With their anthemic rhythm and accompanying thunderous beats, Nadine Bloch’s lyrics will grab you by the collar and plunge you into a new world of pop. A senior majoring in popular music performance, Nadine is a dynamic singer-songwriter marching her way into the Los Angeles music scene.
It comes as no surprise that Nadine was drawn to the siren’s call of music when she talks about her love for creating new melodies.
“I’m like a melodic-based person,” Nadine said. “Melodies come to me so easily. Like all the time, I’ll literally wake up in the middle of the night and have my voice memo out and just record the randomest thing ever.”
Nadine’s musical beginnings started at age 5 with musical theatre and piano and have grown to be largely influenced by the music she grew up with.
“Growing up, my parents would always play music from the ’60s and ’70s and Motown,” Nadine said. “And I always loved Motown so much, I was just so inspired by that.”
As she grew older, Nadine began to branch out into pop melodies. During high school, she joined a band, began writing her own music and traveled throughout Florida performing at festivals, restaurants and other social venues as entertainment.
“And then my dream was always to go to USC in the popular music program, so I did training for that basically my whole high school [career],” Nadine said.
Fast forward to today. Nadine is about to graduate in the spring from that very program she aspired to be in, with two singles and multiple industry connections.
“I got into the program not knowing what to expect, just because with musicians, it can get really cutthroat, especially when you’re in a small program and very competitive,” Nadine said. “But I literally found my best friends in the program.”
Nadine’s creative process is often a collaborative one, integrating the ideas of others she’s met during her time in the popular music program.
In fact, her newest release, “Three,” a “dark, wavy rock-pop” ballad was one Nadine co-wrote with FUN SUCKR, a band composed of Zoe D’Andrea, a junior majoring in popular music performance, and Samantha Short, a senior majoring in narrative studies and theatre, both of whom she met in USC’s popular music program. “Three” served as their first collaboration and was also “the beginning of our friendship as a trio,” according to FUN SUCKR.
“We love working with Nadine because she’s always a light in the session and consistently is a positive force,” FUN SUCKR said in an email to the Daily Trojan.
“Three” was born out of the trios’ mutual experiences. Their track centers around a love triangle, but contrary to expectation, the singer is the one inviting the triangle. Listeners will find elements of rock and, if they listen hard enough, undertones of trap. The alluring chorus sings “You, him, me, in the middle of a devil’s dream.”
“This song is not for the heartbroken but the heartbreakers,” Nadine said. “I wrote it from the perspective of me being in a relationship and then having my eyes on someone else.”
Her release dives into the female perspective, as a call to those who find themselves with their foot on the gas pedal rather than taking the back seat in their relationships.
“We literally wrote it in one night,” Nadine said. “We drank like the crappiest wine we could find at the Cal-mart next door to our apartment.”
As the three drank to shared sorrows and lost connections, the song took form. “Three” not only balanced multiple perspectives on love triangles but also powerful vocals with a forceful background track.
“[‘Three’] was just so important to us that we weren’t going to settle for the normal harmonies, we wanted to make it explode,” Nadine said.
Nadine’s writing mimics a juggling act, often weaving threads of rock into her pop beats.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Nadine participated in weekly performances as a part of the popular music program, and rock was one of her favorite genres to perform. These performances offered a taste of what Nadine’s world could look like beyond graduation. Surrounded by friends and family, one of the singer’s favorite songs to perform was “Barracuda” by Heart.
“It’s literally an aggressive rock song, something that I’d really never delved into,” Nadine said. “But pop made me go into that genre. [That] song really did it for me. I felt like a badass.”
The pop artist’s performances empower her, and listeners will find her songs do the same for them. Even Nadine’s first release — “My Way” — rings of female empowerment.
“It was like, let’s write a female empowerment … don’t-talk-to-me-at-the-club kind of song … unless you want something real,” said Alexis Kesselman, Nadine’s producer and co-writer. “I just don’t feel like I’ve heard that many songs [that say] ‘don’t walk over to me.’”
A recent graduate of the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, Kesselman works under EP Entertainment while writing songs of their own. The two first met almost a year ago, through a music manager connected to one of Kesselman’s former professors.
“I think the first session we wrote a song that she want[ed] to put out, so it was just great writing chemistry,” Kesselman said. “[The] writing just feels so much easier because it comes from a place of friendship.”
Nadine’s writing not only comes from a place of friendship with her co-writers but also with her audience.
“I love all my songs, because they’re true to me,” Nadine said. “But I also know that I go through things that other people go through as well. So it’s really important to me that people can relate to my songs and … are able to relate to [them].”
Her songs ring with a tone of authenticity uncommon in mainstream pop ballads. When asked who would enjoy Nadine’s music, Kesselman replied: “[Anyone] looking for a friend in music.”
Nadine’s charming personality not only reflects in her professional relationships but also in her public persona.
“I think there’s just something really special about the personality that we see in her music,” Kesselman said. “She’s not just the song. And she’s not just the brand. She gives you both, and that’s what I love about working with her.”
The two are currently working together on a few songs in Nadine’s upcoming senior project, an extended play. Those who have found themselves down in quarantine can look forward to a song Nadine holds close to her heart, an anthem of “You can do this, no matter what you’re going through,” which she wrote while cooped up in her house as a result of the pandemic.
Post-graduation, the artist plans to develop her career in L.A. and collaborate with many more artists.
“Once [the coronavirus] is over, I’m making L.A. my new playground, not just USC anymore … L.A. will be where I can showcase my songs and my voice and my personality,” Nadine said.
What kind of songs can we expect from Nadine once that happens? Definitely not anything you could easily box into one genre or perspective. Previously labeled a “pop princess,” the singer-songwriter hopes to tack “not your average” onto the front.
“I feel like sometimes … if you’re labeled as a pop princess, it’s not really in the best light,” Nadine said. “So [I want to change that from] a bad thing [for myself].”
If there’s anything that characterizes the singer, it’s her power to transform stories and genres into much more than their label.