Nick Chilli Haze, will proudly tell you that he is “the Hollywood cliché that you hate to love,” as he releases his debut single, “City Lights.”
Australian born Nick has lived the LA dream for the past 8 years, moving from a small town to chase his dreams in Hollywood, whilst carrying the burdens of his past.
Nick came up with the idea of his debut single ‘City Lights’ last year when he took a solo road trip to Vegas to try and save himself. When asked about the process, one of the things he mentioned was, “I was surrounded by absolute soul-sucking leeches who I knew were going to stab me in the back eventually. I wrote it on a day I wasn't the real me anymore.”
The release is accompanied by a concept music video; created, shot, and edited by Nick at his LA apartment during the lockdown. Whilst the rest of us were learning new skills like cake baking, Nick spent the duration of his lockdown learning the mechanics of a camera stabilizer. When asked how, as a new artist, Nick sees himself fitting into the music industry he explained, “If Jim Morrison got with CeeLo Green and asked Lana Del Rey to watch." It’s an interesting thought for sure.
“City Lights,” opens up with revolutionary synths and the up-beat rhythm of groovy drums that slowly begin to introduce electronic and metal elements with the chugging of a poignant, distorted electric guitar. The vocals Nick exudes are soft and ominous, matching the tone of this record with a futuristic vibe in a blissful utopia. The collaborative elements of the multiple genres create a unique flavor in not only the instrumentation and vocals as separate components but as they fluently mix as well.
All of the fundamentals this record puts out transports you to a place where you can fall into the depths of the music and forget what is in your immediate surroundings. The innovative and ominous ambiances resonate with the passion Nick Chilli Haze oozes. The components executed merge in an impeccable manner showcasing the intoxicating and haunting tone that pulls us in until the song concludes.
As an artist who pushes the boundaries of genres, Nick Chilli Haze has us instantly hooked with the release of his debut single, “City Lights.”
Could you tell us a bit more about how this song came to be?
At the time, I was learning what it was like to write completely as a solo artist. I’ve always had bands and even though I’d do almost all of the writing, the songs never really became what I wanted to hear. City Lights is my version of a rock song. The rest of what I was writing at the time is good for club shit; girls dancing on a pole or burlesque, so it’s usually slow and more about vibing to cages coming down from the roof or dancing on bar tops, but city lights is me tapping into one of my loves, rock n roll. In the way, I hear it.
What is your largest non-musical inspiration that you bring into your music?
I’ll admit I’m stumped here. At first, James dean came to mind because the dude is probably one of the coolest guys to ever exist, in life and death. I then went back and forth with if I should “honesty policy” it and say, I want to be cool, or find another answer. But I can’t find another answer. So my answer is James dean because I’ve always wanted to be cool.
What is the reason that you initially began to create music the way that you do?
I’ve always appreciated having so many influences from musicians, artists, writers, stories, love, and life that even if I’m conscious of it or not, it’s a great part of everything I do. I also completely hate the idea of copying and not being original. Combined with living inside of my head; I create what’s true to me. And what’s me is nothing you’d expect.
How has your unique sound of bending genres come to be what it is today?
I think the quickest way to find the root of it is knowing I love music that makes me dance... but if Jimi Hendrix was on it and I sang. It’s really just music I want to suit my mood. Somedays, I’m at the club sad and falling out of love, other days I’m a whiskey-drinking cowboy in the California desert. I think it’s also helpful to know I’m Australian and even though I’ve lived in LA 8 years, Aussie music is a massive part of my influence. So I have the Southern Hemisphere take on an American classic.
What has been keeping you inspired while creating new music this year?
One of the things lockdown has given me is the time to have creative freedom. So much time to be experimental with my music, writing, and art which has been such a blast. I’ve also always struggled with making art in the visual sense, but with the extra time, I feel as though I’ve finally figured out my way of showing what I want to see. I won’t lie, there was a month or two where I didn’t want to do anything creative, purely out of frustration. I was tired and drained, pissed with being alone so much but in the middle of that break, I wrote a song that I love. It has been an unstable, yet rewarding flux of emotions and thankfully it’s been towards bettering myself creatively and personally.