Interview: Nyree Huyser says her debut album is a “raw and exposed presentation of me”

“This album is a plethora of genres and styles as I experiment with what kind of music I want to ultimately create.” 

Nyree Huyser blessed us with feel-good anthems and sad bangers on her debut album ‘Fixing Heads and Chasing Tails’.

Arriving last week, the nine-track collection sees The Voice finalist occupy a spotlight that’s wholly her own, tracing her from moments of hardship and triumph with a spirit of sonic versatility. 

Nyree Huyser 'Fixing Heads and Chasing Tails'

“This album in particular is in fact a raw and exposed presentation of me finding myself as an artist,” Huyser tells us of the creative force behind the record.

Below, we caught up with the singer-songwriter to dive deep into her artistic process, her post-The Voice evolution, and how “everyone deserves to feel inspired and to feel good about themselves.”

Scroll down for the full interview, and listen to ‘Fixing Heads and Chasing Tails’ below. 

HAPPY: Tell us a little about where you live, what do you love about it?

NYREE: I am currently living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Originally from Scotland, Christchurch feels like home – just a little bit sunnier!! I do miss the hustle and bustle of Sydney though (where I was based while filming The Voice Australia).

My favourite thing about Sydney was the way of life and the people. Healthy eating, fresh air and getting exercise is easy to do in the centre of the city – it was good for my soul! I fly back regularly for work and I would love to someday live there. 

HAPPY: Can you tell us about your musical journey? When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?

NYREE: I have always loved to sing, since before I could talk! However, the first time I realised I wanted to pursue a career in performing I was 12 years old.

My Dad had a white work van he would pick us up in to go out for the day and I remember on one of our drives asking him if he thought I sounded like Kylie Minogue before then proceeding to break out into a rendition of ‘I Should Be So Lucky’!

The look on his face as I sang was proof enough that maybe this was something I was really good at!

Nyree Huyser 'Fixing Heads and Chasing Tails'

HAPPY: What does your typical songwriting process look like? Do you have any rituals or routines that help you get into the creative zone?

NYREE: I find when I sit down to write music I get a complete mind block. In reality my creative ideas will often come to me at the most random and often inconvenient times and I need to stop everything and listen to them.

Voice recorder and notepad apps are my best friends in the creative process as being a mum of 3 it’s not always possible to drop everything and run with an idea.

I jot down the lyrics that enter my head or record a rough melody on my phone then when I have time I sit down and piece them together.

I recently released a Christmas single ‘I Remember Christmas’ that was written in 20 minutes in my pyjamas while cleaning the kitchen – that’s rock and roll folks!! 

HAPPY: How do you feel you’ve evolved as an artist from your time on The Voice to now? Are there any aspects of your artistry that you feel have changed the most?

NYREE: I feel this album in particular is in fact a raw and exposed presentation of me finding myself as an artist. For years I have been afraid to let down my guard and to write music that I enjoy without fear of judgement or criticism.

This album is a plethora of genres and styles as I experiment with what kind of music I want to ultimately create and features many melodies and lyrics that have been locked away in a vault for a very long time.

Being on The Voice was an invaluable experience for me – it rekindled a fire in me that I thought had been extinguished with becoming a mother.

On the show I laid everything out for the world to see – my dreams, my fears, my passions. I made myself vulnerable for the first time ever and sang with my heart and soul instead of my head.

The Voice has given me the bravery I needed to begin finding myself in this new chapter. 

Nyree Huyser 'Fixing Heads and Chasing Tails'

HAPPY: Are there specific lessons or moments that influenced your songwriting or performance on this album?

NYREE: Last year I participated in a songwriting camp where I heard one piece of advice that has stuck with me ever since and unlocked a whole new side of the creative process for me – “give your bad ideas their day”.

What this means is don’t think about how good or bad an idea is as you are writing it, just write it!

Once it is finished, it could end up being something brilliant, something you can perhaps use in a different way, or it could end up utter rubbish that you can screw up into a little ball and figuratively evict from your mind to make space for better ideas.

For me this piece of advice took away any fear I had in getting started and gave me so much more freedom to just create without restriction.

HAPPY: How did you come up with the title ‘Fixing Heads and Chasing Tails’? What does it signify to you?

NYREE: When I was thinking about a title for this album, my first thought was heads and tails on a coin. This for me signified how I felt about the ongoing mental flip between contentment and depression or anxiety – what side of the coin would I get today?

Then I thought about the purpose of this album, not only for me but for those who listen to it. Throughout my journey I have gotten closer to happiness and to “fixing” what I feel was broken in my head for a very long time.

Chasing tails represents how I am working so hard to create the career for myself that I always wanted, all while being a mother of 3 children and running my own teaching business to earn enough money to make music. 

HAPPY Your album is noted for its vulnerability and candour, especially on topics like mental health and self-doubt. How did you find the courage to share these personal experiences so openly, and what do you hope listeners take away from these themes?

NYREE: I feel it is incredibly important to talk about mental health in society today. We are all human and no one is expected to feel happy and content all of the time.

In the age of social media especially it is easy to compare yourself to a distorted view of someone else’s success or happiness.

By being open about my own struggles with mental health, albeit difficult and daunting for me, it helps people to see that it’s ok to not be ok and it’s ok to ask for help and support. I also want to give people hope that things can get better.

HAPPY: Can you share the inspiration behind the opening track, ‘By The River,and what it represents in the context of the album?

NYREE: The inspiration for By The River came from when I had found myself in a particularly dark place and was literally crying out for help.

The song is about escape, to a safe space, to family, to God, to whatever speaks to you most in your darkest times.

In the context of the album: self-worth is an ongoing journey and we are all still vulnerable, so it is important to surround yourself with people who love and support you, to have faith either within yourself or in something more and, above all, in times of trouble to give yourself space and care to get better – to take yourself “by the river”.

HAPPY: With your debut album now released, what’s next for you? Are there any upcoming projects, tours, or goals you’re excited to pursue?

NYREE: Now that the album is released I can get stuck into what I enjoy most – performing live!

I have a few local shows planned and if my budget allows I would love to do a tour of Australia, New Zealand and possibly the UK in 2025, hitting venues in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and my original hometown Glasgow.

After that I want to start writing a second album and continue to further establish myself as an artist.

HAPPY: Lastly, what makes you happy?

NYREE: Making a difference in someone’s life makes me happy.

Whether it’s my children, family, friends or a complete stranger, everyone deserves to feel inspired and to feel good about themselves. If I can have even a small part in helping that happen I will be a very happy lady!