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A Dirty Dozen with NIC BILLINGTON – October 2023

| 19 October 2023 | Reply

According to Nic Billington: “For me “White Wedding” is not just a song; it’s a mantra, a reminder to ditch the rulebook on what we’re supposed to be, wear, or think. In my world, it’s like shredding the script of expectations. Today is a clean slate – a canvas. It’s about carving your own path, living authentically, and soaking in the freedom to be exactly who you are. There’s nothing like that feeling of unbridled self-expression. This song reminds me to live in the now – be free, and let the good vibes roll. It’s been my go-to jam at all my London gigs and the response has always been so unreal – so I decided to record my own version for the new album. I put my own spin on the song, blending a bit of the classic with a touch of the modern. We laid down the track in London, and Paul Gala worked his magic producing it in South Africa. Todd Blackmore brought in some cool vibes with his guitar skills. Honestly, the track turned out even cooler than I thought—totally picturing it as the soundtrack to a badass movie on Netflix or Prime.” We get Nic to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

My latest release is a new take on an old song, called “White Wedding,” originally by Billy Idol. Although it has the same structure, I’ve changed the style and delivery a bit – adding some harmonies and cool ad-libs that you might not notice at first listen. There aren’t any hidden nuggets but I wanted to do the track because of the line: “It’s a nice day to start again” – a reminder to ditch the rulebook on what we’re supposed to be, wear, or think and carve your own path.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Back in the early 90’s, I was glued to the telly when, out of the blue, a Robert Palmer music video hit the screen. The sound and visuals grabbed me instantly, sparking a revelation. Right then and there, I felt the pull, the magnetic force of my future calling. From that very moment, I was crystal clear on my life’s path.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I grew up in a music-centric family – with the radio playing all day, so naturally I was influenced by the artists they listened to, like Depeche Mode, Billy Idol, Madonna and Prince. This has definitely influenced my music throughout the years. The 80’s sound comes through in almost everything that I create.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

There are far too many to choose just one – The Weeknd, Billie Eilish, Mike Shinoda and Labrinth are my top four. I love their style, creativity and originality. They also lean more towards a “darker” sound – Which I’m naturally drawn to.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

Honestly, gym. Training really helps boost my mental health, allowing me to stay on track with my busy schedule.  I train 6 times a week without fail – and if I can’t, then a walk in some fresh air will do. Other than that, I love spending time outdoors with close friends or watching music videos.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I would describe my sound as alternative pop with a touch of 80s nostalgia. Luckily, I haven’t heard or read anything that made me cringe regarding music comparisons. I just create music that I love and hope people resonate with it – regardless of its genre and style.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Well, when you’re a solo act, you cook, clean, organize drinks, rehearse etc. In all honesty, I love it though. I’m learning more and more to just trust the process and enjoy every aspect – no matter how mundane the task.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I randomly bumped into S Club 7 on my way to a gig in Manchester recently. Actually, I mistakenly sat in one of their seats on the train. I heard a voice saying: “Sorry man, I think you’re in the wrong seat”. I looked up and there they were – I was gobsmacked.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part of being a musician is being able to express yourself – through lyrics, sounds and visuals. If I had to do something else, it would still include music. I would direct and produce music videos for other artists – I already shoot and produce my own videos.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I always enjoy it when an interviewer asks something very specific about a project – like, “What was the reason behind this lyric, album art or visual?” Conversely, I’m not a massive fan of the more generic questions like, “What sort of music do you do?” – But I know it needs to be answered.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Yes – After a number of setbacks I put my dreams on the backburner and got a corporate job. I was only meant to do it for about 2 years but I became complacent and it turned into 8 years. I rarely had the time to do anything that I was passionate about and recently decided to go back to my true calling – creating music. If I could go back in time, I would avoid the whole corporate thing altogether.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Madonna’s Ray of Light or Janet Jackson’s Velvet Rope – They were the first CD’s I owned and they both had a tremendous impact on me growing up. I love the stories in the songs and how artistic and original each track was – without following generic pop formulas etc.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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