Nyla XO Delivers The Summer Pick Me Up You Didn’t Know You Needed With “Done Being Sad”

Independent singer songwriter and producer Nyla XO delivers her highly anticipated single “Done Being Sad,” on August 10th following her most recent 2020 release, “Summer Days.” In the two years since “Summer Days” familiarized listeners with her genre-bending sound, Nyla XO has had “Done Being Sad” culminating behind the scenes to give listeners the striking, up-beat summer pick me up they didn’t know they needed in 2022. The artist also has a music video set to release in tandem with the track on August 10th.

At its core, “Done Being Sad” is a lifeline for listeners to cling to in moments of sadness, depression, and self-doubt that can oftentimes leave us feeling stuck and hopeless. This anthem is a reassuring ray of sunshine reminding listeners that regardless of how down they might feel, they always have the power to get back up. Listeners can expect to hear influence from artists like Alessia Cara, Tori Kelly, and Tayla Parx throughout “Done Being Sad.”

Nyla created “Done Being Sad” over many months with the final mix coming together after experimenting with multiple versions. Nyla XO worked closely with her husband, who led production for this project, to cultivate the empowering and energetic feel on the final mix. The two were proud to create “Done Being Sad” from start to finish in their personally owned Chicago studio, Mix Kitchen, with everything from the writing, to the production, to the visuals created in-house. Listeners can expect to hear a track rooted in self love, perseverance, and overcoming even our most daunting hardships.

“Done Being Sad” gives listeners the inspiration to lift themselves up out of the trenches, even if only for a moment, and say “you know what? I’m done being sad too.” We had the chance to speak with Nyla about the sentiment behind the track, and how music and art can be sources of healing during tumultuous times, such as a pandemic.

Tell us about your new single ‘Done Being Sad’. What is the story behind it?

I wrote this song as I was coming out of a season of depression where I had felt lost, unmotivated, and just really really sad. I had been going to a therapist and when I started seeing some changes, I wanted to shout from the rooftops “I’M DONE BEING SAD!” As we all know though, it’s not always that easy, and it definitely takes work to continue to see the changes. Even still, I wanted to write a song that was celebratory and captured every part of that journey. 

The past 2 years have been quite rough for so many people. How can your track bring some healing or encouragement to people still struggling? 

I hope that my honesty makes someone out there feel less alone. Throughout the song I share what that process looked like for me – from the negative thoughts, to losing hope, to getting therapy, to realizing how unstoppable I am – it’s all in there. Even when I declare “I’m Done Being Sad” in the chorus, I’m writing from a perspective of not having all the answers, but holding on to the hope that I have the power to come out of the place I was in. So don’t feel like you need to be perfect or change overnight, be patient with yourself.

What are some of the events in your life you can point to where you’ve had to find resilience to get through? 

There are a few, but two moments that really stick out in my mind are when I first decided to quit college to pursue music full time, and when the pandemic happened. When I left school, I was met with the harsh realization that I was my own boss and that it was up to me to see my career through. Now on one hand, that’s the dream, but it’s also a lot of pressure. So in that first year out of school, I didn’t know what to do with all my free time. I knew there was work to be done, but had no clue where to start. That feeling was really tough for me and I ended up becoming extremely depressed. Fortunately, I had the encouragement and help of my family to get me to a place where I could feel confident again, get on a schedule and see it through!

Up until today, locking in a consistent schedule is something that I still struggle with, so when the pandemic came around, it was tough to get adjusted at first, but it ultimately ended up being a really good time for me creatively. Admittedly, the hardest part was just the lack of income. Because my husband and I are both musicians, we didn’t have anything else to fall back on. The only thing we could really do was have faith that God would continue to provide for us, and I’m happy to say that as challenging as it was, we were definitely taken care of, so that was a blessing. 

Can you tell us more about working with your husband on the track, and what it’s like to work together in your music career?

We always laugh because we’re often butting heads until the finish line…but once the song is done, we’re always like, “Wow that was so fun!” completely wiping out whatever feelings we had in the process, ha! Jokes aside, it really is awesome to work with my husband in music. Our workflow is usually me coming up with rough production ideas and essentially laying down a foundation, then handing it over to him to take it to the next level. It’s funny because the final version of this song is polar opposite from what we started with. The initial version was this nostalgic 70’s vibe, but eventually made its way to this high energy pop song. Aside from just admiring my husband’s musicality, it’s also super awesome to have someone to dream big with. He always challenges me to do better which is something that I always appreciate.

Tell us about working out of Mix Kitchen, the studio you own, and what your creative process is like there?

It’s been really amazing to have a studio to call our own. We partnered with the owners Sam Fishkin and Craig Snider at the start of 2021, and this is the first release of mine that was recorded here. It was awesome because we could come in and work however long we wanted and take our time throughout the whole process. If we heard a specific instrument on the track, we could call up a friend and have them come in and play the parts, it was amazing. One of the other owners, Sam, that I mentioned, also engineered and mixed the song. He was so fun to work with and is incredible at what he does. Nothing beats being able to do everything in-house, that’s for sure!

Where did your music career begin, and what have been some career highlights so far? 

My music career started back in Los Angeles where I was performing a lot as a solo artist, but playing keyboards for other artists. A few career highlights of mine would have to be touring for Betty Who, having a song of mine placed on one of my favorite TV shows, All American, and opening for Lawrence on Tour.

Who are your musical inspirations? 

I am really inspired by artists like India Arie because of how positive and honest her music is. And then you have artists like Alessia Cara and Kimbra, who I admire because of their versatility from song to song. I’m very similar in that my music is very genre-fluid. One song might feel neo-soul or singer-songwriter, but then the next may be a pop song. What really ties my songs together is my storytelling, the themes, and a lot of the vocal elements.

On social media you share a lot of clips of music you’ve written and even some previously unheard tracks. What is the best part about sharing music with your fans in this way?

You know, I used to have this idea that songs need to be kept top secret up until they’re actually released, but I now realize how much more fun it is to involve my fans earlier in the process. For one, you are able to get feedback right away and see what’s resonating, which is huge.  But it also helps to strip down this perfectionist mindset that often keeps us artists from releasing songs in the first place. We often struggle to release new music because we fear our songs aren’t “where they need to be.”

When you open the door and show listeners what you’re working on and they fall in love even through the imperfections, it’s very grounding. After all, if they can fall in love with a rough version of a song, imagine how much more they’ll love it when it’s done. So more than anything, it also offers some real accountability to get that music out sooner than later, and that is a true gift.

With so much craziness happening politically and culturally in the US right now, music and art can always be a source of happiness and healing. How do you hope your music, and especially this track, will be part of this? 

I like to think of this song as a declaration that things will be ok. As I mention in the song, while it may not look like it at the moment, we have the power and ability to find ourselves on the other side of things that are troubling us now. I know now more than ever there are a lot of things in this world that can bring us down, but from me to you, we can do this!

What is next on the horizon for you, and where can we stay up to date with all your new music?

Well I am releasing more music throughout the year which I’m incredibly excited about. I’m also in the process of lining up shows for next year so that I can start setting up some tours! A great way to connect with me is through my website www.nylaxo.com. You can find everything there and also get plugged into my email list where I’ll keep you posted on upcoming performances and releases.

Keep up to date on all things Nyla XO via her website, Instagram and Spotify accounts.

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