Australian Singer Peter Nic sits down with DimiHub for a q&A about his music career. You can follow on Instagram (@PETERNICMUSIC), facebook (PETER NIC MUSIC), and Youtube (PETER NIC MUSIC). Check out http://www.Peternic.com (Currently Under Reconstruction.
From Philadelphia, to South Carolina, to Adelaide, Australia, DimiHub is all about getting artists’ names out to the world. We get many submissions from talented artists across the U.S. and internationally, and we are so grateful to interview some future stars. “Stardom” is a term Peter Nic may be unfamiliar with currently, but the Australian-born singer better get used to it. The 22 year-old pop singer has some R&B mixed in with his style, and makes hearts melt with his voice and guitar. We had the chance to interview the talented artist, and it’s time you hear his story of his first ever band and how music helped him through many of life’s struggles.
Q: How long have you been making music? What started your passion to make music?
A: I really don’t remember the first time I plucked a guitar string or hit a drum as it was so long ago it’s probably already been confused with a dream. I’ll start with the first band I ever created. This was around third grade after I saw a group of kids having a rehearsal in a classroom during lunch break at school. Long story short, I created a band called ‘The Rock Raiders’ and wrote a song called ‘We are friends and that’s that’. I was told off for writing explicit lyrics in that one.
My passion for music has come from both fascination with sound and the freedom of creativity. It’s something that I’ve always had and that I’ll die with. Without my passion for music, I’d have been a completely different person. For some people music is just some fun on the weekend, for some it’s, hopefully, their pathway to being rich and a centre of attention. For some people, like myself, it has saved me from confusion, downtimes, and opened my eyes to a far more colourful world. That’s why music is my passion and why I do it.
Q: Tell us the story behind your album Here We Be and what inspired the theme of the album?
A: Here We Be is so ‘me’ from late 2013/2014. I had a whole lot of things during late 2013 that just weren’t going my way. I started feeling lost and anxious, as well as puzzled as to why things were happening the way they were. It’s a story of hope and love lost combined with my determination and dreams. I wrote on some websites “If you’re a music lover, if you feel you’ve been asleep for too long, if you’re wondering why things won’t go your way – Here We Be may end up being the perfect companion for the questions in your head” and I think that’s an accurate way to put it.
The title Here We Be means two things. The fact that we’re all here in this moment, right now and this is what we have, along with the choices we make in these moments. The other meaning is about the final place you’re at looking through the exit door of a relationship. We’ve all been there and sometimes, more often than not, we know we need to walk through because it’s time to move forward, except, we have a few things left to say.
Q: Along with the album, you released a music video on YouTube to the song titled “Here We Be”. What was your thinking behind the music video?
A: I wanted to create something simple, yet effective. Just like the song, it doesn’t feature a rainbow of colours and fast moving objects. The video was created to have a heavy feeling that reflects the way I felt during that time of my life. It’s kind of funny actually, I found it somewhat difficult (in my head) to sing the lyrics to the camera because the audio had to be set almost double the speed in order to slow down the video back to the original speed of the song and as you do, filming a video to music has to be played out loud in public – and everyone can hear me singing really fast and it just sounded …weird (laughs).
Q: Speaking of YouTube videos, you post a lot of covers of hit songs. Is there a difference to you in approaching and executing your own songs than covers?
A: It’s completely different. I try to disconnect the song I’m covering from the mainstream market (most of them have been mainstream songs) and think about how I would have approached the songs had I been the producer in the studio. I tend to show a little more of my ‘Jazz’ side when re-arranging other music. It kind of comes naturally because I find there is only so much you can do to standard chord progressions before they really start to move somewhere new and that’s exciting. I’m always tapping into the engineering side of the music. I write and record the covers in my own studio in my own time and work on placing microphones in certain places, using delays, reverbs and dynamic processing to shape the tone of the arrangement.
The way I approach my own writing is different in a way that I base everything off of memories and the way they made (and make) me feel. It’s an extremely powerful tool to have when you connect the music and the lyrics that were conceived out of a feeling you had and to know that at this point in my life, I’ve got so many new feelings to experience, I can’t wait to see how my writing progresses.
Q: You do a lot of shows in Australia. Tell us about your first ever show and how you felt afterwards.
A: So, the first show that I ever sung and played electric guitar was at a corporate event with other musicians. Unfortunately that didn’t go down so well because as I went to sing, the microphone wasn’t working. Later they fixed the issue but it’s an embarrassing moment that can be hard to let go of for a while!
I’ve always been a guitarist; I’m actually pretty new to this singer thing (laughs). I played countless shows, as just a guitarist for many years and now there is no better feeling of running your own show and singing to a live audience. Oh, believe me, I leave the planet when I play a guitar solo but there’s something truly special I can feel singing to a crowd. It’s the full circle of expression between my inner thoughts, voice and guitar.
Q: Becoming a star singer isn’t easy, what differentiates you from other singers/songwriters?
A: This is the ‘explain yourself’ question!
I’d say the first thing people would notice about me is my approach to my guitar playing. I wouldn’t say I’m you’re average, conventional kind of player but I’m also not the exercising type. When I write music I tend to think more of the colour the melody makes when it’s played over a chord. For example, there’s a song on the upcoming album that I wanted to have a mildly tense feeling in the melody in some sections. So, I created the melody with certain notes that reflect that feeling rather that just a neutral note choice. I’m not all super-technical about song writing though and I very rarely pull apart my process so it normally just feels right to me and I go with it. I’m a super-harsh, self-critic but it’s only helped me achieve my end products the way I want. It’s very easy these days to just settle for an average result to get your music out there as quickly as possible.
Q: Where do you see yourself and your music career going in the future?
A: At this point, I’m seeing myself doing most of my work in North America. There’s just something about that place where all of my favourite artists have come from and where the venues, music scene and highways connecting each individual state are just everywhere. There is so much more to offer and I really feel that my music has more of a place over there. Not to say that Australia doesn’t have anything to offer, but that I’ve had my heart set on the U.S for a long time. I’ll be taking it as far as it can go.
Q: What do you have to do to improve as an artist?
A: Travel more. It’s not as though I’m running out of things to say but I know I’ve got a lot to discover about life and the word we live in. People keep telling me that “Oh you’re going to get a big culture shock when you travel” and “You’re going to have to get used to a different lifestyle” but really, this is what I need right now.
There’s always room for improvement, it’s just a matter of where you improve it, where you put your focus. Some of the biggest improvements I’ve ever made to my song writing were after certain events that had a significant impact on me. I find it easy to be within my comfort zone of playing and writing but reaching out to new levels can come from anywhere and really just takes life experience.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: In the next couple of months I’ll be releasing my second studio album Chances Are and planning to make various appearances in fresh new places. I’ll be travelling to North America to promote the album and grow my roots in certain places. I’ve also got plans for an unreleased/acoustic collection of tunes that I may track live in the studio shortly after the album is released, but that’s still up in the air. I’m always writing and drawing out new plans and avenues to take my music so stay tuned.