1 Getting signed

I FIRST signed with Universal. I think I was 17 or 18. I was living in a little village called Balerno. That completely changed my life in so many ways. Just going from YouTube videos to being on a major label and hearing myself on the radio and stuff like that. It’s also how I met my boyfriend of seven years. We met in the office of the label. It’s crazy.

2 Taylor Swift

I DIDN’T have a musical family so I grew up mainly with chart music and vocal divas like Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. And then with my Swedish mum there’s a lot of pop music in there too.

I’ve always loved singing, but I couldn’t really dance so I found it hard to relate to those pop stars. And then I heard Taylor Swift (below) when I was 15. I sat in the back of music class at school and I think they had the radio on and I heard Love Story and I thought “who is this?”

The National:

I couldn’t believe she was so young and writing her own songs, I instantly was just like – I know that this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. So I went and learned guitar by learning her songs. And things went from there.

3 Moving to London

I MOVED to London when I was 17 and looking back now that’s actually crazy. I was still a kid. But I felt ready. I was desperate to leave the village and see the world and it was such a shock. I think it made me more confident. It made me who I am.

I think when you grow up in Scotland, people are generally just so lovely and they don’t have agendas and stuff like that, and moving to a big city anywhere, you’ve got to have your wits about you.

The National: Nina Nesbitt said moving to London allowed her to meet people from all over the worldNina Nesbitt said moving to London allowed her to meet people from all over the world (Image: PA)

That definitely was like a crash course in how to deal with social situations. And I got to meet people from all over the world. It was really inspiring and really cool.

4 Being a gymnast

I WAS training in the Scottish team to go to the Commonwealth Games. Sadly, I didn’t quite make the cut. But I used to train literally five days a week. It was really intense. And I got to quite a good level. I absolutely loved it.

READ MORE: Grammy-winning musician Jacob Collier on 10 things that changed his life

I think it showed me what drive was and what my ambition was like. I think I’ve channelled that sort of drive and ambition into music instead after stopping gymnastics.

It really showed me if you work hard enough at something, you do actually get results. It was a huge turning point in my life.

5 Learning to cook

BEFORE lockdown and before Covid, I had no hobbies whatsoever – it was all music. I just thought, “I don’t have time for anything else”.

And then when lockdown hit I thought I needed to do something. I started Hello Fresh and Gusto. I only ate beige food. I ate no vegetables. I was so boring with what I ate.

The National:

But learning how to cook from scratch, what flavours go together and what foods go well, it’s amazing and I absolutely love it.

I cook every night now. It’s been like a therapy for me. It’s been healthy to get away from music for an hour a day.

6 Learning Swedish

IT’S definitely changed my life in a few ways. First is actually understanding what my gran says and hearing her stories and hearing the conversations she and my mum have. And just exploring that side of my family before.

I made the album Alskar over in Sweden. I think it’s always interesting when you have parents from two different places and delve into the two different sides of you.

I’m still not fluent. I’ve learned it’s very, very hard, but I’m getting there.

7 Guided meditation

I HAVE always experienced anxiety and had really bad panic attacks in high school. But guided meditation is something that I’ve always come back to whenever I’m feeling stressed.

I found it to be so helpful in so many ways by either chilling out if I’m really busy or feeling a bit wired or if I’m thinking what I want to do next.

The National: Nina Nesbitt said she has suffered with anxiety throughout her lifeNina Nesbitt said she has suffered with anxiety throughout her life (Image: Nina Nesbitt)

I do a lot of visualisations of what I want to achieve and where I want to go, stuff like that. I think it’s easier to make things happen after visualising them, if that makes sense.

8 The Sun Will Come Up, the Seasons Will Change

THIS album changed my life in so many ways. I got dropped from Universal and I just became a songwriter for a couple of years, and absolutely loved it. And then through that, I thought, “I’ve got some cuts with other artists and I’ve got a few songs I want to put out so I’ll do another album”.

The National:

I just want to make an album I love, you know? Make the album that I’ve always wanted to make. So I put it out and I had no expectations, and then it ended up doing really well. And it’s had like a billion streams now and I got to tour the world. I went to places I never thought I’d get to see. That was a pivotal moment in my life.

9 Dyson Airwrap

THIS is a recent one and it’s quite superficial but it’s totally changed my life. You just dry your hair with it and it curls your hair. It’s so quick. It looks like you’ve had a blow dry. It’s so lifechanging when you’re on tour.

10 Cutting my hair off

I KNOW a lot of girls who had really long hair in their teens and then when you hit your early 20s you have that haircut that says “I’m an adult now, I’m grown up”. I had that moment when I was 21. I had such long hair. And one day, I was just like, “f*** it, I’m going to cut it all off”. I felt like I changed in that moment. I’ve had short hair since. I felt like I was taken more seriously. I love it.