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27 April 2017

Life Is Like A Box Of Records: The Nyx

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Ferocious four-piece The Nyx are about to explode into 2017 with the release of their debut self-titled EP, out on 21st April 2017 via Rumours Music.

These empowering women are making music with a purpose and they’re doing it with huge servings of attitude, emotion and raw authenticity.

We caught up with front woman Becky Wixon to find out about her most influential tracks for Life Is Like A Box of Records:

P!nk – Don’t Let Me Get Me

Very unfortunately, my early exposure of music was in the early noughties where the airwaves were dominated by boy-bands and teen pop. But one artist I loved – and still to this day appreciate her general bad-assness – was P!nk. Notably ‘Don’t Let Me Get Me’ from her ‘Missunderstood’ album. This was released in 2001 so I would have been 7 years old. I used to listen to this track on repeat under my pillow on my CD walkman. In hindsight, it was a guitar-driven track sung with a punk attitude by a strong feminist woman that was challenging stereotypes of solo female singers of the time. So hell yeah, big influence and good start I’d say.

Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot

I heard this song when I must have been about 8-9 years old on a CD compilation which came from some guitar/rock style magazine, and it was a live version. I remember the moment I heard this song: it was a moment of realisation of the power of female rockers. The guitar solo melted my face, I used to run around air-guitarring and imaging myself ripping it onstage. Pat’s husky rock voice shot right through me. As a 9 year old, I had a crystal clear voice at that point so these sort of voices were stunning to me. Definite inspiration.

AC/DC – Back in Black

AC/DC were a big one. This was one of the first songs I ever learnt on guitar. I think I covered it with my first band when I was 9/10 (can we just appreciate that I was in my first band at 9/10 years old). It was driving, and rocky, and unstoppable. Listening to this track made me feel powerful. By this point in my life I’d realised that the teen-pop charts had nothing for me and had gone on my own journey of discovery. I think the film School of Rock was released around this time which was a massive deal because I was around the same age as the kids and starting to learn guitar too. That film showed me a lot of music I would have struggled to discover otherwise because my parents weren’t into rock music and the internet wasn’t really a thing at that point. From this stage onwards my weekends were spent in HMV and pocket money on albums by Led zeppelin and Guns ‘n Roses.

Janis Joplin – Me and Bobby McGee

Janis Joplin was a really special artist to me throughout my teenage years. I was really into her around 13/14 years old. There was something about her pain that appealed to me. Despite her fame, her band – she always seemed really isolated. Able to completely lose herself through her music. It made her feel personal to me. Around this age I used to perform as a solo, eponymous acoustic artist. I used to cover this song. I think it was probably a lever into a really bluesy phase I went on to, which lasted about 5 years, and still influences my playing now.

Jeff Buckley – Lover, You Should Have Come Over

Jeff Buckley is probably my favourite artist of all time. When I heard the album ‘Grace’ for the first time (around 14), it changed me completely. It still sends me shivers when I listen to it. This track in particular captures me every time. There’s something about his performance; his vocals are so devastatingly real. The way they build, the way the guitar so humbly dances around them. The chords, the structure. Musically this song was a big deal for me.

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Arcade Fire were totally my coming of age band, at around 16/17 years old. I was completely obsessed. They just really spoke to me at the time. I still have a nostalgic feeling when I listen to them, taking me back to sunny summer evenings at music festivals, learning to drive, being at school. I hope I always feel that way when I listen to Arcade fire, they have an incredible ability to capture a feeling/moment. In this song, I love how lyrically they say so much with so little words. Being so relatable yet written so personally.

The Dead Weather – I Can’t Hear You

I discovered The Dead Weather in my late teens (17ish), and to me, they were the perfect band. At that point blues rock was my heaven – and actually The Nyx started as a blues rock band under our previous name. This band probably had something to do with that. Jack White was always a big influence, and Alison Mosshart was just the coolest person in existence and together it just blew my mind. Listening back now, the riffy, guitar-driven melodies, and the two singer thing… sounds familiar.

Elliot Smith – Between the Bars

Around the age of 18/19, when I fell in love, this song said everything I wanted to say. Isn’t that just the most beautiful thing music can ever do? Communicate exactly how you feel. It was so simple and so humble and so perfect. Definitely a place in my list of masterpieces.

Amy Winehouse- Wake Up Alone

I was late to the Amy Winehouse table. I always respected her, but it wasn’t until after her death that I really got hooked. Around 21, I moved to Camden, just around the corner from where she lived. Seeing her traces everywhere, on the walls, toilet doors of pubs. Her reality – not the brand created in the media – really shone through to me. Her honesty in songwriting combined with her effortless vocal performance had me sold.

Jah 9 – The Greatest Threat to the Status Quo

I’ve recently had a massive reggae phase. Jah9 is an incredibly inspirational, spiritual feminist reggae artist from Jamaica. This song, as well as speaking ultimate truth, merges reggae with hints of rock and jazz, what a mash up?! Live, her energy is captivating. She’s taught me how to use femininity as power as an artist, and also to not limit myself to a single genre.

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