“Even though this project is only a year old, I feel like I’ve been building up to it my whole life,” Alison Segura tells of her new solo endeavor Nosila.
With just a handful of instantly captivating, moody electropop songs available online for public consumption, Nosila’s sound is one that immediately, and intensely, wraps you in its introspective cocoon of emotion. Delicate vocals float over her deft production, which feels both sparse and complex all at once. And although her voice can come draped in effects, it flows with a confidence that leaves no question of her underlying talent as a vocalist and producer. While the vibe is often dramatic, thanks to the subject matter at hand, sometimes it’s even faintly tropical, and this seamless sonic shapeshifting provides the perfect canvas for the poignant, real-life story she seeks to tell on her debut EP Of Course I Still Love You.
“The whole EP reflects a time in my life when I was watching a loved one struggle with addiction,” Segura begins. “A lot of the songs were written during that time and reflect one of the most traumatic periods of my life, yet one of the most beautiful. Something about going through something devastating makes getting through it so much sweeter.”
Of Course I Still Love You “walks through the different stages of the addiction and healing cycle, and examines the complexities that lie on the relational side of it: There is anger, frustration, codependency, failures on all sides, pain, and even joy. Though recovery is important, I didn’t want that to be the focus of the EP. I wanted to be able to say (to my loved one) that at the end of the day, no matter what happens, ‘Of course I still love you.’”
It’s a phrase she saw while driving home from work, tagged on the side of a building in a quick line of graffiti cursive. She snapped the photo that would ultimately become her cover art, later writing: “I hope it’s a musical reminder that you are loved even when you’re at your worst.”
Self-affirmation is something that Segura also had to give herself. After growing up with a singer-songwriter mother, studying opera in college, and pursuing the path of a folk artist, “I found myself wanting to push genre boundaries,” she says. “Eventually, I quit folk music and moved to Portland. Though I didn’t plan on taking another shot at music, something was in the air and I accidentally started learning how to produce. Production became a huge passion and led to the music I’m making now.”
“The biggest thing that’s inspired my sound has been learning to trust myself,” Segura notes. “In the past, I’d always revert to the loudest person in the room (usually male)—the person with the biggest opinions. I’d second-guess my instincts and ability. I’ve found that taking control, trusting my voice, and going inward has allowed me huge creative steps forward.”
This newfound composure has enabled Segura to explore fresh sounds in her home studio, planting musical seeds while building “a team that supports my vision.” It includes some “really wonderful local collaborators” and supporters in the city’s scene, like New Body Electric’s Aaron Peterson (together, they also form the extroverted dance pop duo Soft Tiger), Anna Gilbert (aka WYLDR), Isabeau Waia’u Walker, and Haley Johnsen.
This is something she’d like to pay forward, especially in light of how few female producers and engineers there are in the industry: “I also have a dream of opening a small, female-friendly vocal studio, mainly for recording overdubs or doing simple productions. I know so many women who are desperate to find safe, welcoming recording environments and I hope to provide that to my friends someday!”
And while Nosila hasn’t even left the starting line yet, she’s already excited to record another EP “as soon as this one is done! The subject of that EP will be a bit more lighthearted.”
But first things first: As Nosila, Segura is digging deep and revealing a bit of her raw, aurally mesmerizing reality. She’s ready to share her truest musical self—so far.
UPCOMING RELEASE: Of Course I Still Love You out September 6