One of Scotland’s best singer-songwriters, Nina Nesbitt is a star attraction at this weekend’s The Big Feastival. But it’s not just going on stage to perform her music that she is looking forward to – it’s also the food.
One of the unique aspects of the festival, held on the farm owned by Blur bassist Alex James in Kingham near Chipping Norton, is its blend of live music and good food and drink –with live demonstrations by top chefs and endless eating possibilities.
“It’s something I love doing when I’m travelling – trying new food and local dishes,” says Nina, who comes from a small village near Livingston, West Lothian.
Despite not being fond of haggis, Scotland’s national dish, she admits to a love of good fish and chips – and is especially excited to see what food will be on offer this weekend.
Nina will be performing hit songs such as Stay Out and The Best You Had and singles from her latest album The Sun Will Come Up The Seasons Will Change, which peaked at number 21 in the UK album chart.
Nina was not born into a musical family. Her father, Mike, worked in the electronics industry and her mother Caty, who is originally from Sweden, was a childcare worker.
Nina was inspired to start writing her own songs when she was a teenager and first heard Taylor Swift’s 15.
She says: “I wanted to do that! I don’t come from a musical background or a wealthy background, so I needed to find a way of getting out there and that thing of writing your own songs felt affordable and do-able.”
The Scottish star says she is looking forward to introducing her music to new audiences at the festival.
“One of the exciting things about festivals is that you’re not performing to a ‘normal’ audience.
“There are people there who might not have heard you before and it gives them a chance to discover new music. It’s a chance to prove yourself to those people.”
While audiences at The Big Feastival are sure to enjoy the live performances, Nina herself is often found observing the crowds and says: “I look out into the audience and try to find the most enthusiastic dancer and just watch them.
“It’s entertainment for me while I’m performing!
“I’ve seen someone in the crowd dressed as a dinosaur before, which must have been very hot.”
Speaking of the wait for her new album, Nina explains: “It’s been about a five to six-year gap while I was in between record labels.
“I think my music has changed over time because I’ve grown as a person and I’ve had different musical influences.
“My newer stuff is a lot more upbeat than my older work. The album took about a year and a half to write and I wrote a lot of the songs in my bedroom – it’s just a more relaxing environment there.”
She adds: “Loyal to Me is probably my favourite song on the new album. It’s got a really great sing-along chorus that the crowd can join in with.”
Nina also teases, “I’ll be performing a surprise cover this weekend, which is exciting!”
While Nina has visited Oxfordshire before, she hasn’t been to the Cotswolds, although this isn’t through lack of trying.
She sheepishly reveals: “I tried to visit with some people before, for a weekend. I booked an Airbnb but it turned out it was actually in Bristol! I definitely wasn’t popular that week.”
With the bank holiday weather looking to be glorious this year, hopefully Nina will finally be able to appreciate the beauty of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, along with the other festival-goers – and enjoy some of that wonderful food… even if it is just fish and chips!
Nina Nesbitt plays The Big Feastival on Saturday.
The Big Feastival is at Alex James’s farm, Kingham, near Chipping Norton, from tomorrow to Sunday.
For tickets go to thebigfeastival.com
LISTEN UP: Check out Nina’s latest album The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change.