Nertila Haxhia, aka Lissus Tilka is a singer, writer and a human rights activist. She studied International Relations and Law, and has been an active voice for women rights, and women fighting cancer. She is the author of four books, that focus on the role of women, and philosophy essays. Currently, Nertila works as as a teacher and is following her passion, singing and playing guitar. She recently released her music video “Ska Me Ne“, directed by Eris Nikolli, and is working on her debut album.
London Prestige Interview with Musician Lissus Tilka
London Prestige: What is your music background? Do you write your own songs?
Lissus Tilka: I mostly write songs, for myself and other artists. I have been fortunate that my songs have competed in many national singing competitions. I am returning to my passion – singing, after taking a long break for ten years and focusing in my family life.
During these past 10 years, I made and wrote songs which I was passionate about and I followed my heart.
London Prestige: How important is image as an artist?
Lissus Tilka: Image is an important part to the artist’s career and success in long term. But everyone defines and understands it differently depending on the social norms and views. For me, it is important to be original, and establish your own unique artistic image. And to always be happy and be at peace with your self and to always follow your dreams.
London Prestige: What image do you think your music conveys?
Lissus Tilka: I like to think that my music brings back forgotten music. It conveys the image of peace, tolerance and strength.
London Prestige: Describe your style.
Lissus Tilka: My style is rock ballad and hard rock. But I also like to sing other styles like regaton and tropical house.
London Prestige: What are you currently working on?
Lissus Tilka: I just finished my new song “Ska Me Ne”. This is my debut song in rock ballad style. I have received many invitations to perform at summer fests, and summer clubs. So at the moment I am working on finishing my first album in rock and house music genre.
London Prestige: What skills/personal attributes are most important to being successful?
Lissus Tilka: It is important to believe in your dream! Keep working even when it seems difficult or when you don’t have support from others around you. Believe in your self and in your dreams. Whatever you do, do it with passion, not for fame, and you will eventually enjoy all the things that come your way. Be simple and patient when things get busy and intense.
London Prestige: Which musicians have you learned from?
Lissus Tilka: I have learned from Alban Arifi, a well-known Albanian compositor. And from Flamur Toska, who was part of the renowned rock band in Albania called “Djemtë e Detit”. Last year I was lucky to learn from the famous DJ Cimi in Kosovo, who did popular songs in the Balkans.
London Prestige: Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV?
Lissus Tilka: I used to perform in radio such as the National Radio, in local culture activities, concerts and TV. I performed in “Focus Moda 2017”, organized my Euromode School that is managed by a successful woman in Albania, Lorena Malshi; “Fashion Tirana Week 2017- Life Style Albania; “Emigrant Day” 2016 and 2017, organized by Lezha Municipality every year with more than 10,000 in attendance in the city center. Also I have participated in many other local cultural activities.
Recently, I was invited for a live TV performance at Rozafa TV, “Log In”.
London Prestige: Which instruments do you play?
Lissus Tilka: I play Guitar.
London Prestige: Do you attend sessions? What makes a good session?
Lissus Tilka: Yes I do. Being passionate and professional make the difference for a good session.
London Prestige: How often and for how long do you practice?
Lissus Tilka: I practice every day, about 2-3 hours.
London Prestige: Who was your first teacher? Any other teachers?
Lissus Tilka: My first teachers were Angelina and Selvia Hasa. Then I had Hasan Muca, Marjana Marku, Ndrece Ndreca, etc.
London Prestige: What other hobbies do you have?
Lissus Tilka: I hold public speeches in support of women, especially women battling cancer and other health problems.
London Prestige: What is your advice on touring?
Lissus Tilka: I would like for artists to use touring not only for singing and gaining popularity to advance their music career; but also as a platform for social issues, equality, and good causes to inspire others.
London Prestige: What are your long-term career goals?
Lissus Tilka: I would like to be a very successful songwriter/singer. I would like to follow my passion and become a social artist, that makes an impact on society. I enjoy working with my students at the University where I teach. And in the future, I would like to continue to apply my expertise in legal issues and human rights.
London Prestige: What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
Lissus Tilka: Singing in church when I was a teenager will always be one of my favorite memories.
London Prestige: Is there a particular song or song that you have written that never fails to move you emotionally?
Lissus Tilka: Yes, it is a new song called “I need a smile”, which is not released yet.