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Alumni Spotlight: Nahre Sol - Creating Her Own Online Wonderland

Alumni Spotlight: Nahre Sol - Creating Her Own Online Wonderland


GGS Alumna Alice Hwang (2018-19 New Music Fellow, ADP ’17, piano), better known as Nahre Sol, has had a meteoric rise in popularity in the past four years, in no small part to her extremely successful self-titled YouTube channel. With 421K subscribers and videos with over 1 million views, Nahre breaks down stylistic elements of classical composers, dissects popular music styles, and showcases piano practice techniques all through the lens of a classically trained composer and pianist. The magic? Making these complex concepts as approachable to amateurs as to professional musicians. Nahre’s success has translated into collaborations with WIRED Magazine and the release of her debut album of original works for the keyboard, “Alice in Wonderland.” Sounds Like GGS! caught up with Nahre from her home in Los Angeles. 

Sounds Like GGS!: What drew you to creating a YouTube channel? 

Nahre Sol: I was drawn to the idea of merging two worlds I love -- visuals and music.  I love handling cameras and making things -- at one point I was freelancing as a photographer and graphic designer.  Making YouTube videos allows me to combine this with my original music and teaching.  I also like the fact that you create your own rules when it comes to how you would like to create your video.  

My main series include “How to Sound Like…” where I break down composers’ styles and recreate them using the “Happy Birthday” melody on the composers’ birthdays, “As Digested by a Classical Musician…” where I immerse myself in a new genre and document my process of writing a piece influenced by it. 

Nahre Sol’s YouTube Channel: Happy Birthday in the Styles of 10 Classical Composers

Sounds Like GGS!: What impact has social media had on your career as a composer and performer? 

Nahre Sol: It allows me to find my own audience, like any other artist that puts their material out into social media. I think my music and my style of work may be hard to “place” in traditional settings so it has helped me pave out my career in my own way as well. More so than social media itself, I think the video medium has helped me showcase my work better than other mediums. 

Sounds Like GGS!: You have mentioned in your videos that your content creation is very much linked to your personal practice. How has that manifested in the past year?  

Nahre Sol: During the past year, I started to shift my focus more towards composition over performance. For example, when I was recording my album of original works last year, I put a pause on doing many other types of videos other than those that showcase my compositions. Then when I was writing a piece for piano and orchestra, I made a video about that and concentrated on learning about orchestration. I am sure when the time comes that I am preparing for concerts, my videos will shift gears again back to practice and performance related material. 

Nahre Sol’s YouTube Channel: What I'm Learning About Orchestral Writing (both MIDI and LIVE)

Sounds Like GGS!: Your videos create a real senses of community – not only with your subscribers but also with other YouTube creators. What have you learned form the YouTube community? 

Nahre Sol: I feel that everyone embraces each others’ different styles, strengths, and contributions to the YouTube platform. Everyone is also very open and willing to collaborate because not only is this healthy for creating videos, it is quite enjoyable for us all.  The nature of the platform allows for viewers to seek out the videos and video creators that suit their personal taste and interests, which is usually a wide mixture of things, so there is space for everyone and all types of content. 

Nahre Sol’s YouTube Channel: Bebop, As Digested by a Classical Musician

Sounds Like GGS!: What upcoming projects are you looking forward to the most? 

Nahre Sol: I have been working on some projects in the video game and film music industry, and this has been a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to when these are released, since it will be neat to see and hear my music in a completely different format than I am used to. I am also looking forward to being able to perform some ensemble and piano & orchestra pieces that I have written recently once concerts start up again in full force. 

Nahre Sol working at home with her frequent practice companion, Bobby

Sounds Like GGS!: What advice do you have for other musicians hoping to broaden their social media presence? 

Nahre Sol: Post about things that you genuinely care about and are passionate about - this will go farther than trying to catch onto what seems “trendy.”  This will also build your voice and make you stand out for being you.  It sounds cliché, but it is true… If you try to emulate other things and styles too much, you might get mixed into what is ultimately perceived as “generic.”  Take most of your notes from your last post, and less so from others. Of course, definitely see what works in terms of how others approach social media posting - this will help you understand the algorithms of the platform. However, observing how minor improvements you make from post to post affect or do not affect the outcome. Lastly, not all views and likes are weighed the same, so do not get caught up in it.  It depends on who is paying attention, since this will ultimately lead to finding opportunities for work and collaboration.

Learn more about Nahre by visiting her website and listening to her album on Spotify. 



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