An interview with multi-talented artist ill Nicky
Today on our Hot Seat we have a talented artist “ill Nicky ” who has deep love and passion for music. Let’s have a chat with him.
Twist Online : First of all tell us about the start of your professional career?
ill Nicky : I had made music out of pure love and enjoyment for most of my life. You know, the typical wannabe rapper story of writing rhymes in my notebooks, freestyling at high school parties, all that. Eventually, for my birthday, my family bought me the gift that changed the course of my life, a MacBook Pro. This laptop had GarageBand and IMovie. I was able to produce and create everything on my own. I eventually opened up a Youtube account and started posting my stuff, as nerve racking as that was. I met producers online that I work with to this day. I started understanding the scrutiny and heavy criticism that comes with selling myself as a brand. I followed my brother to San Diego, realized it had a completely open market, so started a lifestyle brand and started to build a following by doing show after show. Years later, I’m headlining the venues I used to have to pay to play at and traveling the country with the friends I started my company with.
Twist Online : Who or what inspired you to get into music industry?
ill Nicky : My older brothers. When I was 10 years old, they got heavy into Bay Area Rap, and started to make music themselves, and put out material for their high school. They had a makeshift studio they built at the house but never let me come in because they were smoking and drinking. But, I noticed none of their songs had hooks, so when they weren’t home, I went thru all of their songs and put hooks on them. They were like, dope, you are our hook guy now. I was creatively inspired by singer songwriters like Tracy Chapman but also loved DMX and Tech Nine. After I moved to San Diego, I built a team of amazing individuals that pushed me to limits I never imagined possible. Fail after fail, loss after loss, we learned the ropes of the music industry and developed an unstoppable work ethic.
Twist Online : Tell us about your recent release?
ill Nicky : For years I was doing it wrong. Waiting 7 months, putting out a massive project on an album. And in between, I would always put out little throw away tracks but those throw away tracks are what ended up being my more popular work. I stopped caring so much and that effortless approach is what caught the attention of many more fans. So, with this latest release, I went back to my roots, and did everything in house. No waiting to develop a budget for big music videos, no major web design or over-crowded production and no third party marketing. I wanted to portray a level of effortlessness that only comes when I’m just enjoying myself, making music, the way that my brothers and I always had. My brother and I created the art and concept, my best friend mixed and mastered it and all the marketing is grass roots. It’s the most successful project I’ve had to date. The reception is great and the numbers are growing every day. It is called The Alto Project and it features a new song every Wednesday at 5pm. The songs are free for listen on my soundcloud and we also built a launch page with a live timer counting down the next release. That’s available at TheAltoProject.Com.
Twist Online : What kind of response you have received from the release?
ill Nicky : I had a comment the other day that said “I heard about you two years ago and I wasn’t impressed at all, but these latest songs are absolute fire, and I can’t wait till next week to hear another.
The honesty made me laugh but it was amazing to witness someone’s mind changing. My drastic improvement was noted and that’s the greatest thing an artist can hear. We’ve received over 40k streams collectively in the last 3 weeks and continue to drive up our numbers across platforms.
Twist Online : What attracts you more, performing on stage or working in studios?
ill Nicky : Both are absolute passions of mine but the studio is like practice and the show is like friday night lights. In the studio, I cherish the moments I get to create in my comfort zone, make mistakes without criticism, learn new tones and flow patterns, and try out new and exciting ideas and concepts. But the shows. That’s what I live for. My team always tells me that’s where I sell people. I’ve had people come to my shows and be like “man, I wasn’t crazy about the music but your performance was fucking incredible” LOL. I love being completely vulnerable and allowing people to be free from concern and give them a new experience. The live setting that can’t be recreated is something magical to me. Each show I do is very special to me. Also, I believe that’s where you make the long lasting relationships with the fans.
Twist Online : What’s your favorite music genre?
ill Nicky : I don’t have one. I like literally everything. I guess I would have to say Hip Hop though, it’s definitely been the most impactful genre in my life. Completely shaped me. I guess I do have one, LOL, Hip Hop for sure.
Twist Online : Have you set some target to achieve as a music artist?
ill Nicky : I want to be 2019 XXL Freshman of the Year. I believe I have the work ethic and the skills to take my music and brand, global. In the grand scheme of things though, I want to do what I love, comfortably. I want to live my life, creating music and inspiring those around me, touring the world and creating new relationships. I’m completely in love with what I do, and I aim to do it for a very long time.
Twist Online : Are you currently working on any other project?
ill Nicky : I am always working. Literally always. Right now I’m releasing music weekly, and I have songs saved up for another project similar to Alto, which will be called Soprano. Recently, I finalized a partnership with Texas based label, Legend Records. I’ve come on as artist and songwriter and by the end of January, will be releasing a collaborative project with soul singer, Aquile. We continue to build our brand, tour the country, and break into the mainstream. So keep your ear out for ill Nicky 🙂