Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter!

Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Best student musician: Nica Albertson

Jordan Tovin | Staff Photographer
Nica Albertson, a senior studying geography and music, has been writing songs since she was 11.

Readers’ pick: Adam Pastel

Nica Albertson, a senior studying geography and music, has been writing songs since she was 11 – and she brings all the musical experiences of her life together in her music.

Albertson, whose debut album “Tender Hearted” released December 2021, said her music blends the works of jazz and folk icons she grew up listening to, like Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk, with the rhythms of classic Farsi chants – plus her own brand of cheesiness. She said she tries to combine reflective lyrics about thoughts or ideas she encounters in everyday life with a relatable, cozy feel set to folk and blues sounds.

“I think a lot of my music is typically a way to channel my empathy for others and so that it’s not just held within,” Albertson said. “So that’s usually the messages that come across. It’s some sort of reflection on a life experience or a thought or feeling.”

Albertson said despite drawing inspiration from her early experiences, her music has evolved since she first put pen to sheet music when she was 11. Her creative vision continues to broaden since releasing her first album as her current worldview evolves from her younger self. She said since college students change so much in a year or two, even the music she released just a year and a half ago represents a very young perspective compared to the ideas she is encountering now.

“I’m sure when you look back at photos of yourself from six months ago, it’s like, ‘Oh, my God,’” she said. “So it’s the same thing with the music.”

She said the release of her first album was not a solo venture – her friend, junior Joe Kwartin, who was studying music production when he worked with Albertson, assisted her with the more technical aspects of music production. She said the two of them spent large parts of summer 2021 in her parent’s guest bedroom playing guitar, singing songs and mixing audio levels on Kwartin’s computers.

Albertson said she has played at a few events in the District, including a performance for the Persian New Year at the Norooz Market in Northeast D.C. and a performance with fellow GW student music group Home Remedies at the DC9 nightclub. Albertson said beyond just being a good place to find collaborative partners, GW has given her an outlet to play in the music department, helping to further her musical ambitions.

“So I graduate this May, and being a student, you have an automatic outlet as a musician, and that’s your university,” Albertson said. “So it’s like, “Okay, what is next?’”

Though Albertson will soon lose that outlet as she graduates in May, she said she has one final GW performance coming May 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Flagg Building. As part of her senior capstone, she will perform a new set of unreleased songs she has in the works. She said she plans to stay in D.C. after graduating and record the songs she is performing as part of her senior capstone project for her music major over the summer to release them as an album.

Albertson said she wants to keep recording after graduation and continue to develop her sound as an artist.

“I’m going to stay here at least another year and perform as much as I can,” she said. “And I’m excited to keep setting up my music here in my apartment in Northwest and just record as much as I can and try to form a musical identity again.”

More to Discover
Donate to The GW Hatchet