Multi-Talented Nick. Is Going To Be On Your Next Playlist
Written by Vocalo Radio on January 5, 2021
Nick. is the Chicago-based rapper, graphic novelist, writer and all-around creator you’ll be adding to your next playlist.
You might have heard his track “Wicker Park Freestyle” when it was featured as one of our November In Rotation tracks. For our Quick Bites digital profile series, here is a brief rundown of where he got his start, what cover band he would start and what listeners can look out for in the future.
Where are you from?
I’m from Schaumburg, Illinois.
Where do you live now?
I’ve been in Logan Square for a little over five years now.
What three songs do you have on repeat right now?
“Laugh Now Cry Later” – Drake (feat. Lil’ Durk)
“Still” – Acevane … his YouTube page is amazing, please check it out.
“Tyler Herro” – Jack Harlow
What three artists are you most influenced by?
What’s up next for you?
Finishing my next project which is a mixtape titled “Only Child.” It’s only a mixtape because I know I’ll never clear the samples. Producing for this new soul artist Jone, who will hopefully be the second artist in this creative collective I’m starting called Diversey House. Rewriting and producing a horror themed narrative podcast (radio show). Finishing a graphic novel manuscript in hopes for it to be picked up by DC Comics. Finishing an action speculative script for Black Panther’s stunt double, Gui DaSilva-Greene, who said he’d read it in hopes he’ll actually use it too. In general, trying to stake my place as the hardest working and most creatively gifted artist in Chicago … and then going even further.
When did you start making music?
I started in 2013 under the name NexUp and it was great, but I was younger and just rapping bars on top of bars with no real substance. I did that for like a little over a year consistently, then on and off here and there until I eventually stopped and just got a desk job. Once I realized three years later that you can get a “real job,” get your money right, become a contributing member of society and still be incredibly unhappy, I took it upon myself to really create something that truly mattered to me. So around 2016 I became “Nick.,” which is my real name – minus the period – and a way of me accepting myself as a musician, because that was very hard for me.
Favorite song to perform?
My favorite song to perform is “What You Asked For” off my first project “The Andrew Elkins EP.” To me, I have a very distinct, unique production influence and style. That uniqueness was also a big factor in me committing to making music and that song was the first that I produced in that style. It’s short and sweet and has a pace to it that I love. I still have a pipe-dream of it being used in Nike commercials one day, which would be great considering how inactive I am currently as a person.
Thoughts on flavored sparkling water?
I feel like the smell is always way more appealing than the taste, but I’ll still have a Fresca every now and then – if only to connect to my roots back on the mean streets of Woodfield.
Preferred hot dog (or veggie dog) condiment?
Ketchup. Sorry, Chicago.
What’s the weirdest piece of home decor in your living space?
I have this very stylized, spherical, Egyptian-style ashtray. It’s one of my favorite things because the Amazon package it was in had much more valuable items in it [underneath the ashtray], and was broken into. Clearly, they saw the ashtray first and thought it was so weird they didn’t bother checking for anything else.
What’s your favorite animal and why?
Cats, because I appreciate their eternal facial expression of indifference.
What’s the last thing you left the house for?
Coffee and air fresheners.
How do you drink your coffee?
Black with three to four shots of espresso, and maybe a mocha shot.
If you had to start a cover band, what band would it be for and why?
It would definitely be an all-encompassing 70’s soft rock band, with a special focus on Player and/ or Todd Rundgren. 70’s soft rock soothes my soul. The way those artists emotionally poured themselves into their lyrics, a lot of times, using simple honest phrases sticks with me as a listener and songwriter. Also, a lot of the synths from that genre and era were pretty hellafied. A great example is Player’s “Givin’ It All.”
Interview edited for length and clarity by Morgan Ciocca