Nick Ward Comes to Terms With Coming of Age in 'Brand New You' [Q&A]
Nick Ward has been promoting a lot of sad boi vibes for us lately. He is an artist whose genre-agnostic style really dials into the emotions of a song over any specific sound. Add to that a dose of witty and cathartic lyrics and you begin to uncover what makes this Sydney-based artist a gem on repeat. Wanting to know more about his latest work, BRAND NEW YOU, and how he goes about putting together such a cohesive but diverse sound, we reached out via e-mail to learn more.
Who is Nick Ward?
I am Nick Ward
Besides being so excellent... What is BRAND NEW YOU all about?
BRAND NEW YOU is about gender, trauma, ego, and the other things on my mind after leaving high school, entering a relationship and becoming a 'grown up.' It’s about embracing all the contradictions and sides of your identity, in order to be a better person to yourself and other people.
You have a unique but approachable sound; how do you settle on song composition?
I think my beats are usually very busy or ear-grabbing because they’re instrumentals for 70% of the process. I write lyrics last, so they have to carry themselves as wordless pieces of music first.
Some excellent collaborators on this work, how'd you pick them?
I’m only interested in working with people who have a defined sound or style - they need to be bringing something to the table, because I already write and produce the music. Maybe it’s a headass answer, but they just need to do something that I couldn’t have done myself. I don’t do sessions with people unless I really, really fuck with what they’re doing
Who produced the EP, it’s so well created and paced?
Thanks! I produce and mix all my music, but on this EP, the first and last track are co-produced with friends of mine - Lucian Blomkamp and Jerome Blazé.
Can we expect more of this style in the future, potentially on an upcoming album?
I feel like this EP is the first time I’ve felt like I’ve really dialled in ‘my sound’ so yeah, you can expect something in a similar lane - but I always wanna be surprising people.
Besides this excellent EP what else should we be on the lookout for?
I haven’t heard the whole thing yet but 1300 also have their mixtape out. Best release day buddies ever. My friend Jerome who I mentioned before also has an excellent album out called Giver.
What’s inspiring you right now outside of music?
Films and photographers. I really need to read more - I wish I could say books. The next EP is gonna be very inspired by my childhood and family history, so I’m doing all the research I can before diving in to writing.
Who are your Ones To Watch?
1300 are definitely the most exciting act in Sydney at the moment. Just so bold and authentic - you can tell that there’s zero compromise when it comes to their vision. It feels like the listeners come to them, rather than the other way round. Outside of Australia, I’m a huge fan of boylife and I think whatever he makes next could be a classic.