We all face road blocks and pit falls. I’ve had my fair share of them. I always look back on one particular poignant moment over 18 years ago, which is too long and crazy to share, when I thought my dreams were shattered and yet I fought. I found may way. I may still have struggles (in fact last week was a total mess if you want to know the truth) but I look back at the moments that were harder and I focus on how far I have come and I hold tight to those who inspire, encourage, and support me, and I always move forward. People talk about following their dreams and yet seem stuck in space. Stuck in time. Stuck between crisis, failures, or life’s hard-knocks while others soar to the clouds uninhibited, confident, sure that even if their fingers don’t quite touch the shiny silver outline of where their heart wants them to be – they make a promise to themselves to at least enjoy, appreciate, and really live the ride. I don’t know exactly why some people soar and some people stay stuck but my dream is for all of us to try, to live, to find our happiness, to be loved, to enjoy the journey, and I hope that this week of inspiration helps you as well as much as I know it will help me; as we continue on our way.
There are a few people in my life, close friends, dear family, that I turn to when I need that reminder that as I soar up towards those crazy dreams of mine that sometimes I might come crashing down. However, there’s always a lesson, always love, always a moment to learn and to thrive despite what we may face. So, please join me this week and be inspired!
Today I introduce you to my dear friend Nesta. I have known Nesta for years now. I’ve watched her grow, watched her soar, watched her struggle and always, always, watched her keep on climbing towards her passion, towards her dream. She radiates with her desire to express herself with her art, her drive, her fire, and her love is something I think of often when I personally am struggling. Nesta gives me strength with her talent and beauty and I know you will also feel the same warmth that I do when you meet her.
Nesta has worked hard for years in the crazy music industry; and she’s DOING IT with the release of her second album, appropriately named Levitate.
Without further ado, here’s Nesta!
Follow Your Dreams, by Nesta:“When we are children, our dreams occupy the majority of our mental framework. We dream who we will become. We imagine the adventures we will have. We chase after what we believe in with all of our might. Somewhere in the madness of growing up, our dreams take a back seat. We are constantly reminded that our dreamy paradigm may not be a sustainable or attainable one. The light on our dreams sometimes simmers to a soft glow and we accept that as the natural process of growing up. I made a decision to reject that as my reality and year by year the glow of my dreams has gotten brighter and brighter. This year I hope is the year I bask in the warmth of my dreams. So far, it looks like we are off to a good start! Dream Big, Dream Loud, and never let go of your destiny!”
Prepare to be captivated by Nesta. Winner of the 2012 Malibu Music Award for Best Pop Song, the Northern Californian native will pull you in with her breathy vocals and hooky lyrics. A natural singer songwriter, Nesta’s transition to electronic dance music was sparked by a friend who recognized her unique vocal style and flare for energetic performances. “I thrive in a high energy environment and somehow it actually helps me connect better with my audience. I think this is one of the reasons why I love EDM so much. It is a culmination of the most high energy people and songs all in one event. I love that people come ready to celebrate, dance, and lose themselves in the music.”
Raised in a small town in Northern California, Nesta began singing before she could talk. Growing up in a home where reggae, rock, and folk music was the soundtrack of her youth, her sound was inspired by many of the musical legends. Nesta creates a style that can be called a marriage of the meaningful emotional lyrics of artists like Bob Marley, the Beatles, Dylan, combined with the fierce high energy of artists like Madonna and Joplin.
A trained athlete, Nesta has made sport, nutrition, and exercise a big part of her life. She grew up in a family of boys and as a result became a fierce competitor. She spent much of her formative years training such disciplines as gymnastics, soccer, and swimming. At age 19 she embarked on an almost year long journey throughout Mexico and Central America with one goal in mind, to learn to surf. She was a natural water woman and after her year abroad, she soon moved to Maui to become one of the first surf female surf instructors on the island for Time Sherer of Goofyfoot Surf School. Nesta gravitated towards the heavy breaks and became a powerful surfer. She has spent much of her life traveling all over the world to feed her surfing addiction. She has also trained at the competitive level in Crossfit and was part of Robb Wolf’s Norcal Strength and Conditioning team that took 3rd place in 2009. Nesta states, ”I would consider myself an athlete and a musician. Both things define me as a person and I would never be happy without both sports and music in my life.” Don’t be fooled into thinking she is a tomboy though, one look at her collection of shoes and you realize she is a true fashionista and a girly girl all the way.
An avid Paleo and Primal subscriber, Nesta spends much of her time educating folks on the benefits of living a Primal existence. You can find her coaching for Primal Blueprint founder Mark Sisson at his annual PrimalCon events and Malibu immersion retreats. Nesta relays, “Living a Primal lifestyle helps me balance it all. I don’t think I would have the energy or mental fortitude that I have if it wasn’t for my chosen lifestyle. I just want to give back to others if I can to help them find a way to live a healthier existence.”
Nesta’s debut album “Fly Free” was written in 2010 while living in Nashville, Tennessee. She describes the songwriting process that compiled that album as a time of “letting go of the past and looking toward the future. It was a time of regeneration and new beginnings.” After a successful collaboration with Indaba music, Nesta began to explore the EDM genre and community with passion. “It made me completely rethink my approach to music and recognize the future and potential of the EDM genre as one that I want to be part of. It is a movement, not just a style. There is an entire culture around it and an amazing community that instantly made sense to me. Maybe it is from the many festivals I attended in my youth. I look out into the crowd and immediately recognize the love and spirit that is the true essence of what drew me to music. It feels like home to me.”
Currently living in LA, she is working with Freddy Emmit, a producer out of Sweden to provide an electro-pop sound for her forthcoming album which will release in the summer of 2013. Her experience working with Freddy Emmit has been energizing. Nesta relays, “The music industry is in such a unique situation right now. You can literally work with artists all around the world and never step foot into the same room. It makes collaborations and opportunities limitless. ”
Considering the ups and downs of the music industry, when asked why she chose music as a career, Nesta says: “I admire anyone who has the guts to make music their career. It is a path riddled with rejection and setback. It is also a path where is there is no real formula for success. You could work your entire life in the industry and never actually be successful in the traditional sense. People who choose music as a career really have no other choice. It is as if you have a pre-determined destiny. You cannot help but just do it. You wouldn’t know how to quit even if you tried. You are constantly driven to move forward, to create, and reject the notion that this is not meant to be. I honestly believe some people are just born with music in the blood. I don’t ever recall making a choice, just knowing that I would do it from a very young age.” It seems no mere coincidence that “Nesta” a nickname for her birth name Vanessa, was also Bob Marley’s middle name. We think it is a sign that music is her right career path.