With her seemingly limitless musical range, beauty and showmanship, it comes as no surprise that multiple Houston Press Music Award winner Karina Nistal radiates energy both on and off the stage. Chatter caught up with Karina to dish about her follow-up to 2006's Nistyle, stage fright, the FlyNice project and her move to Los Angeles.
Chatter: Tell us about your upcoming album.
Karina Nistal: It's called Nistalgia, and it's a play on my last name. I'm a nostalgic person. I'm always reflective on my childhood or a certain song or last year. I wanted an album that reflected just that, that reflected a certain time in my life.
With Mr. Blacc Sheep, Nick Gaitan, Michele Thibeaux and DJs Freddy B, Soulfree and Mad Sounds, 8 p.m. Saturday, October 2, at the Groundhall, 1515 Pease, 832-287-5577 or www.groundhall.com.
I wanted to take a completely different direction from Nistyle, which was Latin, electro and pop. But this one I wanted to be more soulful with because I really love singing, and wanted to go in a different direction by showcasing the lyrics and interpreting them more soulfully.
C: You're an established, award-winning local artist. As far as the local music scene is concerned, you're what beginning artists aspire to be. How has your perspective on the scene changed from when you were first coming up?
KN: I entered the scene as a B-girl. That was my thing. I mean, I loved singing...but I still had stage fright and didn't perform until 17 or 18. I really had to grow the courage to do it. I remember getting onstage, and I would just shake and my voice would shake. It's cool because it's all energy.
There's that wise, experienced energy and then that fresh, young, hungry energy. I feel like I'm one of those artists that kind of bridges that energy because I haven't been around too, too long like the veterans, but I'm not a newcomer either.
C: Describe your FlyNice collaboration with DJ Fly Girl T.
KN: She and I were instant buddies, and we bonded on hip-hop. We'd share music, and then she started giving me instrumentals, and I was like: "Oh, I'm feeling this. I'm going to start writing to this." When J. Dilla died, we knew we had to make a mixtape. We have Volume 2 of the For the Love of mixtape following Nistalgia very shortly.
C: Is it true that you're moving to L.A.?
KN: Yes. It's sort of a personal goal-slash-selfish effort. I've been here my entire life. I want to break out and not necessarily go to get discovered and blow up. I could come back with my tail tucked between my legs and hoping that my hometown will welcome me back with open arms. But I'm really just doing it because I want to do some soul-searching.
I just know that I can go over there and be more involved in the industry. Houston's not a city for music. It's not, realistically. I've been doing it, and I'm so blessed by all my support here. I'm scared, but I figure now's the best time. I'm single and I don't have kids, so there's nothing holding me back.
The Houston Press and our music blog Rocks Off made national news of sorts last week when Stone Temple Pilots postponed the rest of their fall tour following the grunge-rockers' September 19 concert at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. STP front man Scott Weiland, our reviewer Craig Hlavaty wrote, "seemed off mentally, a little too meandering and talkative, bringing up his own past drug and alcohol abuse," adding that he thought Weiland's bizarre behavior did not diminish the band's performance. (Many online commenters on our review felt otherwise, however.) Web sites for Rolling Stone, Spin, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Pollstar, Spinner, Stereogum, ArtistDirect, ShockHound and Press sister paper Phoenix New Times all referred to or quoted Hlavaty's review in their reports. According to STP's Web site, the "re-routed" tour will resume October 8 in Tampa, Florida. The scratched El Paso and Lubbock dates have not been rescheduled, but Austin and Corpus Christi have been reset for October 22 and 23, respectively.
Vinal Edge Records
13171 Veterans Memorial Dr., 281-537-2575
1. Blonde Redhead, Penny Sparkle
2. Boris & Ian Astbury, BXI
3. Of Montreal, False Priest
4. Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg
5. Nurse With Wound, Second Pirate Session
6. Swans, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
7. Various Artists, Afro-Beat Airways — West African Shock Waves: Ghana & Togo 1972-1978
8. On, Something That Has Form and Something That Does Not
9. Black Angels, Phosphene Dream
10. Dungen, Skit I Allt
1. The Black Keys, "Tighten Up"
2. Kings of Leon, "Radioactive"
3. David Gray, "A Moment Changes Everything"
4. Brandon Flowers, "Crossfire"
5. Michael Franti & Spearhead, "Sound of Sunshine"
6. Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs, "Beg, Steal or Borrow"
7. Sara Bareilles, "King of Anything"
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8. Jack Johnson, "At or With Me"
9. The Dirty Edge feat. Rome Ramirez, "Lay Me Down"
10. Train, "If It's Love"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)