Posted On 29 Apr 2019
He is a songwriter, producer and singer who is a chameleon when it comes to the artists he has worked with. Instead of sticking to one genre like some singer songwriter/producers, Nick works in electronic, punk rock, pop and more racking in the Spotify streams.
Furlong cemented himself as one of the industry’s most sought-after writers and producers, and his impact would permeate rock, electronic dance music, pop, hip-hop, and beyond. Developed by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder from 2011 until 2013, he familiarized himself with the DNA of a hit song early in his career while vocal producing for the likes of Jordin Sparks, Colbie Caillat and Leona Lewis. He has since worked with Avicii, Steve Aoki, Papa Roach, All Time Low, 5 Seconds of Summer, Fever 333 and more. He has even served as co-writer, producer and executive producer for Papa Roach’s tenth full-length album.
Learn more about Nick Furlong in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
Currently at my home in Los Angeles.
Now that we are into the 4th month of the new year, how has 2019 been treating you so far? What are some goals that you have for yourself this year? How are those New Years Resolutions going?
2019 is off to a great start for me. Between new music I’ve worked on with an array of artists and bands coming out, to unveiling my own personal artist project, to launching my joint venture publishing company and signing writers/producers as well, I’m staying pretty busy. I don’t think I’ve ever had a New Year’s resolution to be honest. My goal every year is to just try and accomplish more than I did the year prior.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Music has not only been the soundtrack to my life, but it’s also like a sanctuary to me. My family’s musical taste pretty much covered every genre there was, so I found myself being pulled in every direction at a young age. I knew at about 13 that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life and I put my head down and started working towards making that dream a reality.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
I mean, of course I’ve thought about doing other things, but I’ve been doing this for so long and never had a back-up plan so at this point I don’t really have a choice, and I prefer it that way. I’m stuck with music and it’s stuck with me. I think that no matter what I do in my life, I try to put 100% into it so I’m sure I would feel fulfilled but doing something you love is the ultimate goal.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
That I’m actually doing it. Almost 20 years ago this was the life I dreamed of and now I’m here living it. That’s so wild to me. The biggest challenge I think is finding ways to reinvent yourself and move with the flow of the industry. What’s popular is changing at such a rapid pace, so managing to keep up and maintain your value as a creator is one of the recurring challenges.
I would love to know what it has been like working with so many different kinds of musicians and different genres? What collaboration stands out the most to you now? Who did you really learn a lot from?
There’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure. It gives me so much more experience and inspiration to experiment and try things that I may not even think of if I only worked on one thing. I think it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and explore outside of the box. That’s how you evolve your skill set even further. Some of my favorite collaborations are the unlikely ones I’ve been responsible for like Machine Gun Kelly and Papa Roach, or Waka Flocka Flame and Good Charlotte, or WALK THE MOON and Steve Aoki.
What are some newer projects that you are currently working on?
In addition to launching my own producer project, I’m working with a few bands at the moment that are on the come up, as well as writing some new songs with DJs and shifting back into dance music. Also, I’m really excited to be a part of 311’s new album coming in June.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
I’m the worst at keeping up on social media these days, but I do like that it gives music fans the ability to connect directly with me and share their stories about how a song I wrote helped them through a difficult time or inspired them to do something in their own life. Those interactions make all of the hard work worth it.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
I’m a huge fan of Drake. Also love what Twenty One Pilots have done over the years with their music and branding. Some of my go-to artists for inspiration are Outkast, The Beastie Boys, Queen, Trent Reznor, Rage Against The Machine, and Peter Gabriel. Lately I’ve been listening to artists like Oliver Tree, Broods, MØ, Whethan, and The Knocks.
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
I’d probably hire the entire original cast of Jackass to recreate the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” music video, but with more fire and a lot more stunts.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you take with you and why?
A raft, because I wouldn’t be making music if I were stranded on an island *laughs*
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
I would’ve loved to have a song in Wolf of Wall Street. Anything fast paced with attitude is up my alley, especially if Martin Scorsese or Leo is involved.
Do you remember the first time you ever heard one of your songs on TV, in a movie or elsewhere? What was it and how did it feel? Where were you when you heard it?
I remember the first time I ever heard my song on the radio. There was no turning back after the feeling of experiencing that. Shortly after I was hearing my songs on video game soundtracks while I was still in high school. That was the moment I realized I could make a career out of making music if I just worked hard enough and focused on learning and growing. Fast forward to one of my favorite stories… When my single “The Nights” came out with Avicii I remember so many of my friends would hit me up and say they heard it somewhere, but I had not yet heard it out anywhere. One night in Portugal, I was in the middle of nowhere in a tiny village, and there was a music festival going on in a neighboring town. My girlfriend and I were just talking about how I’d never heard it and it would be crazy if they played the song. Not more than 10 seconds later the DJ transitioned into it, and my song blared through the entire town. It was such an incredible moment to share together.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
If there’s one thing you take away from my career as a whole, it should be to just do what you love, create what you like, and don’t be afraid to do things that people don’t understand. If you are passionate about it then go for it!