Playing tight - getting a feel for good timing
Get to the top. Stand on the big stages. Get awards—the point that many musicians dream of was almost reached by musician Nemo at the tender age of 18. But despite what it sounds like, it was by no means the highlight of his career. A break followed, he searched for himself, changed genre, made a comeback, then another comeback. Nemo is back. He’s connected with himself, with his music and the world. New songs like “lonely af,” “own shit,” or "f*ck love” show off his new sound.
Nemo Mettler is a musical all-rounder. Whether playing piano, drums, or violin, singing or rapping, the Swiss artist has undeniable talent. At the age of 16 he made his first steps in the music industry and wrote so-called dialect songs. With titles like "Ke Bock" and "Du" he is becoming more and more popular:
Then everything happens very quickly: in 2018 Nemo wins five Swiss Awards. But he doesn't really feel good.
Success comes too quickly. From the fast lane, Nemo wishes he was back on the righthand, more leisurely lane of the autobahn. He wants to accept challenges, develop and change. And above all: He wants to be allowed to change. Nemo feels stuck in a box he just can't get out of. And he doesn't know if he's even in the right place here. His reaction is to retreat - and subsequently make a comeback under the stage name “Not Nemo.” He switches from dialect to English, the first songs like "Dance with me" show his new, more pop-oriented sound. But Not Nemo, his new stage name, is only part of the journey. Although the lightness of today can already be heard, Nemo has not yet found its new sound.
The musician quickly realizes: he put a "Not" in front of the name, but of course he's still Nemo. And so he does exactly the right thing: he calls himself Nemo again and allows himself to develop as such. Because a name shouldn't lock an artist into a genre, a style of dress, or values.
Also new at this time of the trip: Nemo is no longer just an artist, but also a songwriter and producer. Soon he starts writing and producing for artists like LEILA, Andrew Tufano, Jamba, Davey 6000 and Tobias Jensen.
In order to find and feel himself even more, Nemo crosses the big pond and moves from Berlin to LA. There he works on his new EP, and if you are to believe the first new songs, he already seems to have incorporated some of the American sound and LA lightness into his DNA.
Nemo has also changed on the outside. He risks more, stands by himself, and experiments. Whether it's a skirt or painted fingernails: Nemo shows that everyone can be what they want to be. “I dress how I feel in the morning. I wear a pink hat because I think it's cool. I paint my fingernails pink because it makes me happy. The last few years have helped a lot in getting me to a point where I can say, 'That's how I want to be and that's how I feel good', I think that's great," he said in an interview SRF.
Nemo seems to have found his sound. From dialect and rap, he found his way to become a Gen Y pop musician, who still skilfully incorporates his hip-hop roots here and there.
Riffs and melodies that put you in a good mood are joined by upbeat beats and tongue-in-cheek lyrics like “Now I got tears all over my cinnamon bun.” Nemo sometimes packs serious and important messages into feel-good songs and shows that everything doesn't always have to fit together perfectly or make sense to be good.
Nemo's unmistakable voice, which comes across as young and trendy, has evolved, becoming more confident and completing the artist's new sound. His songs are light and energizing at the same time. When you listen, you feel transported to a balmy summer evening at the lake as well as laughing during a day at the beach or dancing at a party.
This ease was also evident when writing the new songs: "lonely af" is said to have been created in just 20 minutes when he visited his sister in London. "I wrote 'lonely af' because I wanted to explore how our generation talks about depression and loneliness," says Nemo. “Often we tend to hide behind humor when we get too uncomfortable talking about our real feelings. Hence the contrast between the light-heartedly happy instrumental and the sad lyrics. My main goal when writing songs is to create little safe spaces where people can lose themselves and forget about everything else for a few minutes,” says the musician about his new sound.
We are excited to see what else awaits us on Nemo's journey. However, we are certain of one fact: Nemo is and will always be Nemo—and that's a good thing. His new EP will follow soon and will provide us with even more new Nemo sound.
Originally published on July 14, 2022, updated on October 5, 2022