Q: Your single “Change” is so powerful and emotional. What is your favorite lyric from it?
NICKY PHILLIPS: The chorus says it all, but I would choose the lyrics ‘I think back to before, left a crack in the door’ because it sums up the conflict between wanting to close someone out of your life, but also wanting to give them the opportunity to come back. It’s a theme that runs throughout the song – wanting to be strong and let go, but wanting to see if something, or someone, could change.
Q: We noticed you just starting releasing music this year, how has this experience been for you?
NICKY: I’ve been writing and performing my own songs for over a decade, but starting to record them was really quite nerve-wracking! I’ve always been happy performing my songs live, but I’ve always had a bit of an issue with recording them. I’m not sure if this issue is down to perfectionism, not feeling in control or the risk of not liking the final track, perhaps all three. The UK lockdown left me with more time to do what I love and reflect on what I want – I quickly realised that what I wanted was to make and share music, but that meant recording it too. I started with sharing covers and originals on Instagram and within a month I had connected with and started working remotely with Canadian producer Joel Schwartz. My music felt in safe hands and the process was really fun and creative. To start with, I only set out to record one song, which was my debut single ‘Echo’. Once this track was finalised, I knew I wanted to do more and so we continued to work on a full EP.
Q: Tell us a little bit more about your upcoming EP.
NICKY: My self-titled EP is due for release in August 2021 – there’s a physical launch and release show on 7 August and the EP will be released on digital platforms later in August. I’m really excited for both release dates!
The EP is a collection of songs about the ups & downs of holding on to and letting go of love. A couple of the songs I wrote a while ago and a couple were written during the pandemic. The song topics cover the temptation of another person, the loss of a relationship, feeling alone, the wonder of finding someone you feel at home with and the spark that ignites love and trying to keep that spark alive.
Q: How would you describe your music?
NICKY: I find this one really difficult! My influences include the likes of Laura Marling, Damien Rice and Bon Iver, to name a few. I’d always thought of my music as being indie-folk, which some of it is, but it definitely crosses between pop, folk and indie. Mostly, it’s confessions, thoughts and emotions poured out in song – usually with my acoustic guitar, but more recently with piano as well. Although the recordings feature more of a variety of instruments, when I perform live it’s just me and my guitar or piano and I think there’s something really intimate about that.
Q: Would you like to collaborate with anyone? If so who and why?
NICKY: Yes, definitely. I would be interested in doing a bit of co-writing with someone else – I don’t have anyone in mind as I think I will know when I meet the right person or people. I think it goes without saying that I’d love to collaborate with any of my musical influences though! I’m also quite interested in collaborating on tracks from different genres to try my hand at toplining.
Q: What is coming next for you?
NICKY: The EP launch is next and after that I want to maintain the focus on my own music and play live as much as possible and venture out into different areas of the UK. I think there will be more recording on the horizon, but as restrictions ease I think most musicians just want to get out there in front of an audience again!
Interviewed by Stephanie Pankewich
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