A guy who acts like a child, and plays music like there’s no tomorrow.
How you got started in the music scene?
It’s funny. Believe it or not my first influences were the gypsies who used to play music on the tiny old Venetian cobble streets in my hometown of Chania, Crete, an island in the Aegean. I still remember my mother pulling my hand when I was trying to listen to their tunes. I guess she believed that the street musicians, or the bums with a guitar – according to her – ain’t no good. Soon enough I got my first acoustic guitar, and later on I quit my job as a physicist and moved to the ultimate melting pot for music, New York City, meeting talented musicians and forming my band Nickolucky.
What’s the story behind your artist name?
Well, you have to know Greek to get it. In Crete my name is pronounced “Niko”, but it’s common that people add the syllable “aki” to refer to something small, or young, or just something cute – that’s why a lot of my friends call me “Nikolaki” in Greece. Now if I spell my name Nikolaki in a different way you get Nickolucky, but now it means “Lucky Nick”, a guy who moves to New York City, and is lucky enough to have made it.
What are your music influences?
Hmmm. As I said, the gypsies, the “bums” on the street with their musical instruments from plastic buckets to mandolins, and of course rock bands like Led Zeppelin, The Black Keys and Wilco to name a few. Also, in NYC I’m constantly influenced and inspired by mind blowing artists whose name I’ve never heard of.
How would you describe your music?
With just an acoustic guitar, I have written numerous songs epitomized by “Don’t Waste My Time”, with NYC Glam and positive lyrics, that tells us to take a hold of life and not let it waste away. We only have one! In other words my music is fun, upbeat and full of passion for life.
What’s your method at the time of writing a song?
Method? I’m still trying to figure that out myself. I believe it’s all madness. It’s a fine line between artistry, genius and just being plain old crazy. Inspiration for me is completely random. It can start from an idea or some event directly happening in my life, or influenced by people around me. My life in NYC inspired my single “Don’t Waste My Time” about doing it all – movies, bars, clubs, etc – and not wasting time when there is life to live.
So there is a show taking place in August which you would be also be recording your new live album. Can you give us some insights, details, what to expect and any title, release date in mind?
My next gig at “The Bitter End” is on the 17th of Aug. I’m working on the technical difficulties to record a live EP or make a music video. Who knows – I might get lucky and do both at the same time! But sometimes it’s out of my control. “Lazy Like Crazy”, available on Nickolucky.com is inspired by all the people that we call “homeless” in NYC. “Dream” is a ballad for daydreamers like me, “It’s you” is a love song that I wrote after meeting Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman by accident in a small music store in Greenwich Village. Also, there is one song “Make it” but my girlfriend will kick me out of our apartment if I shared the story behind that song… Basically I just want to capture the essence of Manhattan, its energy, its diversity, its craziness, its nightlife, and how much fun you can generate from it’s chaos. After all, that’s what my music is all about – Having fun… If the recording is good, it will only take me a couple of weeks to release the live EP.
What has been the funniest moment you guys have been or took part while touring?
Road trips! It’s fun to play in great venues in NYC and I enjoy small bars and acoustic gigs as well, but there is something about when you get in a van with bunch a of other musicians to drive to a place you have never been to before. Last summer we were playing outdoors at a small bar in Paleochora, south Crete. The drummer forgot his cymbals when we loaded the car from Chania, which is 2 hours drive to Paleochora, a small touristy place with no drummers or drums! We had around a hundred people waiting in the audience, so we invented the “Pots and Pans Lids” Cymbals! [Laughs] Yes, the drummer was using lids from kitchen pot and pans for the first set! (For the second set a friend brought the cymbals from Chania, which by the way, did sound better!)
Are there any plans for the near future we should be aware of?
I want to record a full album. Hopefully I’ll get in the studio on Jan 2013. I have more than enough songs for a full album, but for an independent musician like me it is difficult – in other words: Who is going to pay the bills? Currently, I am working with a few agents but I am looking for an exclusive one. I definitely need a manager as well. It is too much hassle to manage and play music at the same time. It drains all my energy. Lastly I am looking for licensing opportunities though I haven’t really submitted my single “Don’t Waste My Time”, yet. I just uploaded the song and hope that somehow, someway, and someone will like the song and send me a check…. What do you think? Am I daydreaming?
Where can we found more about you? On my website you’ll find pretty much all the info and links you need: www.nickolucky.com Also, I can be found on iTunes at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dont-waste-my-time/id523823274
Do you guys feel you are moving in the right direction?
I guess we’ll know when we’ll get there.. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the trip!