After walking in the snow-covered streets of Stockholm, we make our way up to the warm and cozy apartment that belongs to the artist and songwriter Nirob Islam. A cup of coffee later, we ask him about who his all-time hero is and what inspires him at the moment. Born and raised in Stockholm, Nirob decided to follow his dreams to become a musician, even though pursuing other career options were expected within his family. Nirob made his way through the music industry under the name of SHY NODI, gaining over 1 billion streams for artists around the globe. In 2018, Nirob began to release music under his own name.
What are your top inspirations right now?
In general, I’d say life and age. I feel like a lot of things have become clearer with age. Music reflects your emotions and is in many ways an expression of your soul, so naturally, everyday life is a big source of inspiration.
But musically speaking, I’d say my top inspirations right now are the people I work with every day at our label fourclovrs and my wife who’s currently working on her album. It’s super inspiring to be a part of and watch!
If you had to choose one song that you had to listen to for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
This is a super hard question for someone that consumes a very wide range of music. But I’d have to go with “Rock with you” by Michael Jackson!
Who is your all-time hero?
My parents, without a doubt.
Do you have any hobbies or interests besides music?
I have way too many. Anime, video games, fashion and cooking just to name a few!
What can you not live without?
My family and friends. Life loses its substance if you can’t share your wins and losses with someone.
Who is the best dressed person in the world?
It’s without a doubt my friend Noah Thompson (@noahfound).
Do you remember that initial spark that made you passionate about music? Tell us about it.
I have two moments that stand out. The first one is when I realized you could listen to a song and find the melody on an instrument. I was in second grade, and I accidentally found out that I can play “In the Jungle” [editor’s note: from Lion King] on the piano.
The second one is when my uncle gave me his “History Deluxe Version” by Michael Jackson. I used to play that album on the lowest possible volume every night on a stereo that my cousin had given me. My parents would be furious those nights when they realized I was up way past my bedtime, but I couldn’t stop listening!
Are there any musicians who inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them?
As previously mentioned, I’m always inspired by what’s around me. I’ve had the fortune of working close with artists and friends in my career that have an incredible vision. SHY Martin is one of my biggest inspirations. The work ethic combined with talent in that person is jaw dropping. The second artist is Haley Bridge. Working with him was eye-opening for my creative growth. To him there are no rules for how a song should sound or be structured. I feel that I’m learning something new every time I see them work.
Describe your creative process when you write new music.
For me, the most important quality of a song is that it hits a nerve! You need to “feel” what you’re creating, and you can often hear when a song is built out of those parameters. I usually start with chords and melodies. When you find a vibe, that’s when you dive into the lyrical parts. I often need to give songs some time and live with them a couple of days just to be sure that what I felt when I wrote the song is still apparent after some time.
What do you prefer when creating music, working alone or working with others?
Most definitely working with others. Sharing the moment with others when you realize we’ve created something amazing is the best feeling. But of course, I also enjoy creating ideas by myself from time to time!