Interview Upbringing: Hundred Waters

From Chopin to, erm, swaddling clothes, the band’s Nicole Miglis​​ talks us through her musical upbringing.

Over the years, Florida’s Hundred Waters have been the champions of surprising pairings; signing to Skrillex’s label OWSLA before touring with everyone from Interpol to Julia Holter. It’s quite the varied repertoire.

It shouldn’t really come as much of a shock, then, to hear that a wide range of early musicial obsessions led the trio to new album ‘Communicating’. An intense, multi-layered offering, where vocals sound like possessed androids whispering to each other, and synthesised melodies feel alive, it’s a record dwelling in isolation, always shooting for the open dialogue and connection its title suggests.

We caught up with Hundred Waters vocalist Nicole Miglis, to talk early musical obsessions.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

Probably my brother’s violin recital, as a baby, grooving in my swaddling clothes

Were there a good supply of venues in your hometown?

Not a lot, I grew up in a small town in Florida. There weren’t a lot of proper venues or things to do, but there were a lot of great DIY spaces. Like old churches converted into show spaces or community centres our friends would throw shows at occasionally. And a lot of house shows.

What was the first song you developed an obsession for?

My earliest musical obsession was probably a Chopin piece. Maybe a Chopin Nocturne. I grew up playing piano and I really loved playing Chopin. It really resonated with my melancholy childhood self.

What’s the first song you ever bought with your own money, and why?

I grew up in the era of Napster, so I probably torrented it! The first CD I ever bought was maybe Nirvana ‘Nevermind’? Or ‘Surfer Rosa’ by the Pixies.

What’s the story behind your first instrument?

I started playing piano when I was about 5 or 6. My mom had all of us in lessons as kids. I was the only one who made a ‘career’ out of it, but my brother and sister are really talented musicians too. But I was always in recitals or competitions as a kid. My dream was to be a concert pianist, like Vladimir Horowitz or Martha Argerich. I thought she was the coolest growing up

What’s your worst musical habit?


What inspirations outside of music have an impact on your songwriting?

People I know. All of my friends.

Tell us the best advice you’ve ever been given as a musician…

Take your time. Don’t rush.

And if you could be in a band from the last two decades, which would you pick, and why?

Probably Radiohead. Or PJ Harvey’s band. Or anything where I’d be in the presence of Lauryn Hill. I can’t pick just one! There are too many amazing humans out there.

Hundred Waters’ new album ‘Communicating’ is out now.

Tags: Hundred Waters, Upbringing, Features

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