R&B singer Niia Bertino is a quiet exercise in inclusivity. Rooted in formal music education with a readily apparent love for classic R&B, her sophisticated take on contemporary soul ranges from traditional to something more trip-hop influenced. Teaming up with Robin Hannibal of LA’s Netflix-and-chillwave collective Rhye, Niia’s debut album, I, simmers with elements of Fleetwood Mac, Al Green, and a cameo from Jazmine Sullivan on the standout single “Sideline.”
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Bertino, raised in an Italian household in Massachusetts, is also unabashedly passionate about the legendary HBO mob series, The Sopranos.
“The Sopranos has been my biggest obsession for a while now, which inspired two of my fans to reach out to start Poda Bing together—the name is an ode to Bada Bing strip club,” Niia reveals. “Each episode of the podcast, we analyze an episode of the show—the hidden references, history, easter eggs, etc. It gives us and the listeners a chance to relive the show years after it ended.”
The singer walks it like she talks it, eager to share her love for the series as passionately as she shares her music.
“[Writer/producer] David Chase is a creative genius,” the singer raves. “I grew up with The Sopranos. It’s a constant reference and inspiration for my music and visuals. The show just feels like home…minus some of the killing,” she adds jokingly. “I have an iPad dedicated to playing the show almost 24/7, and two tattoos: ‘TONY SOPRANO’ on my left forearm, and a ‘3’ on my hand that’s a constant symbol in the show.”
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