Nancy Silva – Vocals, guitar
Rai Cruz – Guitar
Todd “Taz” Anthony Osterhouse – Bass
Raj Arenas – Drums
Onstage, raging on her Gibson Les Paul guitar, long blue hair flying, Nancy Silva spews powerful truths via the emotive, propulsive new single “Disconnected.” Addressing society’s “phone and screen addiction,” she passionately sings about “Losing sense of who we are / nobody cares what really matters anymore.” With lyrics about searching for a “purpose in this world” in “Disconnected,” it’s clear that Silva has found her purpose: Music and connecting with others via music. “Disconnected,” the first release from the highly anticipated Beside Myself EP, has already garnered airplay on top Texas station 99.5 KISS Rocks San Antonio, and the video has thousands of views. “Disconnected’s words and music meld for an important meaning: “It’s a message to be present to those around you. That’s so important,” Silva says. Sure, it may have been a couple of years since Nancy Silva Project put out the critically acclaimed and fan favorite album A Part of Me, produced by Bryan Scott from The Union Underground, but it’s clearly been worth the wait. NSP is back, and in true Texas style, bigger and better.
The five-song EP Beside Myself, which hits in August 2018, is the latest, and unarguably the best from this tight, heavy alternative-rock lineup. Produced by bassist Todd “Taz” Anthony Osterhouse at Blue Ocean Studios, songs like “Nowhere,” “Time” and “Drowning” lyrically both observant and personal, the music, a collaboration that’s created soaring, memorable and dynamic songs. The songs on Beside Myself are a product of years of hard work: The San Antonio quartet had been playing incessantly, with Nancy and Rai working tirelessly for the band both onstage and off. The band’s ultra melodic intensity has earned them coveted opening slots with bands including Papa Roach, the Toadies, Flyleaf, Lacey Sturm, Apocalyptica, Trapt, 10 Years, Chevelle, Drowning Pool, Lit, Stryper, Kittie, Stitched Up Heart, Wednesday 13 and numerous other top national acts.
“Nancy Silva Project is beloved by fans and peers from all walks of life, and Silva, as unassuming offstage as she is potent onstage, holds her own among the dude bands. “I’ve never experienced sexism in the music biz; I’ve been accepted as one of the musicians in the scene, not as a female musician.”
The songs on Beside Myself prove her more than worthy of that respect. A fan of bands including Breaking Benjamin, Sick Puppies, Foo Fighters, Deftones, Three Days Grace, Lacey Sturm, Paramore and Joan Jett, Silva’s own music is a unique amalgamation, propelled by her bell-clear, sweet-but-dark-and-powerful vocals. Born and raised in San Antonio, Silva, inspired by her brother picked up the guitar at the age of 9, and soon after was writing original songs and performing. She knew that this was her calling from the very first time she stepped on stage.
Nancy Silva Project put out its first effort, Letting Go, in 2009, but really gelled, lineup and sound-wise, in 2010. With a huge fans base in Texas and an acclaimed record, NSP decided it was time to hit the road. So, the do-it-yourself band rented a van and drove West to embark on a highly successful West Coast tour, which included impressive gigs at Hollywood’s infamous Whisky-A-Go-Go and the Cat Club. A Part of Me landed in 2013, ‘Yesterday,” an intensely personal song about the loss of her brother and sister, hit home with fans. “So many people have written to me on social media about my song “Yesterday” and how they can relate to it and how it has helped them in some way. I believe that the healing power of music is really strong.” Praise was quick to come for A Part of Me and NSP, as Hector Saldana from My SA Entertainment stated “One of the coolest, provocative hard rockers this city’s produced,” adding: “such melodic, driving originals are utterly pleasurable kicks to the head.”
They make lasting friends and fans everywhere they play, and those life experiences and emotions are poured into Beside Myself. “This time I wanted to focus more on what was going on in the world, a bigger picture, less personal. Silva says that she tends to “write personal and kind of depressing songs."
Indeed, Silva’s great strength is her honesty and compassion, which is clear in her lyrics. In the last several years, with many musicians speaking out about depression and mental health issues, and the awful uptick in musician suicides, the stigma in artists speaking out about personal issues has lessened. And Silva herself uses music to express and work through her struggles with anxiety and depression, reaching fans with similar feelings. In fact, the new song “Nowhere” is super-empowering. Silva may sing “Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide,” but the end of the bridge of the song is triumphant as she states, “I’ll fight ‘til I win.”
“When you have anxiety and depression you have to fight and not give up,” Silva says. Her passion to help herself and others through music is clear in every song on Beside Myself. On “Together,” Silva had observed the horror of school and other tragedies, and looks at the positive, singing, “Together we can change the world.” The world is a tough place, but Nancy Silva Project’s topical music helps deal with it. The EP title, in fact, refers to the overwhelm so many feel dealing with both every day and extraordinary pressures. When listeners realize that the singer of a successful band deals with issues similar to the ones they experience, to fans Silva often becomes an inspiration, showing that persistence and hard work pays off.
“I find the strength to get up and do what I have to do, and others can too. It’s such a relief for me to get lost in my music, and I think others find that too,” she says. The release of Beside Myself has NSP perfectly poised for even bigger success: “We want to play as much as possible so that people can hear and relate to our music all over the world,” states Silva. “There's no better feeling than playing live and making new friends and fans.”
(Bio by Katherine Turman)