Nina Maria Nastasia born May 13, 1966) is an American folk singer-songwriter. A native of Los Angeles, she first came to prominence in New York City in 2000 after Radio 1 disc jockey John Peel began giving her debut album, Dogs, airplay. The album earned Nastasia a cult following, and was re-released in 2004. Her fifth studio album release, You Follow Me , was a collaboration with Australian drummer Jim White of Dirty Three.
As of 2022, Nastasia has released a total of seven studio albums, each recorded by Steve Albini. Her musical style has been described as folk and country-influenced with neo-Gothic overtones, often featuring sparse acoustic guitar accompanied by string arrangements.
Nina Nastasia was born and raised in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California and is of Calabrian-Italian and Irish descent. As a child, she studied piano and often wrote short stories, but has said she had no aspirations of becoming a professional musician.
She began writing songs in 1993, and released her first album, Dogs, in 2000. Only 1,500 copies of the album were initially pressed, with Nastasia putting together the album packaging herself in her apartment. Nastasia sold them at her shows, quickly selling all of them. By the end of the year 2000, the album was out of print. Famed DJ John Peel took notice of the album after having been given a copy by Steve Albini. Peel began playing songs from it frequently on his radio show on BBC Radio 1. The album helped earn Nastasia a cult following.
Nastasia has released seven albums, one in collaboration with Jim White. Her first album, Dogs, was initially released in 2000 on Socialist Records. Her subsequent albums, The Blackened Air and Run to Ruin , were released on indie label Touch and Go Records, which also re-released Dogs in 2004, followed by a national tour; in CMJ, music journalist Kara Zuaro reviewed a live show promoting Run to Ruin, noting: "Nastasia hearkens back to a time when chamber music was a performed as a pastime for the players, rather than a spectator sport for the blue -blooded. When an audience applauds her live performances, she and her congenial New York City-based orchestra, minus the singing saw player who left to join the circus, turn to smile at each other."
In 2006, On Leaving was released on Fat Cat Records. In 2007, an album on which she collaborated with Jim White entitled You Follow Me was released through Fat Cat. All of Nastasia's albums to date were recorded by Steve Albini, who has ardently praised her music in a number of interviews. Nastasia subsequently recorded six sessions for late BBC disc jockey John Peel's show. The last one was recorded with the help of Tuvan throat singing group Huun-Huur-Tu. Two of Nastasia's songs were included in Peel's annual Festive Fifty: "Ugly Face" and "You, Her & Me" .