. I read the profiles of the people offering to host me and the reviews other people had given them and then I just went with my “gut-feeling” or shall we say intuition. Only one week before my trip the final details were in place and I just had to stay calm and trust all would work out well. I was going stay with three different hosts.

My First Couchsurf host - Norm

Sunshine, Central Park and my host Norm and me
I arrived at JFK on the 1st of November and I found my way into central Manhatten on the Subway and from there to Upper East Manhatten where my first ever Couchsurf experience was gonna take place. I found the door and hesitated for a moment before I rang the bell. This was it. I was gonna stay from Friday until Monday morning with a real New Yorker who I never met before, just emailed a little with, and I felt a surge of energy rush through me. I was doing it. I had moved passed my comfort zone and embarked on a new adventure. I never tried to surf on the sea, but I could now call myself a couch surfer!

My host Norm, opened the door and greeted me with a big smile. He lived in a nice 2 room flat with his own garden at the back and told me he had many BBQ’s here in the summer. I can only imagine the thrill of having your own green spot in the buzzing city where the sun can actually reach the grass between all the skyscrapers. We sat down and had a tea and talked about why Norm hosted couchsurfers. Like me he enjoys meeting people from all over the world and getting to know their story. It so broadens life, acceptance of diversity and its fun while you also help people explore the world on a low budget. I had the living room and a huge fold-out couch to myself. What a luxury!

Arthur's Tavern NYC with GREAT liveband!
Norm is a successful business man and when I was not out sightseeing during the day he showed me around Central Park; took me for a birthday meal at the ShakeShack (Famous Burgerbar) as I had just had my 33rd Birthday; took me to hear the best ever band play Motown songs in Arthur's Tavern, as I had asked before I came if we could listen to some livemusic; took me to a fantastic Puerto Rican restaurant; took me to the best ever Open Stage with amazing singers at Village Underground, where I heard Maria Careys vocal coach Melanie sing her heart out (Wow – I will never forget this).

Norm and I hit it off well and talked a lot. I was to learn about his lifestory and how he too had made some big changes in his life to be where he is today. Norm knows a lot about the jewish Orthodox community in New York which I found so interesting. Later that week when I was to visit Brooklyn and walk through the jewish Orthodox community (feeling very much like the odd one out) I had a total different view on the people there and I understood why they all looked away when I passed them on the sidewalk. Had I not known about their customs through Norm I would have been deeply offended by the fact that no one returned my smiles and hello’s on the street. I could write a lot more about this, cause I find it fascinating, yet this post is about couchsurfing ;)

My 2nd host Edgard

Harlem - NYC
After 4 amazing days with Norm and getting to see the New York Marathon too, I left to stay with my next host Edgard, who is from Puerto Rico but lives in New York and works as a business consultant. He was a bright man and a lot of fun too. I only stayed for one night and Edgard told me he hosts couchsurfers in periods to meet people from all over the world and have fun. He happened to live just one street away from Norm, which was very convenient for me and my heavy suitcase. He had a two floor flat and also here I had the livingroom to myself and a foldout couch. When I went to the bathroom the door jammed so I had to ask him to let me out every time, which we both found rather funny. On the day I arrived I had a strong Purto Rican morning coffee with Edgard who gave me a list on what to see and do as I was going sightseeing in Harlem with a friend of mine who drove me around the areas of this very diverse place - this was raw!

In the evening Edgard took me to a nice restaurant and after that we went to see the views from the absolutely outstanding Standart Hotel in the meatpacking district. As the bar was closed we ended up in the bar from the film Coyote Ugly, but this I did not realize before I was back in Berlin and someone told me about this very trashy bar full of bras and waitresses serving us in just a bra and tight trousers and cowboy boots. What an adventure to go from the Standard Hotel Boom Boom room to this trashy bar ;)

My third host
Watching the sun set over Brooklyn from the rooftop
My third host I will keep anonymous cause I think he would prefer this. He was a talented musician living in Broklyn and what a cool flat he had. We talked a lot about life, music, travelling, about trust and fear and spirituality. He grew up with couchsurfing being quite normal in his country (he was not from USA) and he thought it was funny that so many people did not practice this as normality. He was used to people welcoming and helping strangers since he was a child. 
I was in for a real treat, cause he was so kind to write to scores for a song of mine, which he grew fond of as we both played our songs for each other. In the morning after we had woken up I enjoyed listening to him play guitar and sing in the studio while I got ready to go sightseeing in Brooklyn and enjoy the views over the Manhatten skyline. I stayed for 2 nights and felt so relaxed. In the evening we watched the sun set from his rooftop terasse and I felt so blessed to be around yet a wonderful person who welcomed a stranger into his home.

Not only did I have a wonderful time experiencing New York, but I also got to meet 3 extraordinary and kind people who gladly open up their home to host a total stranger and share life stories. I have three new friends and I am so glad I did not stay in a hostel or a cheap hotel with other tourists, but that I decided to move past my comfortzone and feel New York from within. It made me feel so alive! I will never forget this experience and these wonderful people and the places I were and the feelings I felt as I embarked on this adventure.

After my last host I went to New Jersey where yet a life changing adventure was awaiting me – a 4 day intense (9.00 – 23.00) seminar called “Unleash The Power Within” by Anthony Robbins. How this seminar was and what it “did to me” I will write about in my next blogpost, so until then:

Stay warm, stay grateful, practice smiling daily and never stop dreaming BIG dreams and even better… realize them!

Happy 5th of December all of you beautiful people,

One Love


Sunday, September 15, 2013

More Questions from Mr X!

Performing at REWE festival in Berlin
More Shows and more great Questions from Mr X.

It has been quite a while since I posted something on this blog as my life has been rather busy with more performances and planning a new venture of mine AND a trip to an Anthony Robbins Seminar in NYC soon. I admit I have been neglecting the art of blogging. Now I have a nice and quiet Sunday here in Berlin with time for reflection. 

As some of you know Mr X, as I like to call him, sends me questions once in a while that I decided to answer in public as I believe it may be inspiring for some of you to read along too. So, here is what Mr X wrote to me and my answers to the latest super questions from him. 

Mr X, I like that. 

Thanks for the great reply yet again Nina. It's fascinating to learn about your thought process when it comes to not only your music but your relationships with others. 

It's been a few have you been? Keeping busy? I do have more questions!  

1. You told me that music has been part of your life for a very long time. This might sound a little strange but I was wondering if your relationship with music has changed or evolved? To me it sounds like you've gone on a journey with your one time it was a side endeavor and now it's a very full time gig. Curious if your view on music has changed at all because of this journey?

Dear Mr X,

Once more you bless me with your interesting questions that make my mind spin. I love reflecting over my life and this gives me a chance to do so while answering your questions.

To answer your first question, yes my relationship to music has changed.

The biggest change came when i decided to go ”all in” about one year ago. Once I made this choice everything changed. When I only wrote music and performed as a hobby, it was in a way only half-hearted, which was also reflected in my songs. I did not dare to go all in and just played it safe. Thus, I did not invest all of me in it. When i broke up with my X I began writing from an authentic place, cause I felt I had nothing more to loose. I was broken and the music helped me rebuild myself as the real me. When I sing my songs from this time I feel the emotions again and this makes my music authentic as it comes from an integrated part of me. I was not thinking as I wrote the songs – they just came out. I was not thinking about hits, I was thinking about fear, sadness, hope, worry, dreams, love etc.

As I have decided to go all in things really began to happen, cause I allowed myself for the first time to feel how much I want this and this released a new power and devotion to go all in on realizing my dream of living of my music and being creative.

Today I would not be able to write lyrics that dont mean anything to me as I could before. It no longer works for me. This is one area where i wont compromise. I respect my music too much for that. So, this is yet a thing that has changed.

Performing at the Kids-Parade Berlin
2. When prompted the move from Denmark to Germany?

After I left my boyfriend through almost 8 years I knew that if I was to go all in on my dream and remove myself from old limiting thoughts about my abilities I had to physically move myself from my old life too. Not to run away from my past cause it is a part of me and has given me the strength and energy I have today, but to get new input, move beyong my comfortzone and feel a new buzz and vibe around me. Also, Berlin was on my list of dreams. I have wanted to try and live here for many years.

Why Berlin? I have felt drawn to Berlin the past 6 years or so as it is a big city full of a buzzing creative vibe. I feel the history of the city every day when I am here and the people's ability to adapt to change and survive through WW2 and the Berlin wall to me reflects a ”survival spirit” that I feel has a inspiring effect on me. I feel this is a city of strenght, compassion, creativity and freedom and this was what I needed to feel around me after my turnaround in life. I meet so many exiting people here and I feel much more free.

Moreover, it is still only 1 hour from my family in Denmark by plane and my sister lives here. I dont think everyone would need to physically move to a new country to find their own power again and to experience a feeling of freedom in order to realize their dreams. I wanted to try and live in a new country so for me this move was a natural step in the process. Why put off for later in life what you can do now and what you desire now? There is nothing that holds you back apart from fear of the unknown and I will not let this stop me.

My wonderful Dancers backstage at Kids Parade in Berlin.
3. Fear...doubt. We all have them and how we cope and deal with them is never the same. When I look at the big career change you made the most obvious fears I would have if I were in the same position would be whether I would be able to make a career out of it. Could I pay the bills for example. When you changed careers did you lose some of your fears and doubts? And perhaps gain others? Has maturity brought you the skills and wisdom to deal with fear and doubts more confidently?

I decided to wait and answer this third question in my next post as it is a big subject and needs more "space" for all the things I have to say about how I dealt with / am dealing with fear and doubt. So, I'll get back to you on this one within the next week or two.  

Love n hugs


Sunday, August 04, 2013

How much do I practice ? How do I get jobs? How do I find time for family and friends?

About a month ago a guy wrote to me through LinkedIn and asked me a few questions regarding my new career. I decided to post them here on my last blogpost. Now he wrote to me again and I love these questions as they make me reflect on things. I posted his new questions and my answers below. I hope you'll enjoy following our dialogue ;) 


Hey Nina!

Practice, practice, practice. I used to play guitar and one thing that was taught to me early on is if you want to get good you need to practice all the time. Maybe a few mins each day but you need to keep at it so you not only become better but so you don't regress in your skills. Does that apply to you with your music? Is singing something you need to practice all the time? 

How do you arrange for places to perform? Meaning do you approach venues to play? Or do people approach you? Or a bit of both?

This is a personal question so no worries at all if you don't want to answer this one. In between all your practicing, travel, and performing do you find time to keep your personal relationships alive and well? I'm sure artists can sometimes find it hard to keep a relationship healthy and alive when free time is almost non-existent. Have you been able to find that balance between work and play?

Mr X

Hi Mr X,

Ahh, I love your questions.

So to answer your first question about how much I practice and how I keep progressing. Well, you are right. It takes practice to get here, but not only on an instrument or through singing – also through mentally focusing on your goal every day. It is all about telling yourself your are well on the way and you can do this and as you practice a little every day you are keeping the focus too. I don’t sing every day, but I do something every single day to come closer to my goal which is to live of my music. It can be playing my song on the piano, so I am better at singing and playing simultaneously; it can be composing a new song; contacting people who I want to work with; performing at open mikes to test new songs and improve my skill of singing and playing the piano for an audience. I am grateful for my talent and I will do everything I can to live of it. I feel I have been blessed with a gift and I have this to use it. We all have a talent, be it creative or not, but this talent was given to us individually to be used – not to be hidden away as we try to make ends meet through a job that is draining us.

I don’t practice my singing everyday but up to a show I intensify practicing so it becomes daily. I don’t do singing exercies, but maybe I should? I have not felt the need for it at the moment. If I do practice anything it is being authentic when I sing and just letting my voice be “neutral” and full of emotion. I tell a story through my music and I practice keeping it real rather than beautiful and perfect. I practice daring to show imperfection and before I go on stage I pray (yes, I send up a prayer) that I can remove my “ego” from the show and not think about if I make a mistake or not and this enables me to enjoy the performance and be fully there. It makes me feel calm as I am there to give people an experience and not to boost my ego ;) Yet, when this is said I do feel butterflies before going on stage and I do like to know it went well after.

In regards to how I get my jobs. Well, once I decided to go “all in” the opportunities to perform seem to come to me. I believe that the reason is that the more people can see you “live” your music and do what you can yourself to get your music out “there” the more people want to work with you. I made my own musicvideo for Better off Alone (my first solo single) and that was not sooo good. But my determination showed that I wanted it my music career so much so my sister’s husband arranged for his creative team to produce a real music video for me. This lead to me being booked for a few shows in Germany and Denmark. Determination and keeping a positive attitude and helping others and playing promotion jobs for free in the beginning gets you further. Don't be afraid of doing something for others as a favor or for free. It will always come back to you in a good way later. I believe this! Actually all my jobs have come to me (yet, I have been working focused and determined to get to this point) and now it’s time for me to do some more PR myself too too keep the “energy” at a high level.  

How do I keep time to nurse my family and friends while I work on my career? I guess it is not that different from any other career? I don’t work all hours, I actually think I work less than when I had my own online marketing company. Maybe I work the same amount of hours but because I love what I do I get energy from it and have more energy to nurse my relationships. A boring job you have a few hours a week can drain you so much that you don’t have energy to be social. Moreover, it is about priorities. I always valued my friends and family a lot and it has never occurred to me that I would neglect them because of a career. When I was in a relationship and had my own company in Denmark I saw friends and family very often too. However, I can’t be social every day after a day of work. I am a person who needs to “pull back” quite often to “internalize” all my experiences and reflect; read books; chill and just be me. This keeps me grounded and focused. However, when all of this is said I used to be good at feeling guilty when I did not work while being self-employed and I still can get this feeling but no way near as often as before. I guess it is because I do more of what I love now ;) I learned that guilt is a major block to success and it simply drains you from energy, so I am really doing what I can to leave this old habit behind for good.

Everyone, no matter how busy you are, should find time for family and friends. It is up to you how you use your time. It’s all about finding the balance I guess. Naturally if you are on tour you can’t see your family and friends so much (unless they come along or visit), but when you are home again you can catch up and for me quality time with my loved ones is better than quantity time. I decided to move to Berlin to realize my music dream so, naturally I don't see my Danish friends and family in Denmark as much as I could wish, but with Skype, email etc and cheap flights to Copenhagen I get by ;) Naturally you need to see each other to really "nurse" the relationship as Skype etc only serves as a substitute for sharing the same physical space for some time. It can never replace having a real chat and a nice warm love felt hug. 

I hope that was a good answer to your questions and to finish off in good music "pr" style here is a picture from my show at REWE Family Festival here in Berlin, where I performed my song "Better off Alone" yesterday. Ahhh, I had such a great time. 

Thanx for reading along - I hope it serves as a form of inspiration to you ;)

Love to you all,  Nina x 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What made me decide to follow my dream?

About two weeks ago I got an email from a guy on Linkedin. He had read my story and found it fascinating. He asked me if I would answer some questions he had for me and I have decided to answer them here on this blog as I believe in sharing.

So here is what Mr X wrote a few weeks back:

“Following your dream of music...

I'm guessing that during the years of working a regular day job you life was also being enriched by music in someway. And then you decided to pursue music full-time. What I'm wondering is the thought process you went through to decide you would jump into music full-time? Were you happy/unhappy in your day job? Did you feel that ultimately being involved with music on a daily basis was something that would ultimately make you happier or fulfill a need that wasn't being met before the change?

Pretty deep questions I know...but your story is so awesome! Hard not to ask these things!”

So to Mr X and to all of you here are my answers:

I will have to give you a more detailed background of my life for you to understand how my patterns and thinking process have been and why it took me so long to pursue my music dream ( I am 32 years old ).

I was born in England and until I was 4-5 years-old I was a very hyper and outgoing child full of mischief and joy. Quite a handful as my mum recalls. When I was 4 years-old we moved to Denmark and I recall not being understood by the other children I was playing with as I only spoke English. I believe this was a turning point for me. I went from being happy and free to feeling “outside” of the group in a way and not being able to express myself freely. This was a big step in me becoming more introvert.

My life was indeed enriched by music from a very early age. My mum always played music in our home and we would dance a lot and sing along to it. When I was 5 my sister of 3 displayed huge talent for acting and singing and as she had a more “free” spirit than me she openly displayed her huge talent and she got a lot of attention and I let myself fall in the background – or that is how I felt it. As we got older I joined singing lessons and found out that I had a talent and could sing, but I was just too scared to sing for anyone, cause what if they would say my sister was better than me. Then this would kill my dream of being a singer too. A dream I never told to anyone, but kept to myself. So, as the years passed and I had to find out what to study I got more and more frustrated as nothing really appealed to me. I could not understand why I did not know what I wanted to do. Now, as an adult I can see why. The only thing I wanted was to sing and express myself creatively and since I had blocked that thought and only kept it as a dream, no wonder I did not feel happy at business school etc.

So, what happened then? I excelled in school as that was one thing I felt good at. Here I got praise from my parents for my good grades. I continued along this path and I enrolled in business school and thought to myself I could work on my music alongside that and that it was good to have a safe education to fall back on. Fall back on when? When my music would not work out? You see, already then I was telling myself that I needed a safety net for when my music would not work out. Hurray! No wonder it never worked out before with that belief in my abilities.

It took me many years of International Business studies and opening my own Online Marketing Consultancy company before I realized what I was doing. I had gone down the business road to please my parents (who never asked me to do this!), to get their (and my friends and outer world’s) appraisal as I was taking a prestigious degree. What a fool I was. I was going through such emotional turmoil as I never felt really happy. I was not devoting time to what made my heart sing; music and being creative.

Alongside my studies and my business I was in various bands and released some clubmusic but none of it felt 100% real as I was also compromising my style of music just to make music and be able to sing. So, yes, music was always to some degree a part of my life. Also very much in the sense that it was a symbol of a dream I had with me every day alongside a feeling of being a failure for not daring to do it. For many years when I was younger I was jealous of my sister for her ability to go after her dream with complete focus and devotion, which was in fact what I longed to do. She was a symbol of what I wanted and was denying myself without being aware of it. It was difficult for me to feel true happiness for her when she had success with her music as I felt this big hole and desire to do the same and secretly wished it was me every time. Not being able to feel joy for her made me feel so guilty and a bad sister on top of it all (yet, I was not fully aware of this at the time).

Today, I am so sorry I felt this way and my sister knows all this as I apologized for not being there by her side as much as I wanted to a while back. I told her everything as it was. Saying this to her removed years of guilt and made me feel so genuinely proud and happy for her success. What a miracle! What a joy to be able to say this to your closest family and feel it strengthening the relationship and making communication even more open and loving.

So, for many years I was numbing myself by working around my big dream. I became self-employed in 2010 and thought this would be good. It was for a few months and then I felt it was like peeing in my pants; nice for a while and then it just made me feel uncomfortable. Why? Cause I was still not attending to my need for being creative (yet, at the time I did not know this was the reason). Only when I gave workshops and lectured and was standing on a stage talking about online marketing did I feel good. The stage and giving / sharing knowledge with people has become key in my life.

In 2012 I had had my business for 2 years and was feeling burn-out symptoms. I had a band and was playing gigs sometimes, but nothing no longer felt right. I had been composing my own music, but not doing so much with it. My relationship with my man who I loved so much was approaching 8 years and we were engaged. This too was making me unhappy for private reasons. I hit a low in March 2012 and I knew I had a choice: continue life as it was or leave it all to find me again. None of it would be easy. 
I had numbed myself since I was a little kid fighting for acceptance and feeling a part of a group that I no longer knew what I wanted from life. I needed time alone to rebuild myself and rediscover me, so I left my boyfriend, our home, and after a few months I closed my business. I cried myself to sleep, woke up crying, went to therapy. I also wrote music as therapy and quickly found that my songs had changed. I felt so emotional as I wrote them. There was no longer a filter between me and them. I was writing for ME and not to write a hit. My songs were written with tears, with laughter, with huge feeling of love and sometimes intense pain. All of it was me. This is how I found my way back to the authentic me and after a while I realized that I trust I have what it takes to go ALL IN on my music now. Never have I felt this way before, but now I am ready. I have to take it to its birthing consequence and give it all I got.

It has been quite a ride for me since March 2012, but I would never go back to how I was before. My future is in many ways uncertain but my huge belief in following my gut-feeling in everything I do is my compass and best friend. I have found a love for life and respect for myself that enables me to accomplish things I had only dared to dream about before and never deemed doable. Naturally there are many more elements we need to add to my story that have affected me such as my parents divorce when I was 7 is one big factor, but I cant write about it all here.

Now I am playing my music live for audiences in Germany and Denmark and I feel so grateful and truly happy and content when I do this. I have a day job to make ends meet, but my focus and devotion is on my music and my employer knows this and supports it. I decided to raise my bar and not always settle for less, but to go after my biggest dreams. Finally, I found my way home to the real me.

I hope this was a good answer to the questions. Feel free to write more questions if you have some.

To celebrate music here is a link to a video of a song I just wrote about love and played live for the first time on the 6th of June in Copenhagen. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed playing it!

All the best,


Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The importance of being AUTHENTIC!

I am getting ready for yet a performance and this time it is in my homeland Denmark in the beautiful capital Copenhagen. I lived there most of my adult life and love the city and the fact that it is surrounded by water and you can bike to a beach in just 20 mins from the center!

Anyway, I have a performance there at a club on Saturday. It is a trip down memory lane for me as this club is next to the first place I lived when I moved away from home and my wonderful mum in Allerød. I lived in Ålborggade with my darling friend Naja and boy we had a blast together! As I think back to those days I think back to how confusing it was for me to be a teenager, young adult and finding out who I was. Actually I don't think I have found out really until the last year and well, I am still in the process I guess. So, at the age of 32 I am finally closer than ever to knowing the real me, my values, my ethics and views on life.

This has also made me realize that I will never compromise who I am in my music, my performances, my public and private appearances. All you ever get to see it the real me. Authenticity is key in my life. I guess this comes from being a "pleaser" for too many years. Always trying to make everyone else happy and blend in and in doing so rather successfully I forgot who I was. I was not able to say what I wanted cause I simply did not know anymore. SO, I have tried walking down that path and will not do that again. Now I am doing what is best for me and so this love and respect for me and my needs in life enables me to do far more for people as I feel more harmony and energy in my life. I tell you, it works. I believe you are a far more valuable asset for family and friends when you are the REAL you and as you are true to the authentic you, you are able to lead a more happy and content life.

So, to bring more of "me" into my music as I perform next weekend I plan on playing the piano myself and singing at the same time, which as some of you know is a thing I have always been scared of doing. Why? Because what if I made a mistake? I am a singer, not a perfect piano player! A few months ago I decided that I won't let fear of making a mistake stop me. I wish to play my songs myself and not always be dependent on a band or piano player and trust that all will be ok. So, I'll let you know how it went when I am back next week. Maybe I'll even have a video to post ;)


Nina x

Monday, June 24, 2013

Video from my first BIG solo performance in Germany.

Biggest indoor venue I performed at so far - Movie Park!
It has been one week since I performed Better off Alone live with dancers at D's World Competition Finals in Movie Park (Botropp) Germany for close to 4000 people.

We arrived 1 hour late on Friday due to heavy traffic, but I guess the crew there are used to delays, cause everyone was nice, friendly and very chilled. The stage and whole room looked so big and I felt immediate excitement. I was hoping my voice would be better in the morning, cause like every one else at the moment I caught this throat virus and was coughing, blowing my nose all the time and feeling a bit off. Kind of typical before a big performance! I could sing, but no way near my normal full-power. Anyway, I just had to give it all I got even with a cold. Nothing was gonna stop me - or definately not a cold!

I slept well and got up on Saturday feeling relaxed. Much to my surprise I was not nervous - merely excited. I was sure it would come later. Actually it never did. I have practiced so much that I knew I could not do more to make it better. This knowledge made me relax. I just had to do my best and if I made a mistake well, then so be it - I am after all only human.

The performance went very well and the crowd was amazing and what a great atmosphere! I even remembered all my dance moves and felt so good with talented and sweet dancers around me ;) When I was done I wished I had more songs cause I could have stayed on the stage and sung so much more. That will be next time.

Soundcheck over and I'm ready!
I am truly grateful that I am able to go onto a huge stage and pull off a show for so many people while being able to fully enjoy it without my nerves ruining it for me. Normally I would be so nervous about what others would think about my show and voice, that I would not enjoy performing as much. Now it is so different for me. I guess it has a lot to do with daring to be "vulnerable" and no longer fearing failure or making mistakes in the same way as I used to. This development I owe to Brene Browns brilliant Ted Talk about "Daring to be vulnerable" and authentic and "non-perfect".

No one is perfect, so why do we all aim to be so and then hit ourselves over the head when we feel we are not living up to these high ideals (which for most of our sakes is almost all the time). It is such a self-destructive and negative slant to take. I tell ya this - life is way more fun when you go more easy on yourself and allow yourself to make mistakes. Just learn from them, grow from them and never (!) let them block your way.

I am looking forward to perform at Park cafe in Copenhagen (Denmark) on the 6th of July and also at REWE Family Festival in Berlin on the 3rd of August.  I am so grateful I get all these fantastic experiences. Just keep bringing them on - I am ready!

Below is a link to the video of my performance last week. My sister is the gorgeous girl hosting the show. I love her so and how lucky we are to be able to support each other on our adventures. 

Nina Hall Live in Movie Park Germany

Just before finishing my blogpost today I came across this quote on facebook! It is by none other than Madonna. I admire her for her courage to dare to be different, dare to be loved and hated and for her dedication to always go after what she wants with what seems to be unwavering faith.

"I've been popular & unpopular, successful & unsuccessful, loved & loathed. I know how meaningless it all is, therefore I feel free to take whatever risks I want. I stand for freedom of expression, doing what you believe in & going after your dreams..." MADONNA

Love to you all,


Monday, June 03, 2013

12 days - the countdown has begun !

The flyer for the event
In exactly 12 days I will be on a large stage with dancers and 3-4000 people in the audience giving my very first big live performance of Better off Alone at Detlef D! Soost's Lädtzur Deutschen Meisterchaft in Movie Park Germany. I am so excited. 

So, now the preparations begin. This week I am going to meet up with the dancers and rehearse the show. I need to learn some dance moves that fit their choreography and I am excited about singing and remembering dance moves at the same time!

Everyday until the 15th I will be practicing my song and dancing, so I have a calm confident feeling inside when I enter the stage on the 15th. Practice, practice, practice - that is the only way to feel calm (alongside some great deep breathing that relaxes my mind and keeps me focused). Then I know I've done my part to make it all work. My sister will be performing there too which I am so happy about - having her around will in itself be a blessing.  

On Tuesday I will begin my official videoblog for D's Worlds Website and so all the people who are watching the show can follow my preparations. The dancers from all the 144 danceschools here in Germany will be asked to do their own choreography for my song and the best team will win a prize. 
How cool is that. can't wait to see all the good videos!

So stay tuned and soon you'll be able to follow my videoblog too!