FM Meets: NICK KINGSWELL

"I grew up in the late '90s and early 00's when there was still a lot of money in the music industry."
17 August 2021

By Vee D

Deep Blue, accompanied by b-side, Money In The Bank, is the ideal introduction toAustralia’s Nick Kingswell music realm, made of meaningful and introspective tunes, that command our full attention from the start.Deep Blue talks about depression and anxiety, relating the emotion of feeling blue to that of the often hazy, cloudy, and confusing feeling we experience upon waking from a dream.

Hello Nick how are you?

Hi, I’m very well. Thank you. 

You’ve released the single Deep Blue/Money In The Bank, can you tell us about the themes contained within the a-side and b-side?

Deep Blue is the closest I’ve come to visualizing an inexplicably low mood. You know those days where you feel like garbage but can’t explain why? I used to compare it to weight on my shoulders or a heavy heart. But now it seems to be more like an all-encompassing color. And I think Money In The Bank, and its meaning, ties in with this too. Money isn’t a guarantee for happiness. We all know that. But still, we fill our houses with things we don’t need in the hope that it will lift our spirits. Time and again. I think humans are funny like that. We know the outcome of our actions, but we do it anyway. 

How does the writing process work when formulating ideas for new music?

I write most days. I treat it like a job. It’s quite similar, to be honest. Same burden. Usually, an idea or angle is quite abstract. So then I’m looking for a way in. For a corner of the package that I can peel back. Then it’s slow, steady work. I chip away until the song is exposed. It’s usually there. Sometimes it takes more work than others. Sometimes, it’s just a lump of coal. But it’s worth the gamble either way. You never know when you’ll get a metaphorical diamond.

Has the pandemic had an impact on the art you create?

Yes, absolutely. But in a good way. I was due to return to Toronto to work with my producer, James Bunton. But when we couldn’t travel, we started working remotely. It turns out that this way suits us both much better. I can take all the time I need to finish a song. And with no gigs to play, I’ve had even more time to go down the songwriting rabbit hole.

As a London-based artist, and formerly Australian, do the city’s you live in influence the kind of music you produce?

Since last updating my bio (sorry!) I’m now based in Cornwall which I can confirm has had a very positive effect on my music. Purely being happy with where I live will always inspire me. Age also has a lot to do with it though. Australia’s an amazing place and one I love dearly. But I left in my mid-twenties when I was still desperately trying to find my voice as an artist. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that, yes, a city can influence the music you produce, but your own happiness and artistic “arrival” will be a more fulfilling and inspiring moment.

How has the music industry changed since you began playing in bands?

I grew up in the late ’90s and early 00’s when there was still a lot of money in the music industry. Pre-Napster, pre-Myspace, music was still mysterious and exciting. The internet has changed the landscape radically. The price of music has never been lower. I used to get down about that. But I mostly just try to stick to my lane and focus on the songs I’m writing these days. I feel stupidly lucky to be able to make a living doing the thing I love most, so I don’t want to bad-mouth it (the music biz) behind its back, ha!

Where do you think your music fits in today’s world?

Somewhere quiet. In moments of reflection. In moments of despair. With people who feel lonely. With people who have the same thoughts as me. With anyone and everyone who needs to not feel alone.

If you were stranded on a desert island which three albums would you choose to wash up on the shore?

1. Adrienne Lenker – Songs
2. Jeff Buckley – Grace
3. Otis Redding – Best Of

With live performances have been on hold over the past year or so, did you find new ways to connect with your fans?

I tried a couple of live streams and they just felt wrong. So I just started releasing new music as regularly as possible. I’m not sure how it’s going yet, ask me again this time next year.

What are your plans for the rest of 2021?

More releases, some more accompanying videos, a lot more writing, and thoughts of a future where I can play live again.

facebook.com/nick.kingswell

@nick_kingswell

©FM