War Hero Turned Musician: Meet the Famous #RockPopCountryBlues Singer-Songwriter, Nickolas Benson



A U.S. military veteran who served in the Persian Gulf, Nickolas Benson is a Rock, Pop, Country, Blues singer/songwriter, recording artist and producer. He was deployed as an 88 mike (truck driver) with his trucking unit and did not know how long he would have to stay far away from home. It was during this time that he decided to pursue his passion for music, so he bought an acoustic guitar from a small shop on their tent city base.

New guitar in hand, he started learning to play covers and kept on jamming. Moreover, he learned to write songs and performed for thousands of coalition troops at the same time. Due to his entertaining performances and songwriting, he was featured in the U.S. Military newspaper, the Stars And Stripes. While stationed at the Persian Gulf, he started to become the rockstar he’d always dreamed of.

Music runs in Nickolas’ family; his father is a band leader and touring musician, while his cousin is a rising pop artist and platinum-selling songwriter. However, it was his stepfather who bought him his first guitar and motivated him to follow music, as he believed Nick had a good ear for playing. As for his inspirations in music, he has a few names on his list. Gram Parsons for his incredible Cosmic-Country songwriting, Keith Richards for his unique open G guitar tuning, John Lennon for his deep soulful songwriting and major success with the Beatles, Steven Tyler for his stage presence, vocals and artistry, and Mick Jagger for his stage persona and songwriting.

Walking against the tides of Rap, Hip Hop and Dance music that seem to dominate the music industry currently, Nickolas Benson’s genre is unique and defining. “I call it Rock, Pop, Country, Blues, where I perform over 100 hits from more than 50 popular artists at any given time and by request. I come from the countryside, went to night school for the Blues, and I’ll Rock you with my tunes,” Nickolas Benson says.

The war hero turned musician, Nickolas, has the sensibilities to enrich the human experience through his soulful music, moving melodies and powerful stage presence. He aims to entertain and reach as many people as possible through live online performances, original music, music videos and storytelling. With his creativity, talent and originality, he has managed to carve a niche in the world of music.

However, it was not always smooth sailing for Nick. From handing out flyers to tourists for his shows on Hollywood Boulevard to exploring the online streaming scene and making his music heard, he struggled to make his place in the music industry. What is interesting is that he got his breakthrough rather unexpectedly, when he was invited to record the song, “Rodeo and the Radio,” which was originally meant for George Strait. In fact, the song was featured on CMT’s hit show, “Nashville,” and averaged over 800 plays per week on Country radio. The official music video for his other single, “Song for You,” was featured on CMT’s website for a month.

Nickolas says that starting a new project is always exciting and carries a bit of nervousness as well. “I am excited before I start something new because I have thought it out in my head and covered every detail, but then I actually start working on it, and it takes a new shape and sound that I never expected. Hence, it’s an unpredictable journey for me,” shared Nickolas Benson. However, he doesn’t instantly get to the recording studio with his new tune. “Before I record, I spend days playing the guitar to a metronome to make sure the tempo is right for the song. Every day, I challenge the melody and beat. When I feel good about it and satisfied, only then do I hit record.”

A graduate of the Los Angeles Film & Recording School, Nickolas has worked extensively as a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Having worked as an actor from serving in the military, he never thought his life would take such a drastic turn for the better, where he would eventually be following his dreams and accomplishing his lifelong goals. Though the deployment to the Middle East was challenging, with no certainty about life or their next minute, Nickolas was able to find himself during that time. He embarked on a new journey that, not only brought him contentment, but helped others around him stay entertained and motivated in those troubled times.

Since returning from his military deployment, Nickolas has focused on his music, improving his skills and making others happy through his melodies. Where war destroys so much around, it can ignite hidden passions in people, so they may cherish life and make the most of it.

Abdul Mooez
Author: Abdul Mooez

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