One of the first songs Nina de Freitas ever wrote was about an avocado.
Specifically, she was inspired by an avocado that had been kicked off its tree and eaten by the people it considered family.
“It was about an avocado just kind of lamenting the end of its life,” de Freitas recalls. “I’ve always been pretty dramatic.”
When she wrote the song, which she called “No More Avocado,” she was 9. And she’d been writing little songs for four or five years at the time. She says a life of music was “inevitable” after growing up with musical parents.
So by the time she released her first EP in 2017, de Freitas felt like she had been doing this for awhile. It makes sense, in a way, that as soon as she burst onto the scene, people noticed.
The Brazil native and Colorado-based singer-songwriter is probably best known as the frontwoman of Nina and the Hold Tight. Shortly after officially launching in March 2018, all sorts of buzz surrounded the band. They quickly got gigs opening for established Colorado bands. They got local radio play and a nice shout-out from NPR, which wrote that the singer’s powerful voice “soaks and snags on all the right words.”
On stage at Denver and Colorado Springs clubs, de Freitas and the guys started to see “familiar faces that we didn’t know.”
“We were embraced very warmly and quickly,” de Freitas said. “It was very validating to put ourselves out there and be embraced.”
And that happened despite only releasing two songs under the name Nina and The Hold Tight.
“It was the right place, right time,” she said. “It was just people hearing the music and liking it.”
She played a solo show at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, which she calls a “personal milestone.”
“I’ve always wanted to play there,” said de Freitas, who moved to Colorado Springs 15 years ago.
Even though the band was getting recognition, something didn’t feel right. Around the beginning of 2020, she decided to drop “the Hold Tight.”
“I was starting to lose myself as a songwriter,” she said. “I couldn’t write the way that I was used to. I felt I needed to go back to being just me.”
So that’s what she did, while staying close with members of The Hold Tight. She’s teamed up with some of them to record her upcoming album, which is expected to come out in the spring .
“I already see it as the best representation of me compared to anything else I’ve released,” she said.
Without shows amid the coronavirus pandemic, de Freitas has had more time to focus on writing and recording new music.
That has meant writing at least three songs a week, while working as a full-time nanny. She writes something every day.
A lot of her writing leans toward the subject of “heartbreak and stupid boys.”
At 30, she’s also writing songs reflecting on herself and the world, like a recent one inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. One thing hasn’t changed since de Freitas was a little girl: She finds inspiration everywhere.
“My philosophy has always been to write whatever comes out,” she says. “I just write everything.”