Brit singer-songwriter, Nina Schofield, describes how the twists and turns of a sociopathic relationship formed the basis of her latest single 'Imaginary Love' ahead of the release of her semi-autobiographical debut album 'Shapes' on July 22.

Nina Schofield

Nina Schofield

I never expected to write my latest single 'Imaginary Love', simply because I never expected the story behind the song to ever be something that might happen to me. It all started a few years ago when I met a producer from up north online who became a good friend of mine. Lets call him David…..

David and I started talking nearly every day about music and how we could work together and that quickly turned into a really close friendship. We began working on an EP project together over the Internet and even though we had never met, I felt a close bond with him and trusted him completely. A few months in, I began to suspect David's feelings for me went beyond just professional, but I explained to him I don't mix business with pleasure and I was going to stick to that no matter what. He seemed to respect that but it didn't stop us from speaking every day.

The EP project we were working on together seemed to be coming on really well and I was very excited to see my songs come to life. The project couldn't be completed, however, without me visiting David in his studio. So I packed a bag and booked a trip up north where we could finally meet in person.

I'd seen photos of David, but meeting him in person was very different - I guess, like most of us, he'd presented his best personal self online and I was expecting someone slightly different to who met me face to face. Nevertheless we hit it off and headed to the studio to start working. David filled me in on some fantastical details of his musical life so far…like when he'd met and worked with 50 Cent and 50 had given him a box of clothing as a thank you, or when he had written the melody to 'Impossible' by Shontelle and sold it to a music library only to hear it on the radio a year or so later. Tales you think you'd find hard to believe on face value, but with David, I completely trusted him and was naïve to the truth. However, we kept working together and our friendship blossomed…along with his supposed feelings for me.

David even visited me at my family home and we caught up as friends do - but I could feel his intentions towards me and I began to feel uncomfortable.

When David returned home, I was shocked to hear the sad news that he had contracted a very serious illness and needed extensive treatment for it. He was sad too, but he promised to keep me up to date every day. And sure enough he would ring me from his treatment facility and tell me about how everything was going. However, I was starting to become a little suspicious as details weren't adding up and his stories were becoming more and more fantastical…but how could I doubt him?

The turning point came when Davids 'fiance' got in touch with me to ask if we were having an affair. Fiance?! I was outraged! But still, I gave David the benefit of the doubt that she was just a crazy ex-girlfriend. Little did I know that a few days later, his best friend would get in touch with me to tell me that he had been lying to me about his illness, his fiancé (who wasn't just some crazy ex girlfriend) and basically every other little detail I could think of. Our whole relationship was a lie - I'd been catfished!

A sudden and awful realisation dawned on me…David is a sociopath, and I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of any more dupers delight. In fact, I cut him off completely without explanation and subsequently lost all the work we had been doing on my next EP. But the risk of getting that work back wasn't worth it - this man could be dangerous.

A few nights after these massive revelations, I was having a dream where I was singing a song about everything that had happened. It was such a vivid dream that I was able to wake myself up and quickly record the melody into my phone. That song is my latest single 'Imaginary Love' - and now every time I sing it, I think about how lucky I was to escape from David and how sorry I feel for anyone else whose path he may cross.

I'm a different person now - much slower to trust someone on face value, much more considerate and careful - and definitely much less naïve. Life is full of twists and turns but through it all, the one thing I've learnt is to always trust your gut feeling.

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