Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Hailey, a musician from Glendale, AZ.
Nick, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started music at a young age, singing with my dad, taking piano and guitar lessons, playing in church. In high school, I got very involved in music: marching band, jazz band, orchestra, choir, and performing in the school talent show. I acted in school plays and found a love for performing. I realized that music was what I wanted to do with my life, began writing music with friends, and applied to college as a music major. I took to composition, jazz guitar, conducting, and sitar, an Indian classical instrument. I especially took interest in playing by ear and improvising, always trying to analyze everything I heard and apply it to a mental map or musical framework. I was always jamming and writing with friends, and those first recordings and jams were the inspiration for my musical work to date. N. Hail Music. Breathe in music. Exhale the distractions. Since making the decision to really go for it, the pieces started falling into place. N. Hail became more than just music.
Between recordings, performances, photo shoots, live streams, designing merch and a logo, designing a website, and now shooting video and learning to mix, N. Hail is about being the energy you want from the world, being the smiling face, laughing, having fun; about taking our trials and deepest emotions and making something out of them that’s worth sharing. Inhale them, experience them, feel them, and then exhale, release them, share what you’ve learned, share the pieces of yourself that are better for having lived, the best version of yourself.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Well, needless to say, it’s been a bumpy ride, but to struggle is to really have tried, right? As an artist it can be hard to stay true to yourself when there are so many voices telling you which way to go. Artistry means taking confidence in your path and running with it, ignoring the chatter. Still, the joy of music is sharing and experiencing it with others, not in an isolated vacuum, and the musical art is a conversation between writing, performing, recording, mixing, mastering, and visuals. These other pieces are so integral to the music making itself, so I didn’t want to get into the mindset of “I only do this part.” Being a musician isn’t just about the music; it’s about creating a person who has something interesting or useful to say. Recording and mixing informs your performance, and your image informs your audience about who you are before they even hear your music. All these experiences inform your perspective and what you say when you write.
However, if you were to try to do all these things alone, you could spread yourself out too far; you simply wouldn’t have the time, or motivation, or inspiration. So it’s a balance. There’s a saying “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” Sometimes you have to go at it alone because others aren’t going to be willing to do what it takes. They’re not going to be willing to sit there while you do 50 takes of a vocal part to get it just right. They’re not going to want to give up their weekends. Still, you have to be looking for your team, noticing who is patient with you and really supports you and roots for you, celebrates you. These are the people that will make it more than just “here’s a random song I made in my bedroom.” So the real goal is connecting with people and providing them value in the exchange. After all, what would any artist be without an audience?
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I write, record, produce, and perform. Most recently, I’ve taken on video production as well. During the days I’m a teacher for elementary school band. As a multi-instrumentalist, I sing, play guitar, sitar, piano, bass, drums, as well as violin, flute, clarinet, saxophone, and trumpet, to varying degrees. My main act has always been guitar and voice, but I record with other instruments as well and have performed with a drummer. More specifically, my sound combines electronic music with pop-influenced sounds. I especially take inspiration from classical music, jazz, Indian music, and flamenco, and from artists who have truly excelled to an extent that transcended their genre. Some of my biggest inspirations are Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ravi Shankar, Paco de Lucia, and The Beatles.
I’m glad to say I’ll be releasing a project in the upcoming months, and I’m super excited for everyone to see and hear what I’ve got in store. I’m always striving for progression in production value and artistry, and the songs are like snapshots of different times in my life.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think success takes a combination of qualities: courage to take a chance at success, persistence to push through challenges and/or failures, endurance to keep doing so, just to name a few. Ultimately it takes belief that what you’re doing is possible, believing you can succeed, that your obstacles can be overcome, and that it’s worth it.
- Website: nhailmusic.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/n._
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/n.
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/nicholas_
Allie Jay Photography and Suzie Rangel