Nina Nesbitt Tackles a Justin Timberlake Classic to Beautiful Effect

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We originally championed Nina Nesbitt as the Britney Spears of our generation, but maybe she’s a little bit more the Justin Timberlake of our generation. As part of the Spotify single series, the Scottish singer-songwriter has released her rendition of the infamous Spears and JT breakup hit, “Cry Me a River,” in addition to an acoustic version of her recently released single “Loyal to Me.”

The newly unveiled version of “Loyal to Me” and “Cry Me a River” both beautifully showcase Nesbitt’s intrinsic talent for leveraging her empathic vocal range to create an inimitable feeling of beautiful vulnerability. On “Loyal to Me,” as she sings of unfaithful lovers, the stripped back rendition allows for the song to reach a new powerful intensity. Less a woe is me track and more of a warning to the unfaithful, the straightforward instrumentation underscores the sentiment to wonderful effect.

On the acoustic version of “Loyal to Me,” Nesbitt shared  

“‘Loyal to Me’ started very stripped back so I wanted to showcase this in the singles session. I’ve always wanted to perform with a choir and with all the harmonies in the track it seemed like the perfect moment. I feel like you can really hear the lyrics in the stripped arrangement and the choir give it a new energy.”

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Tackling a song that defined the era of the ‘00s, Nesbitt’s cover of “Cry Me a River” reminds us yet again how heartbroken all of us felt upon hearing the news that our favorite couple were no more. Turning the song into a downtempo piano ballad, the song feels as fresh as the first time we heard the original nearly 16 years ago. As Nesbitt’s impassioned vocals soar across each key press, one could be fooled into believing that either one of the denim-clad stars of the ‘00s broke her heart just the other day.  

Speaking on her rendition “Cry Me a River,” Nesbitt shared,

“‘Cry Me a River’ is one of my favourite 00s songs. I wanted to pick a song that was well known, a classic pop hit and turn it into my own style. I love that I could get 3 vocal octaves in there throughout the song and the melodies gave plenty of room to play around. The lyrics of the song are actually really sad and emotional, so I wanted to make a version that showcased that.”

While there is still debate as to whether Nesbitt is the Timberlake or Spears of our generation, one thing is for certain. She is certainly a pop star in the making.

Listen to “Loyal to Me” and “Cry Me a River” below:

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