Nick Cunningham is a well-written, acoustic, and harmonious artist from South Australia, based in Byron Bay who has been whirling around the coast a whole lot of late and pricked our ears. Perhaps pricked is too strong a verb though – how about caressed? Stroked? Lovingly patted? Happified? Now I’m just making up words to attempt ensconcing the awesomeness that surrounds him.
As an introverted young man with the mean case of state of confusion, he used the exposure method to facing his fears, forcing himself to platform himself in front of a sizeable crowd. Splashing around in the deep end, he realized he’d found his happy place, and these days you’ll find him roaming the stage on the regular.
Experimenting with his sounds in the salty sweet sea air of tunes that drift past our earholes daily, Nick Cunningham makes us sit up and pay attention. The airy vocals that will fill you with all the warmth and fuzziness you need gathered with a rolling finger -picked guitar plucking fresh new melodies, but our rather sensitive heartstrings too. He fills us to the brim with hopeful optimism. Representing one of those days when the only way to get the weight of the world off your shoulders is to dance it off.
For those not acquainted with Nick Cunningham’s ethereal tones, go forth and listen! Thou shalt not be disappointed.
1 | Tell us a little about your sound?
My sound is something that I still don’t understand completely. I like to keep things honest in my music and my sound. I like to keep it simple giving it space and time. I almost enjoy the parts I don’t play more than the parts I do.
2 | What was the first song you worked on like?
I started writing music in the middle of the massive rise of the punk/emo genre. I don’t remember the very first song I worked on but I can imagine it was no masterpiece.
3 | What’s the story behind Nick Cunningham?
The Nick Cunningham that fronts the music has so far has given a thoughtful perspective of a hard lived youth. A lot of what he loved was taken away or simply left him behind. Much like in the music the sadness is evident in life but it can never take over completely. While its good to acknowledge sadness you can never let it get the better of you and you have to seek uplift in any situation life hands you. A competitive athlete with huge potential was the exterior of a creative soul who always made sure to please others. My life has had huge highs and rewards from hard work and perseverance as well as extreme lows. While there is a huge back-story to how “Nick Cunningham” came to be id like to stick to my thoughts on being a true artistic and let the music tell the man.
4 | Who got you into music?
I guess there are a few stages of my music to date. The way my family life was at home I had spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was a kid. My mothers’ father played an acoustic guitar and my fathers mother the piano so I had music around me at a young age. My sister introduced me to popular music. Once she was given a radio for Christmas she could listen to what she wanted in her room and make cassettes from recording the radio. I was strictly song writing until I met a man named Richard Horton while working as an apprentice builder in central Australia. He opened my mind to sound and then I started my road to where we are now.
5 | What are you fascinated by?
I’m fascinated by vibe. How some people/artists/bands have this certain feel about them. How you can watch some performances and be entertained while others can completely captivate you and take you away. I also get fascinated with the sand at the edge of the water when I’m at the beach.
6 | Have you had a life – changing music experience?
Yeah I have had a lot of them. Every moment changes your life in some way I suppose. I was lucky enough to meet and spend time with one of my biggest musical inspirations when I was younger. I got to see the realness behind the mask of commercially successful artists and it taught me a lot.
7 | Most exciting thing that has happened to you?
I am a pretty slow moving kind of human and I don’t get overly excited about a whole lot. I am lucky enough to have some fans that come to my shows and sing words back to me from the songs I created out of nothing but ideas in my head. That’s a pretty amazing thing to have happen in life.
8 | How did it feel like when you played your first gig?
My first gig was crazy. I couldn’t actually play the guitar or sing when I got my first gig and the only way to perform at home was to play a 3-hour cover gig at the hotel with the AFL playing above your head on TV. There was a line up to get into the venue, which I had never seen before and haven’t seen since. All my friends got wasted and I played a bunch of Angus Stone covers. The pub made a killing and I got booked on regular rotations despite my lack of musicianship, which was great for my apprentice bank balance but horrible for my progression as a musician.
9 | If you could choose anyone in the world, who would you want to collaborate with, and why?
The Dire Straits. If you have seen their Alchemy performance then you will know why.
10 | Can you give us five words to describe Nick Cunningham?
Fragile, Thoughtful, Composed, Hopeful, Patient.
11 | When you’re not being half ‘Nick Cunningham‘, what do you like to do?
Outside of music I love my home in South Australia. I like the long drives to the surf and surfing the waves I know all to myself with my best friends. I like the beers on sunset in the desert car parks and the adventure with no plans to do anything but enjoy our home. As much as half of me wants to play music to the world the other half wants to hide away and have the life I had growing up in my own piece of paradise.
12 | What’s in the pipeline for you as a soloist artist?
In the near future I have plans to release some new music this year. An over all plan for me as an artist is to make music how I feel it. I want to keep putting myself out in front of the world to see how many people feel it the way I do. I think that’s all I can do. What ever comes along the way from that is what is supposed to be and I’ll work hard at all the opportunities that eventuate.