Nadia Reid Talks The Highs & Lows Of Touring

Nadia Reid has had a massive 2017. When she first burst onto the scene in 2014, she struggled to even find a record label for her debut album. Fast forward three years, and she’s released a highly acclaimed second album, toured the globe and played live on Jools Holland.

Reid recently talked to The Spinoff about the realities of touring so much, and how she coped with spending more than two and a half months on the road in 2017.

Explaining a show that she had to cancel midway through because of sickness, she said, “I’ve learnt that I have to take care of myself, which I wasn’t really doing. I was doing about three people’s jobs and trying to do it all myself and I got sick because it was too much. So that was a great lesson. Health is really key. It never dawned on me like that.

“You don’t think of health and an important part of music until you’re doing it in a way where there’s this expectation. You’ve sold a lot of tickets or you’ve got ten people to pay. That’s only just happened to me in the last 18 months where it has become a business and if I’m sick, everything is [messed] up. Even on this big European tour, which was probably a little bit too big, if I’m sick it’s not going to happen and we’re not going to get paid or people are going to be disappointed.”

She also explained her lowest point of the year, which hit her while she had a day off in Oslo in the middle of her tour. Reid said, “I’m 99% sober on tour and sober in life and for some reason, I was like, “I’m going to have a margarita and a Valium.” It was a night off in Oslo and we were staying in this horrendous accommodation. It was like a hospital room. And so I had the margarita and the Valium and was like “OK, this is great, this is just what I needed”. And the next day I had this horrendous panic attack as was walking around. I went and sat in a church, just trying to get out of it. I ended up calling a friend in New Zealand at 4am, just being like “Help me. I have to end the tour, I want to come home.” In tears, y’know. Then I got back to the hotel and talked to my tour manager saying I needed to end the tour. He was like, “I think you need a big sleep, Nadia. And you’re hungry and you need a cup of tea.”

She then explained that her guitarist Sam was in the room while she was in hysterics, saying, “Sam had done a lot of counselling courses and he came and sat next to me and said, “Nadia, what’s really going on?” And I told him. And there were tears. And I calmed down and I played the show and I said, “Okay, I think I’m going to finish the tour, guys.” I just sorted myself out.”

Watch Reid performing on Jools Holland below, and read the full Spinoff piece here.