Nicc Angeles’ music is a language of its own doing, having been comprised of elements that were upon by true and unapologetic feelings vi communication, everything just fell into its proper place. That being said, Nicc goes into detail about his summer single called “Over This” as well as his debut EP release “Taking Off”.
NP: Tell me about Nicc Angeles. Why did you decide to name the project after yourself? What kind of ideas did you explore?
I became Nicc Angeles the minute I rolled into California, 10 years after I began my longing journey through the pacified states of America. I first started a band with session players of like thinking, and we called ourselves Mind Plow. It consisted of Yogi Lonich (Chris Cornell, Buck Cherry), Andreas Brobjer (Lady Gaga), Justin Smolian, and myself. These guys welcomed me into the LA scene and put steroids into my musical growth. After blazing our hard rock show through a few stages around LA and Hollywood (to exclusive audiences), I built a recording studio to concentrate on producing my songs for dance clubs in a “genre blending” way. I had a million names in mind for the new sound, but I felt Nicc Angeles would be the easiest to digest… and probably the most accurate.
NP: Can you tell me more about your EP “Taking Off” the title, artwork, ideas, etc. How did it all come together would you say and what does it represent for you?
The EP Taking Off came about while writing and producing songs to support my rock/hip-hop fusion track titled House Of Triccs, which will be released later this year. House Of Triccs blends a Mind Plow riff with a hip-hop beat, setting a melody hybrid of the two on top. The original idea was to have a danceable, ten song album finished by early 2017. But as production evolved, I felt that two somewhat different sounds emerged in the process. Half of the songs felt more rebellious and edgy… the other half more mainstream, radio friendly. The latter selections became the Taking Off EP (also the title of the third track). The first single in this grouping is titled Over This, but I didn’t think that sentiment was fitting for the entire EP. So I went with Taking Off, because in my opinion, the feeling of “taking off” is a psychological and emotional high that should be experienced as often as possible.
NP: Off this EP “Taking Off” comes your single “Over This” which also opens the EP. Why pick this track as a single, let alone have it also open up this release of yours, what is it about this particular track that just made it right for you?
My songs are my children… I don’t have favorites. So introducing Over This as the first single was purely a business decision. It has the most clear-cut, commercially accessible hook. On its face, Over This is a break up song. But it’s not just contemplating ending a personal relationship… it’s about disengaging with anything that has lost its excitement or usefulness. Most of all, to me, it’s about being over the appeasement to a contrived social system, with the hopeful, but unrealistic attempt to gain it’s pointless favor. I wasn’t thinking of a particular woman when I wrote Over This… there were a few… as well as a few jobs, schools, clubs, and friendships.
NP: “Over This”, is not just a single but was made into a video as well. Go into detail about the song’s story and video’s concept for us. What does it all mean and refer to?
I was never one for music videos in the past… I wanted the audio to spark a custom visual for the listener. I felt audio alone allowed the listener to be more creatively involved with the interaction. However, the demand for visual aids with the public became unavoidable. So when my girlfriend started filming me singing to the song Alone (2nd track) with her iPhone, I got into it. Then when her filming and editing was looking really good, I became a video enthusiast!
My approach to making the Over This video was to put a camera around my neck… then put one around my girlfriend’s neck… go out to the streets of Venice Beach and start shooting whatever seemed relevant. It started as improvisation. The idea to display cardboard signs came from seeing all the homeless cardboard requests on the boardwalk. The boxing gloves came about as I was trying to visualize the struggle of a relationship, and the blows often taken when trying to negotiate its terms. The gloves are pink to represent femininity, and symbolize my underestimation of a female opponent. It also symbolizes all things I thought would be easier to deal with… but wound up kicking my ass.
NP: Where do you take all your inspiration from?
When I’m inspired, I assume it comes from God. Because when I’m not inspired, I’m certain there isn’t one.
NP: In your opinion what is the best way to define Nicc Angeles sound?
I would define my sound as “cool”. Whether the song is upbeat, sad, edgy, emotional, danceable, political, or just catchy… I won’t release it unless it’s cool too.
NP: What are your main musical and non-musical influences? How huge has their influence impacted your sound?
My influences have been anybody that honestly connects with their audience and then delivers them from the rigid perspective of society’s conformed reality. So there are too many to mention them all here, but I’ll name a couple. One would be Muhammad Ali… he was visual music before music videos, as well as an inspirational poet of rebellious confidence… very cool. Led Zeppelin: created a timeless musical canvas of “cool” that has never been outdone. I try not to be too conscious of any one particular influence though. I think originality comes from the unconscious weaving of abundance.
NP: Do you have any other hobbies besides music?
I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, tennis, and basketball. I was very interested in human health and became a personal fitness trainer a few years back. It became more than a hobby, and while training my clients; I developed tools in mental toughness. I think that’s one of the things that draws me to music… it’s a mental exercise.
NP: What is it like in the day and life that is Nicc Angeles?
The typical day in my life can probably be best described as relaxed effort. While jumping into the chaos, with the intention of controlling my part to improve the experience, I also accept my limitations, so that success is a malleable and subjective target. I write about emotions as a way to feel them… but I practice stoicism. If you want to experience a day of solid appreciation for life, spend a day with me. Let’s see what happens (that can be done by downloading my album).
NP: Are you all supported by your relatives towards your devotion to music?
My family and friends seem to really like some of my music. They disapprove of much of it also. Sure my close relatives are very supportive of my musical endeavors, but most people I know could care less. I mean when you have the internet… who needs to hear another musicians’ “gift to the world”? But I don’t write music for those people. I write for people who will seek out greatness to the craft. I write for those who know that the sweetest voices are hard to hear. They’re hard to hear because they don’t patronize you… and you’re not used to that. Greatness is also hard to hear because it’s buried under the noise of a scared population, screaming for attention with their newly found tools of distribution… that are way out of their communicable league. Their insecurity fills the airwaves with propaganda, using manipulation techniques taught to them by other insecure people. They’ve learned from the good capitalists that to be heard, you must be loud. Never mind your content, which is almost certain to be boring and expendable. Be loud to get heard! But good content is there… somewhere in between and underneath the garbage. I write for those people who can recognize it.
NP: What did you do for the summer time, go anywhere, see any flicks, read or listen to any tunes, just do something that stood out for you?
This summer I started writing a novel. As with my video concepts, it’s starting off as an impromptu account of my efforts to climb every prominent mountain peak in California. I began this climbing venture after visiting Mammoth last year and being struck by the awe of its rugged beauty. The scene to me was the picture of stoicism, and I had to be a player in that scene from the moment I witnessed it.
NP: What do you have lined up from here on out, in terms of the rest of this year, leading into this next year?
I’m leaving my plans for the rest of this year up to chance. Sometimes when you hit a fork in the road, all you can do is flip a coin. Andreas AKA “the Sandman” (drummer from Mind Plow) and I are going to start putting the show to stage again around LA. What happens from there is up to LA.
NP: Thanks a lot for the interview. Speak out to your fans, supporters, critics and our readers before we wrap up!
Thanks Natalie. I’ll exit by saying… dive in. Listen to my music and think about how it addresses you and your experience. If you’re so inclined, contact me and share your thoughts… I’d find great comfort and satisfaction in hearing from you directly. I hope my songs can inspire more art. Let me know if you’re inspired to sing, dance, paint, write, film, or even climb a mountain because of something in my music. That’s what it’s all about… we learn, grow, and advance as souls from each other. Thanks for caring. And Thanks Natalie and Skope.
By: Natalie Perez