Nina de Freitas is no stranger to the music business. Her father, Carlinhos Brown, is a popular Brazilian recording artist with several Latin Grammies and an Oscar nomination to his name. Her mother is a musician as well. Born in Brazil, de Freitas moved with her mom to the US at age 3, and has spent much of her life in Colorado.
De Freitas says she's been playing and writing music for as long as she can remember, but only this summer released her first EP, Spinning Towards The Edge. It's a tour-de-force of powerful, guitar-driven songs of heartbreak and lover's regret. Sonically, it's reminiscent of the aching splendor of the late Jeff Buckley's work, a musician whom she cites as a major influence.
"I've been listening to Jeff Buckley since I was a child," says de Freitas. "He was a great writer, incredible vocalist, great melody writer. I really immersed myself in his music."
Like Buckley, de Freitas has a remarkable vocal range, which she uses to great effect on Spinning Towards The Edge. But she says learning to embrace that voice took time.
"As I've gotten older and more bold, it's come more with increased confidence rather than increased learning or technique," she says. "When I was younger, I thought my voice was too different, and it didn't sound like what I'd hear on the radio ... but as the years have gone by I've come to embrace it for what it is, and I'm grateful for it."
While Spinning Towards The Edge is de Freitas' first solo effort, her voice can also be heard on some other high profile releases from recent years. She collaborated with her father on the soundtrack for the animated film, Rio 2, and also lent vocals to a track by electronic artist Slow Magic.
But she says her new EP is a more personal than anything she's released before. It was also 5 years in the making.
"It feels good [now that the album is out]," she says. "I had a few moments of terror, where I thought to myself, 'oh this is out, and there's nothing I can do about it, and whoever wants to hear it can hear it.' It felt as if I had published my personal journals for the world to read ... But I've gotten really good feedback ... I've gotten some really lovely notes of people saying how deeply it has touched them, and that's why I'm doing this ... bottom line, I just want to serve people."
Listen to Nina de Freitas performing her songs "I Was In Love With You" and "Always Wait," as well as an interview with the artist, in the player above.
For more from this month's episode of Air Check, click here.