How Netta Heals from Heartbreak with Acts of Self-Love

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Netta, an Israeli singer/songwriter born Netta Barzilai, finds inspiration in everything. Her acceptance of all muses is partially due to her talent and determination, but it must also be partially credited to her childhood. The artist was born in Israel, and she spent several years of her youth in Nigeria. It was there, in a west African country, that Netta learned to welcome diversity—diversity of thought, people, and sound.

“I grew up in an international school,” Netta begins to tell American Songwriter. “There were seven kids in my classroom. One of them was Japanese… one of them was from Mexico, two of them were Nigerian, and one of them was English. And I was from Israel. So, there were so many accents [that] nobody had an accent, and there were so many colors and shapes. Nobody was different physically because everyone was different. 

“And I was experiencing music through the teachers who were teaching everyone’s culture. So we were celebrating everybody’s heritage. I grew up with Japanese music and Mexican Christmas songs and an African gospel on Sundays. This fusion of things made me who I am today,” she says.

Netta continued to develop her relationship with music as she moved through life, and curated her sound. Then in 2018, Netta won the fifth season of the Eurovision Song Contest with her song “Toy.” 

Now, a few years later, Netta has continued to push the boundaries of pop music and infuse it with her own perspective. Her latest release, the song “I Love My Nails,” is no exception. The track, which was released in early April, is wrapped in explosive vocals and a sound so sweet that you can almost taste the caramel glaze on each pop of sound. 

Photo courtesy of Shore Fire Media

Despite its upbeat nature, the song itself was initially inspired by rejection. “My heart got broken in a very, very orthodox way. [Heartbreak is] never nice but also very good fuel for songwriting,” she says. “And from a very confident, sexy girl, I became very insecure, very small. I didn’t think that I could be in that place again. So, I was figuring out how do I get myself out of there? How do I get back? I started doing stuff for myself.”

Netta started painting her nails, taking care of herself, and as she describes it, “showing up for herself.” 

But Netta didn’t stop at healing heartbreak. She wanted to help others through their heartbreak as well. So, Netta wrote the track with Soaky Siren in L.A. to be bold and unapologetic and bright. “The music of it is written in such an addictive way,” Netta explains. “And it has sadness and beat and this Disney kind of big grand opening in the chorus that has so much power and sweetness. It’s so childlike and yet mature and tribal. It’s a rain dance for self-love.”

Thought you were the sunlight
But now I know it’s in me
I don’t wanna love ya
I don’t wanna love ya
Wash you out with water
Baby, I love my nails
I, I love my nails

But why choose nails as the vehicle for self-love? “It’s the only thing you see about yourself when you walk out of your house,” Netta says of nails. She went even further to say that “your fingers are your business card.”

So, while we head out to the nail salon, check out Netta’s upcoming tour dates here.

Photo Credit: Eran Levi/Shore Fire Media

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