Check out our interview with Memphis based soulful singer/songwriter Nick Black who just released his latest single entitled “Filler”, the track “explores the two sides of the grass being greener on the other side. On one hand, we all believe that we’re meant for and deserve good and greater things. But that can also be a complete trap: you look ahead so far in the future that you miss the things around you. So filler is a reminder to keep a balance in your life.” confides Nick Black.
Follow Nick @NickBlackMusic
How did you get started in the business?
I honestly always wanted to perform but didn’t really understand what it takes to be even a little bit successful. I, like everybody else, thought that if people liked you, they’d let you get up on stage and perform. Naively, I worked and worked and worked at my craft, finally realizing that I had to put work into the business side of what I do. If that little kid who grew up in church singing between his grandfather’s sermons in Memphis, TN could see me now, he’d be shocked.
How has this changed your life?
I’ve been lucky over the course of my career to meet some incredible people because of the “business” side of my music. I’m an open person but knowing how to work with anybody is a skill I truly was NOT good at and needed to perfect. I’ve had to grow in an infinite number of ways to handle what I do on a day-to-day basis. And musically, I’ve gone from struggling to even get words out, to writing an entire album with strangers on the internet. It’s been amazing!
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Curious, clever, and fun
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
My grandfather was a Methodist preacher, and the respect he got from the pulpit was always something I yearned for, and my family was ALWAYS blasting music at the house. From Bach to Al Green, Sinatra to Three 6 Mafia, music has always been a huge part of my life, and it’s helped me heal old wounds and it’s given me a reason to live.
Tell us about your new single “Filler?”
“Filler” is the first single I’ve put out in a year, though we’ve actually had it ready to go for two years. After James Bennett, one of my writing partners, and I finished the song, we still had a spot for a feature, and I’d been watching this Memphis rapper named Daz Rinko for a minute. His creativity blew me away, so we sent the song off, and within like two hours he had it done. He understood that it was an ode to following your dreams with a bit of Memphis thrown in it. Lines like “240 looping til my exit sign” are a reference to the interstate that loops around Memphis.
What’s the story behind the song?
Sometimes you write a song, put down the lyrics, and think you know what it’s about. When we finished “Filler” I realized it had two meanings. One, it’s a look into all the things we must go through to get to our goals and dreams. But it’s also a cautionary tale about enjoying the moment and not focusing too much on the goal. The main character in the song thinks he’s bound for greatness, but he’s probably missing a lot of things along the way because of his Main Character Syndrome. I struggle with this quite a bit, so it’s a little bit about me, too.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Seeing how people react to the music. As much as my therapist hates it, I thrive off the approval of other people. It’s such a rush when you show somebody a new song and they get that smile on their face.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Stop caring so much about what everyone else thinks. Be kind, but don’t let your kindness for others overtake your kindness to yourself. Had to learn that one the hard way.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Cool Cool Cool: The Life, Music, and Bananas of Nick Black. I’ve always had a nervous habit of repeating words three times when I’m excited, like “Cool Cool Cool” or “Yeah yeah yeah!”, and it’s actually the name of my business. Now story time: when I first started streaming on Twitch, I was doing production streams. I’d source a sample from a friend and make a song from it in front of a live audience on the internet, pretty straightforward stuff. One day, I needed a bit of shaker percussion on a song, and the only one I had lying around was a children’s banana shaker. You know the one everybody has at their elementary schools? So, I use the shaker and the chat goes NUTS. I kept using it, and one day a BANANA COSTUME shows up on my doorstep…. from ROMANIA. Then two more showed up. I wore them on stream, then in a music video, then at a giant venue in Memphis. The rest is history.
What’s next for Nick Black in 2022?
I’m on a national tour right now, supporting this new music and my last album, Twitch #1, which was an album written almost entirely on livestreams during quarantine, made with samples and lyrics from my fans and friends. I’ll be going on my first college tour in September, too, and I’m psyched for that.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Water, bro!!! It’s really the only thing I drink.
And your favorite cheat food?
Cheeseburgers, basically sandwiches of any kind.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
My grandmother Louise. I’ve heard all these stories about her, and I wanna see if they’re real.
Do you support any charity?
I do! I work with the deaf and hard of hearing community in the greater Memphis area. My band and I organize and participate in different fundraisers throughout the year.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
In 5 years, I hope I’m still happy and happily married. I hope to have finally toured in Europe, South America, and Asia. A Grammy or two would be nice too.
Favorite song? Why?
“Love and Happiness” by Al Green. It’s one of my mom’s favorites and I never get tired of hearing the first 5 seconds of it. And shoot…it’s tattooed on my left arm.
Where we can follow you?
Twitter [email protected]NickBlackMusic
Instagram [email protected]NickBlackMu