An Interview With The Promising Pop Singer-Songwriter, NIC POOL!
Posted On 11 Sep 2018
Get to know the the new Arizona and Los Angeles based pop musician, Nic Pool!
He recently released his debut single called ‘The Falls” which was produced by Elliot Jacobson (Elle King, Vérité, Allie X) and distributed via AWAL.
Check out the track here- https://soundcloud.com/nicpool/the-falls
The song is about how grief and loss can feel like being stuck beneath a waterfall. It was inspired in part by the Tucson landmark “Seven Falls,” a series of waterfalls at the end of a 5 mile hike through the desert.
Connect With Nic Pool Here:
more info: http://www.nicpoolmusic.com/epk
Learn more about Nic Pool in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you now? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
Thank you for taking the time! I’m currently in Tucson, Arizona. I just released two new remixes, so I’ve been busy rolling those out and just did a photo shoot for the release at a near-abandoned mall.
All Access Music is currently compiling a list of our artists favorite songs this summer so what is YOUR song of the summer?
It’s a three way tie! Your Smith’s “Bad Habit,” MorMor “Lost” and Lykke Li “last piece.”
Overall, how do you think 2018 has been treating you and your music career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it?
My goal was to get my debut EP out this fall, though it’s looking more like early 2019 right now. I’m really enjoying taking my time and not rushing anything too much. I really wanted the first single “The Falls” to have an impact and just keep pushing from there. Hitting the top of the Hype Machine charts and getting so much great press coverage has been so wonderful and humbling. I will have another new single out in October, so very excited about that, and right now I’m putting a lot of energy into writing and the creative process for the follow-up record, while still making sure to enjoy the roll-out of the first one.
Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
I always sang from when I was young but it was kind of a secret. None of my friends or family really knew I could sing or that it was a passion of mine. I was shy about it. I landed the lead in a musical during high school and everyone was like “ok! we had no idea” hah. In college, I joined a singing group and a gospel choir and fully leaned in. After I wrote my first song I was fully hooked.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? Has there been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
Today’s climate is really really tough. You have to be okay with the hustle and that it is sometimes thankless. You have to be your own advocate. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that the more you can do yourself, the more successful you will be. Having to rely on a lot of other people to release your music, promote it, etc, makes things a lot more difficult. At the end of the day, it is about the art and if you can touch even one person with a song, it’s worth it. One music writer based in Europe wrote me that he was on a beach listening to my track and he said “for one moment, it felt like everything was right in the world.” Little things like that push me forward.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today? What is the music scene like there these days?
I lived in Brooklyn, NY for seven years and was very influenced by the scene there of course. I was previously in a pop/rock band and played all around the city as well as with bands like Surf Rock Is Dead, KAYE, Fort Lean, Ski Lodge, Modern Rivals and more. Towards the end though it started to feel like the scene was very different – all of my favorite clubs like Glasslands & Cameo Gallery had closed and that particular moment in Williamsburg / the city’s music history had changed and evolved, as it does always in NYC, but I was more than ready for a change of scenery. Currently I’m in Tucson, AZ and it’s a much smaller music scene, but the desert landscape and the peace & quiet has done wonders for my writing process. You can think here, and there’s something to be said for isolation, focus, and a mountain backdrop.
How would you say that you have grown as an artist since you first starting making music? What has remained the same?
When I first started making music the writing process was very collaborative as I was in a five-piece band. I wrote melodies and topline over guitar arrangements and was still learning how to write songs, so I about from a neutral perspective or for the band as a collective unit. My writing process has since turned inward. Now I write more personally. It’s more vulnerable. I have a background in creative writing (poetry and fiction) so lyrically I still pull from the same sources — it’s just more expressive and honest to my own experiences.
Let’s talk about your latest single “The Falls”? What was the inspiration for this track? As a big fan of Tucson, I went to college there, I would love to know more about how the Tucson landmark “Seven Falls” inspired this song?
That’s so amazing! My wife is originally from Tucson, AZ, but we met in Brooklyn. I visited Tucson a lot before we moved here, and knew about “Seven Falls” because of that. I wrote the track in one short burst one afternoon – it’s sort of an ode to the city as a beacon of hope for me while in New York City and before we met. I had a couple of tough years first living in New York City and the song was sort of me looking back at where I’d been and where I was going. Any sort of sadness or grief can feel like being stuck beneath a waterfall — the hook “it’s you and the falls” is about having that constant, incessant force or presence. While it might feel like it’s the end of the world, it isn’t – you just have to keep swimming.
Have you been surprised at all by the success it’s had lately on Hype Machine’s Top 50? What was it like working with your producer Elliot Jacobson on it?
I was so thrilled to see it get so much love and for it to be on the Top 50 at all was a major blessing, let alone in the top 3! Elliot is such a pro and pop visionary – we connected via mutual friends and actually never met in person before starting to work together. We worked over email and I trusted him fully after hearing his past work with Allie X and Vérité. It was so cool to watch the tracks grow from my acoustic Garageband demos to what they are today, and he was instrumental in shaping the sound of the project. Also his studio Boomtown in Gowanus is magical AF.
When do you hope to release more music and a full collection of songs? Are you currently working on new material now?
My debut EP is all done, I’m just taking my time with the roll out. The second single will be out in October and the full EP will be out early 2019. I’ve also just released two remixes of “The Falls” this week (!) by producer JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN) and Daniel D’artiste (Jaden & Willow Smith). Both artists did such incredible re-works of the original. JD’s is a manic bop at 120 BPM – she slowed down my vocal which gives it a really hazy, slurred, late-night-leaving-the-club vibe which I really love. Daniel’s pulls in acoustic guitar and flamenco touches which feels super appropriate for Tucson. I also love how he pitches up my vocals in the verses. Very tight!
What do you think makes for an ideal show for you?
I haven’t performed as Nic Pool yet – I’m starting to think about that now and once I have a couple more songs for the follow-up EP done, I’m going to make some plans for shows, likely in NYC or LA first.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
The sense of hopelessness I feel about the current political climate is something that I am drawn to. It tends to feel like we’re living in the Theatre of the Absurd with the Trump administration. I was in DC at the Women’s March right after he got elected and the power of the opposition is so strong, which is the only saving grace. I was living in Paris, France when Obama got elected so I really hadn’t felt that kind of political coming together yet in my lifetime. I don’t have any overtly political songs on the EP, though it’s something that I’ve been toying around with new song ideas. I see musicians getting more involved with politics in an unprecedented way and that is really inspiring to me too. I love the band Wet for instance and I just saw they are playing a benefit show for Julia Salazar a candidate for New York State Senate in Brooklyn. I keep seeing things like that pop up and I think it’s so important, especially for indie musicians to use your platform to help candidates and issues that are important to you.
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?
Some days it’s super easy and natural and organic, but most days it’s really challenging. Instagram is my main source of communication with the outside world – Facebook is basically useless at this point and I really don’t like Twitter. Everyone on there is trying to be a comedian and it feels really strange. IG stories is my favorite way because it’s very “chill.”
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?
My favorite artists of all time are Beach House, Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, and Cat Power. I’m very inspired by indie folk singers/songwriters w/ rich harmonies – artists like Sharon Van Etten, Sun Kil Moon, Phoebe
Bridgers, Daniel Johnston, Angel Olsen, Aldous Harding. Big picture though I’d love to write a hook for Kanye or Frank Ocean.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
Piano! I’ve been teaching myself how to play and it’s so much fun.
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?
HBO’s “Sharp Objects”! I love dark, creepy, murder mystery, psychological thrillers so anything in that genre would be ideal. Movie would be… “The Shape Of Water” by Guillermo del Toro. I love magical realism and also “The Falls” kind of makes sense for it right?!
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I’m all about lyrics, so I hope that the words stand out and can live on their own as mini poems. Hooks are very important to me too – so if it gets stuck in your head at any point that would be a major accomplishment 🙂