Nearly A Nation

 

Ten seconds into the chorus of his single ‘Radiate’ and you'll be nodding your head. With an infectious vocal style and sublime hook, the dance / electronica artist known as Nearly A Nation seems poised to vault straight up the charts.

Bexley, Ohio resident Nearly A Nation’s love of music runs deep. It shows in his unswerving movement towards his dream of dance / electronica stardom and in his award-winning work that has compelled the critics to rave: ‘Demonstrating unusual vocal talent and musical imagination, ‘Radiate’ may very well be the power pop vehicle to lift Nearly A Nation to the global stage.’ Unlike many of his contemporary artists, however, Nearly A Nation has an edge. His music combines a flawless delivery with evocative melodic elements. Coupled with original lyrics and a memorable hook, his new single ‘Radiate’ is attracting fans across the globe. Recently, reporter Blake Wright caught up with this intriguing artist to find out more about his musical inspiration and plans for the future.

BLAKE: When did you first get that feeling that your music career was gaining momentum?
NEARLY A NATION: Getting my first full-length album completed was a big step. After it (Outburst) was out there though, I really didn’t know what to do next as far as promotion. But over the course of the year, I was contacted by a few different people about “Radiate,” which turned out to be the single off the album. It ended up on a compilation that was released at SXSW in Austin and then it won the January 2016 award for best Dance/Electronic single by The Akademia. With my next album, Conquest, out this year, I’m looking to start moving the ball faster.

BLAKE: Your song’Radiate’is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
NEARLY A NATION: Oh, I don’t know. When you’re doing it the way I am, playing the part of writer, performer and engineer, you tend to get tired of your own music, especially toward the end, when the album is wrapping up. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not super-appreciative of the fact that the song is getting some attention. It’s great knowing that other people are listening and it’s not just me all alone in the studio anymore.

BLAKE: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
NEARLY A NATION: I like to write songs that bring people together. And there’s also a “power to the people” vein in a lot of the stuff I do. “Radiate” falls in with that line of thought. We’re not nearly as powerful as individuals as we are when we work together in groups for a common cause. With this song, I wanted to keep it upbeat and fun, but at the same time, put an important message in there as well.

BLAKE: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
NEARLY A NATION: I’ve known that I wanted to write songs and perform for a long time. However, I never fully embraced that because I got tripped up by the idea that trying to be a career musician would be frowned upon by others, society, etc. I tried a few other paths in life, but things weren’t working out the way I planned and I think that’s because I wasn’t being true to myself. Now that I’ve got that mental blockage out of the way, I feel like I’m on the right path.

BLAKE: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
NEARLY A NATION: I think being a musician and performing for people is an absolute blast. I love connecting with others and, hopefully, giving them some good feelings of hope and joy along the way. At the same time, I feel like there are some really important issues in th

 

BLAKE: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
NEARLY A NATION: My team is pretty small right now. Because I do all the music making up to the point of mastering. It’s mostly me, myself and I. However, I do have some music mentors in the industry who I’ve gotten some great advice from and I also work with some awesome people for design, promo and such. Next, will be getting some quality people to help me put my live show together and then, touring.

BLAKE: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
NEARLY A NATION: Yes. I’ve been singing and performing ever since I was young. I owe most of that to my mom, who has an excellent voice and always encouraged me. I was also the kid who was in all the school musicals, choir, etc. I didn’t pick up an instrument though until I was in college. I taught myself guitar and then eventually moved over to the keyboard as my main instrument. I also decided to major in music in college after spending my first two years as a physical therapy major.

BLAKE: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
NEARLY A NATION: The most rewarding thing for me as an artist is hearing from other people that the music I’ve made means something to them. As an artist, and especially as a solo artist, you can feel like you’re in this vacuum a lot of the time. You’re making music for hours, days, years sometimes, not knowing how other people will feel about it. So when I get a nice comment from someone, it just reaffirms that I’m doing something good for the world. The most challenging thing for me, I think, has been staying the course. Making your way as an independent artist can be tough, not only financially, but mentally. Until you really break through, you constantly question yourself, but I think the biggest thing that separates those who make it and those who don’t is the willingness to just keep going. Make enough great music for a long enough period of time and you’ll eventually get to where it is you want to go.

BLAKE: Who are your role models in music?
NEARLY A NATION: Really interesting question. As far as role models, I really appreciate artists who are passionate about ideas and causes in the world that they may or may not connect with their music. People like John Lennon, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, Ben Harper, Billy Joel, Bob Marley, Kurt Cobain, Bright Eyes, Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson, James Taylor, Frank Zappa, Johnny Cash, Paul Simon, Richie Havens, and Bono to name a few. And I’ve listened to those artists, but the funny thing is, although my music matches up with them lyrically in certain ways, it’s doesn’t at all match those artists sonically. I guess that’s what makes me different. From a sonic perspective, I’m into people like Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding, Kaskade, Pretty Lights, The Chainsmokers, Alt-J, Porter Robinson, Purity Ring, Mystery Skulls, Savant, Twenty One Pilots, Major Lazer, Avicci, Madeon, Foxes, St. Lucia, Grimes and more. Long story short, I’m trying to bring some aspects of the protest song into dance and electronic music.

BLAKE: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
NEARLY A NATION: Another good question because I haven’t performed live yet as a solo artist. I’ve concentrated mostly on writing and producing these last few years so I haven’t been able to commit much time to the performance aspect. However, that will change in 2016. All the gear has been bought and the pieces are coming together. I expect to get back out there this year. I say “back out there” because I’ve performed a lot in the past, just in different arenas of music or with other bands.

BLAKE: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
NEARLY A NATION: Stay true to yourself and just be you. Keep working at your craft until you know you’re worth a damn and seek counsel from others who are 5-15 years ahead of where you want to be. And even if you have a thousand other things going on in your life, do something every day to get you closer to the ideal image you have for your life and your career, no matter how small. It’s persistence, not talent, that most often determines whether or not you reach your dreams.

BLAKE: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
NEARLY A NATION: Well, if you’re reading this, my new album, Conquest, just came out so please go check that out and let me know what you think. I’m not kidding when I say that. Shoot me an email me at nick@nearlyanation.com and let me know if there was a song or two you connected with. I love meeting new people and I’m really looking forward to 2016 and beyond.

BLAKE: That's wonderful! Thank you so much for letting us get to know you a little better. We wish you the best of luck and continued success.

https://www.nearlyanation.com

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