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INTERVIEW: Nick Black

1. How would you classify your music?

– R&B/Soul Music!

2. Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

– Al Green, Frank Sinatra, Bill Withers, B.B. King, The Beatles.

3. What do you want fans to take from your music?

– I just want to make people happy. If we can laugh, cry (good tears), and dance together to it, I’m doing something right.

4. Can you tell us a bit about your latest album? When will it be released and how does it differ from your previous work if any?

– My latest album actually came out last year, and it’s a “found love, lost love, found love again” story. My musical partner James Bennett and I co-produced it with help from multiple BMA-winning artist Victor Wainwright. After my first album in 2012, DEEP BLUE was a huge step towards maturity for me. I recognized where I’m from and where I’m headed. I feel this album really represents what Memphis has to offer to the rest of the world in this new era of music: something old, something new, and something just a little deep blue. (See what I did there?)

5. What do you love and hate about the Music Business?

– The entire music business is now the sharpest double-edged sword it’s ever been. On one hand, you can make your music at your home studio, mix and master it yourself, then distribute and sell it with a little help from one of the many internet distributors out there. Thank you, technology. But that ease of use is actually what makes the industry more vicious than it’s ever been. You have to either be the absolute best or the most original to get noticed in a sea of talent and sound. Going viral won’t really help you either unless you know how to capitalize off of it. Even with a ton of money at your back, that still doesn’t mean the people are going to like you. More than ever, the power is in the hands of the artists and the people, which is a beautiful thing.

6. What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?

– Michael Buble, hands down. You can argue with me all day if you like, but the man is a true entertainer. I never stop learning from the greats, and playing live is where the real magic is at with all the folks I really admire. That moment in the show where no one is paying attention to what they have to do in the morning, who’s dancing around them, or why they’re moved by something they feel: that’s why I do it. Everyone’s eyes close and we all feel the same thing. As long as music brings people together, I’ll be there to make music.

7. Is there a song on this latest CD that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?

– That’s hard! If I had to pick one, “Worst You Can Do” will always be one of my prouder moments as a songwriter. Sometimes a song writes itself, and other times you have to pull teeth and wrench and claw until you’ve got something. “WYCD” exists as both. The chorus was written 5 or 6 six years ago as a hook in a hip/hop song, then the verse and bridge were a separate song I was writing. One day I was sitting there and I thought “Why not try something strange?” and I put the two songs together. Different keys, different time signatures, but it helped to express something altogether new that wasn’t there before. And that’s why I love it.

8. How have you evolved as an artist over the last few years?

– I’ll never stop being curious about how one song can fall on two people’s ears in two completely different ways. Learning my craft and honing in on those moments we all experience is a part of growing as an artist. This album really helped me to do that. You have to realize that you must write for yourself, but perform (on a recording and live) for the audience. I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand how to do that, which pushes me even harder.

 9. If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, get drunk with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?

– I would absolutely love to work with James Poyser of the Roots. He’s worked with some of my favorite artists over the years, and I just KNOW we could make some good music.

10. So tell us what’s next?   

– I’ve been touring on DEEP BLUE for a year now, and I’ve begun writing for our next album. My next goal for 2017 is to get the band and I overseas to bring Memphis to the rest of the world. Here we come!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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