After being born in Leytonstone, London, Nick Brewer grew up in a vibrant and varied community. This is likely one of the reasons why the creative can draw inspiration from anyone, from Ghetts to Dianna Ross.
His widespread knowledge of the industry, as well as the sounds that make it tick, has allowed him to not only prosper as an individual but as a collaborator. In fact, Nick has tapped into talents such as Stormzy, Naomi Scott and Barney Artist, all of which featured on his ‘Warning Light’ EP.
As well as this, Nick is behind ‘Talk About It,’ a Community Interest Company he set up in 2018 in the wake of writing a poem for BBC 1Xtra. He now writes and delivers workshops to primary and secondary school students, focussing on common mental health problems and how you can use song-writing/creative writing to better express this.
We caught up with Nick after the release of his latest single ‘No Face To The Words.’ The single is a part of a 5-track EP that was created in collaboration with the critically acclaimed songwriter, Phil Simmonds. The EP takes on the same name and is set to drop on the 9th of April.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS?
Absolutely fine, if I’m honest. The last year has shown me how blessed I am. Yeah, I get a bit bored now and then, and miss seeing friends in the same way. But, it’s also given me an opportunity to read and explore different interests and creative ideas that I’ve been sitting on.
WHAT IS YOUR SONGWRITING PROCESS?
I usually go into the studio with little to no idea of what I’m going to write about or make. I always do it in collaboration with a producer, and usually, a sound or musical note will spark an idea in my brain, and I just start writing.
I’ve got the first line, it doesn’t take me long to write the rest of it, but sometimes that first line can take a long time to arrive!
WHO/WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?
Nas has been a huge inspiration in the way that he is so detailed and descriptive in his rhymes. He really paints a picture that I can see. Jesus Christ and his teachings are a huge inspiration for me also, and often spark my thoughts when I’m writing lyrics.
IF YOU COULD WORK WITH ANY ARTIST DEAD OR ALIVE WHO WOULD YOU PICK AND WHY?
Wes Montgomery. The way he plays the guitar is like nothing I’ve heard before.
DOES YOUR PROCESS CHANGE DEPENDING ON THE ARTIST YOU’RE WORKING WITH? IF SO, WHY? IF NOT, WHY?
I don’t think so. I believe I am unique and have something to offer, and no matter who I’m working with, I want to bring that to the song.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ANYONE FACING MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES DURING THIS LOCKDOWN?
Talk about it. Write about it. Don’t beat yourself up about how you feel. The past year has been surreal and felt somewhat hopeless, why wouldn’t it have affected your mental health? Speaking out about how I feel and not holding all inside, really helps how I feel mentally.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE WHO’S LOOKING TO GET INTO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
Why are you looking to get into the music industry? It might be a hard question to answer, but knowing what you want from it is a good place to start. I got into music because I love writing and making music, and I’ve had to hold onto that a few times, as the music industry can be very aggravating!
as someone who studied history, what time period are you most interested in and why?
THE COLD WAR. IT TELLS THE STORY OF HOW WE GOT TO WHERE WE ARE NOW, AND IT LEFT ALMOST NO STONE UNTURNED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
I hope this doesn’t sound corny, but the highlight for me is actually being able to say I have a career. I never imagined I would be able to say I made music for a job, and I’m grateful for that.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU IN 2021?
My new collaboration EP with Phil Simmonds, called ‘No Face To The Words’, and a few other exciting things that I can’t talk about just yet!
STREAM NICK BREWER’S LATEST SINGLE