Modern Hard Rock, Christian Rock, Orchestral Rock
Cape Town, South Africa. Currently in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Hobbies/Interests Apart from Music:
Paramedicine, movies, and quality time with my daughter.
Last Netflix Binge:
Wrecked, Brooklyn Nine Nine
Red, Seether, Breaking Benjamin, Skillet
Very First Musical Purchase:
A cheap acoustic guitar. I still use it to write most of my songs. Love that faithful dusty old guitar.
CCM: What led you to pursue your ministry in music?
Nicholas: Rock bottom. I’ve been in EMS as a Paramedic for 16 years and have come across a lot of trauma, witnessed heartbreak and loss. Over time the love and passion for my career had unfortunately brought me to a dark place. I didn’t seek help for a very long time. Turned to alcohol to numb myself and turned away from God. Years of pain and mental self torture left a void that could only be filled by something greater than me. That was the cure and It was standing beside me the whole time. Crying with me on hopeless days, holding me when I felt isolated and alone and calling out to me when I felt no one cared or was listening. The cure was surrendering to Someone greater than me. I was led back to my music. There was a healing aspect to writing songs again and I was lead to using it for something more than just me.
CCM: Do you remember that moment when you realized you wanted to make a difference with your music?
Nicholas: I love being a paramedic. I love being there for someone in their times of need but I with my music I can use it as a platform to reach others that have been through the same struggles I have. I am truly not a better or stronger man than the next and that’s the point! Only God could give the strength I needed to live again. If my music can be used to somehow plant that seed in someone else then every struggle and tear was worth it.
CCM: What are your hopes for the new project?
Nicholas: To reach other first responders and to create mental health awareness. We all hear the cliche lines, “it’s okay to struggle and you’re not alone”, but actually physically reaching out and admitting you are “weak” is NOT easy. My hope is to be another hammer strike on the stigma of PTSD. I hope my music can encourage others to come forward and if it leads them to God then that’s pretty cool too.
CCM: If you could potentially tour with any other artist or band, who would you choose and why?
Nicholas: Skillet. Because when I was younger I had listened to my sister’s music and come across these guys. I was a huge fan.
CCM: What was the last song you listened to on your playlist or stereo?
Nicholas: I am currently listening to “We As Human” by We Fall Apart. Awesome tune.
CCM: What was the last book you read?
Nicholas: Oh man, I need to read more books haha. Umm, to be honest the last book I was reading as a cardiac life support book for a license upgrade. You asked… haha
CCM: If you could tell the world about another artist/band to check out, who would it be?
Nicholas: Lauren Daigle. We covered “You Say” for a reason. It’s a powerful, inspirational song and the words speak to lots of people.
Watch Nicholas’ version of “You Say” here:
CCM: Name a song that you wish you’d written (and why).
Nicholas: Aerosmith‘s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” When the movie Armageddon came out in 1998 and we heard that song for the first time, the world was blown away. It’s rare that a song can instantly capture the entire planet like that one did. Another example would be, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” from the movie Titanic. Wait!! I’m seeing a pattern here. I need to make a movie… haha
CCM: How did you arrive at the name of your new album?
Nicholas: My album is called We Are Warriors. It will be released later this year. There is strength in recovery and being a first responder is a calling.
CCM: What can listeners expect in terms of the sound, style and lyrics?
Nicholas: I think they will find a lot of orchestral music mixed with a modern rock sound. There is no secret method behind my lyrics. I’ll write to whatever inspires me at the time. Usually written at certain memorable moments throughout my journey. For example, my uncle’s suicide or the duration I stayed in rehab. There is a certain power that remains in the lyrics when it’s written “in the moment.”
CCM: Who are your biggest musical influences?
Nicholas: So many. I was a big fan of grunge rock hard rock bands growing up. Nirvana, Offspring, Skillet and yes, even Korn.
CCM: What was the songwriting process like on this record?
Nicholas: Jared Robinson and I worked closely on this album. We bought two unique concepts to the table and it worked. Jared is a genius when it comes to orchestral construction and a building a song into its full potential. He also does a great job at deciphering my busy mind when putting music to paper… haha
CCM: Are there any underlying themes or threads that tie this project together?
Nicholas: Absolutely. It’s all done in support of our first responders, encouraging healing and faith.
CCM: How important is your faith or spirituality within your music?
Nicholas: Incredibly important. I could not have done any of this with out my faith in God. It’s His strength that saved me and led me down this road. Without Him I’d be living in darkness or, honestly, dead.
CCM: What message do you hope listeners will take away from your music, regardless of what they believe?
Nicholas: Reach out. You can’t do this alone. We live in this society where we are told to rely on ourselves and only ourselves. You are told to make yourself #1 and that you can fill that emptiness you feel by superficial means.
I want my message to be this: It’s all a lie! We were not built to be alone. When hard times hit, reach out to others that have your best interest at heart. Call out to God because he can hear you. He is real. Recovery is possible but only if you reach out.