AE: Wow, that just breaks my heart. I hope that you’ve let yourself off the hook by now. That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself. What’s great about being in the public eye, though, is that you can spread the word about the disease, because I would’ve never heard of it before talking to you.
So, onto maybe some happier things. You’ve just recently come to terms with being attracted to women, how did all of this present itself to you?
NS: Well, after my brother passed, it became so clear and real to me that I had to kind of look at myself and start peeling back the layers. Like, “What’s going on with me? You’re going to do music. Why are you going to be doing music? What are you going to be singing about? What moves in your body and moves in your spirit?”
It’s kind of funny, looking back. I can see certain things that I just didn’t necessarily want to entertain as a thought. I’ve always appreciated women, ever since I was a little girl. I mean I think all women look at other women, whether gay, bi, straight or open — because women are just beautiful. It just is what it is! We come in all shapes, sizes, colors, it’s just part of nature. So I’ve always appreciated beautiful women; I’ve just always chalked it up to that. But then when I really took a look at myself and tried to understand myself and going from moment to moment, rather than focusing on where I wanted to be with my career in the future, it’s just something that I had to face. It was just like, “Woah! Wow, OK this is really real!”
Actually the concept of, “Lipstick Lover” just came to me one day and I was like,”I must write this song,” and this was a thought that kind of marinated and lived in my head for like six months before I finally took pen to paper and started writing about it. I wrote the song last year, but I think I started coming to terms and thinking about it me — maybe around late 2009.
So it’s definitely a new space for me. I’ve accepted it and embraced it and I’m just enjoying the journey.
AE: Well good! Enjoying it is important.
NS: Exactly, and I’ve had a lot of friends who are gay or bisexual and it’s interesting because they’ll say to me, “Really, Nirvana? You’re just coming to terms with this now? Because, we kind of knew.” [Laughs] I was like, “How did you know — are you kidding me?” I was talking to a friend of mine and when I was younger — actually I still do — I had an obsession with Rainbow Brite, so my girl friend said, “Uh huh, yeah, rainbow, that should’ve been a clue.”
AE: That’s great. In my opinion that’s the best kind of reaction you can get when coming out — like, “Oh yeah, I already knew.”
NS: Yeah and I had been asked in the past. You know when you’re dating guys they’ll ask you if you’ve ever been into it, like, “Oh you and your friend are really really close.” And I’d be like, “You know what? If I go down that road, it’s not going to be about you. So get it out of your head.” They always over-sexualize it but it’s not about them.
AE: You mentioned “Lipstick Lover”, and I think it’s pretty sexy but it still kind of seems like in the song you’re keeping the relationship a little bit on the down low. Did you feel when writing it that it was something that was still kind of your own secret?
NS: No, I just felt like the concept was playful and sexy. It’s very honest because I wrote it from a very honest place. Being on the “hush hush” is more about me being a public-private person; a relationship for me, I don’t necessarily feel like it needs to be in the public eye. It’s something that you really need to keep for yourself.
So when I wrote the song it was more like, “Our relationship is for us, it’s not something that we really need to be putting out there.” Sometimes when you go public with your relationships everybody else gets all up in your business and become very intrusive. It’s not really people’s business.
To be completely honest with you, I can’t even tell you how many phone calls I’ve gotten from ex-boyfriends now that the video went viral on the internet. They’re like, “Really, Nirvana? Now you’re coming out with this?”
AE: Actually I’m really curious to know how your former X-quisite members reacted to you coming out as well as other people in the music industry that you’ve known.
NS: Well the people who I deal with on a day-to-day basis as far as my music, they all knew. They’ve been a part of my journey and when we decided that we’d run with “Lipstick Lover” first, everybody was on board and has been supportive. So as far as my internal camp, they embrace it and they support me.
As far as other people that I know, like my former bandmates, unfortunately we don’t talk. The breakup was mutual and everyone agreed that it was time to move on. But I’m sure they’re all kind of like, “Really? That’s interesting!” And I think as far as my circle of friends — my circle of friends is really, really small right now. After my brother passed, I really just surrounded myself with people who I knew would be there for me through thick and through thin. My circle of friends actually knew about it from the minute I wrote the song and they’ve all been really supportive and really happy for me. They know that I’m in a very positive and happy place and they know that coming to terms with myself is probably the best thing for me moving forward.
AE: That’s really great. I’m happy for you. Well now that you’re out and about, have you heard of The Dinah weekend?
NS: Yes, I’ve heard about it and I was so sad to not be able to participate in the festivities this year but I’m really looking forward to being there next year.
AE: OK good because I was going to tell you you should definitely go — maybe you could even perform there next year.
NS: Definitely, if it’s in the cards I will absolutely be there next year. I know we’ve been in contact with them and I believe they’re interested in next year, so hopefully! I’m looking forward to the experience.
AE: So what’s up next for you both personally and professionally?
NS: “Lipstick Lover” is starting to buzz. I know it’s definitely going to be a build. Thus far I just feel really blessed and grateful that the feedback is positive and people are showing interest. We’re talking to a bunch of different Pride Festivals across North America so people can look out for me to pop up and perform at different events. On my actual mixtapes, which was the launch of “Lipstick Lover,” I did a dance mixtape with a DJ and MC from Toronto, Jester and Kid Kut. It’s all high-energy dance music, new music, a great workout tape. If you like to dance I definitely suggest you download it at NirvanaSavoury.com.
Actually there are four original songs on there, “Ambulance”, “Flavors” &mdsah; which is basically about protecting yourself through safer sex — and “Throb.” So next we’re going to be shooting videos for the songs and the next one is “Ambulance.” We’re just getting ready to perform at all of these Pride events and promote safer sex with good music because I think it’s a really important message that people need to hear.
In pop culture I’m hearing all of these songs where there’s so much talk about sex and drinking and no responsibility being encouraged. I think people often think that STDs or pregnancy that you’re not necessarily ready for can’t happen to them, and it can. It’s a responsibility that we all have to exercise with ourselves.
I think I just got wind that I’m going to be presenting at the OUT awards in NYC which is awesome. I’m kind of just really happy about all of the positive feedback. I’m really looking forward to familiarizing myself with the LGBTQ community and hoping they’ll continue to embrace me and show me support. I feel like this is the place that I really need to be because aside from my music, speaking to the community, it’s also a personal journey for myself. Some of the events and parties I’ve been to, I feel like I’m embraced and I’m finding people who understand, because I’m new to the community. I’m still coming into my own body and my own experiences, whereas most women I’ve known, have known their whole life. So I’m looking forward to being supported and also showing support in my community.
You can download her Mixtape for free over at Nirvana’s website.