As a young actor and musician, Nicholas took the plunge and moved from his home in Byron Bay to Los Angeles. As an actor he has starred alongside Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving and Jessica Chastain to name a few, and has an ever-growing list of successful films under his belt, including roles in global blockbusters such as It, It: Chapter Two, Captain Fantastic, Strangerland and more. Nicholas has returned to Australia to promote his other passion – music. He released his third single In Line last month.
In Line is modern pop but with a slightly retro twist that feels perfectly unique to Nicholas Hamilton. There’s plenty of room in this expert arrangement for Nicholas’ voice to soar – and it’s that voice that takes centre stage even as the beat ramps up and the chorus fills out. Written alongside Ben Kuhl and produced by Arthur Pingrey (Sia, Karen O), this track is expressive, emotive, and it feels appropriate for the subject matter as Nicholas explains, “I wrote this song just after I moved to the US. It’s all too fitting, as the song is about how I felt before and after getting on that plane to come over to the States and start my independent, adult life. I was battling my own headstrong decisions about making that leap and leaving my family, friends and childhood behind. The whole track is me singing to my brain, which was something I didn’t lean into until later on in the writing process.”
Your obviously still in quarantine. How much longer till your able to leave?
Yeah I’m still in quarantine. I think I have three days left after today, today is day ten and its supposed to be the hardest day.
If you have interviews all day you should be right.
The single came out this time last week so it feels like I’ve been doing that ever since I came in.
I did a 14 day quarantine at the beginning of Covid and by day four I was climbing the walls.
I have a massive window here but I’ve never not been outside for ten days. That’s not what human beings do but it doesn’t feel like I haven’t been.
I admit I had to google you!! I’m not really a movie person.
You’re a music person.
I am. I’m really liking your song though.
Thank you I appreciate that, that’s the main aim of the game here is to get people in the music world to know me.
Is music something you have always done or wanted to do?
Not really. I mean music has always been in my blood but I have only been making music for about two years and I’ve only been releasing stuff for about three or four months. It’s very new. The whole goal of this is not to gain any new fans or anything, obviously that’s a plus, but being able to have this bit of expression of these songs that I have been writing for the last few two years. Having them being able to be out in the world so people can hear how I have been for the last two years. That is really exciting to me.
I read that ‘In Lines’ is about you actually getting on that plane and heading off on your big adventure to America.
It’s the same thing with my other songs, pretty much every song on this new EP, they are just like little diary entries of things that I have experienced and people I have experienced those things with. It’s all very raw and candid and honest. I’m just trying to make them as catchy as possible.
You have achieved that, I’m more into the metal scene but I’ve been humming it.
Thanks you I appreciate that.
You have two other singles out as well. Different Year and noRoom. I really liked both of them too. Savs collaborated with you on noRoom, I haven’t heard of her either but she has a beautiful voice.
She is brilliant and very unknown. She’s an artist out of Versailles which is about three hours out of LA. I met her while we were writing In Line actually. Her friend recommended her to me and she came over and we had a jam session. She is just stunning; her voice is just incredible. She deserves way more than she has gotten.
Are you home long enough to be able to play some of these songs live?
It seems like it. It takes fourteen days to get here and it takes a big bloody form to fill out to leave here. I love The States, and I am going to go back but the main goal to be here is to gain a music team to rep me over here. Australia is such a smaller market. It’s where I am from and I feel that it is where I need to begin. I did the same when I started acting when I was eleven. It took three years until I went to the US. I started doing stuff in LA . I think I skipped that with music and it just didn’t feel entirely me. Being able to be back here and possibly doing shows and build my fan base here is a big goal. It makes me a lot more comfortable.
You are from Byron Bay, which has a good music scene.
A hub. I grew up in a small town about 20 minutes out of Byron so I was never really in the centre of it all. We just knew that once you turned 18 that was the only place you could go, that was nearby, for fun. I turned 18 six months before I moved to The States so I feel like I haven’t had that Byron musician experience. I did a few open mics there with my guitarist and that’s really it. I am excited to be back there and be like an Australian Byron musician and play some shows there, even if it’s just busking.
I have to ask this, have you had people say that you are riding off the back of your acting career?
As in using it. Kind of, no one has really said it but I felt it myself. I guess I see it as a positive. I am incredibly grateful for all the acting experiences I have had with IT and Captain Fantastic and all the ones that I have gained a fanbase through. Those people who like me from that stuff and people who like music, which is a small portion of that group, I can use them as guinea pigs for my music and hopefully they can take my music to more people. I am incredibly grateful for them. I am still acting, I still love acting, I would like to think that I can do both. I’ve always said both music and acting share 50% of my brain each. If I had to give up one in order to make the other one more successful I don’t think I would be upset.
Who influences you music? I read about the music you listened to on your car trips with your family when you were growing up.
I guess that really fuelled my love of music in general. That’s where my passion lies. It feels like my whole life I have been listening to music but never really kind of doing anything with it. Those car trips with my mum and dad, and my brother even, they all have wildly different music tastes so I dipped my toe into each of those genres which helped me learn what I like. With that I was able to form my own music opinion with the people I listen to now. Like Lewis Capaldi and Quinn XCII, people who just tickle a little thing in my brain that makes me happy. I feel I write very similar music to what I listen too, it’s very chill bedroom pop. I’ve always said it means something to me if someone take something away from my songs. If people can relate to it and feel a certain thing towards it. At the end of the day if it is someone just thinking its catchy and bopping there head along to it then that is my job done.
It bopped my head!
The producer Arthur Pingrey is incredibly skilled at that. He does two things really well. He can make every happy song or sad song I have brought to him; he has always flipped it on its head. Making a song like Different Year or noRoom even and In Line, they are all quite upsetting subject matters or trepidatious, but he makes them sound really boppy by turning them on their heads. He also has this skill of putting little easter eggs in every song that just tickles a part of your brain that people like. It just makes it catchy and really nice. It was his idea to put the little post chorus in In Line, that wasn’t in it to start with. He thought it needed something else so Ben(Kuhl) and I came up with that. It’s my favourite part of the song. The pre-chorus is so wordy and it’s a lot to take in, its where all the meaning of the song is. To really let the listener relax during the post chorus is really important and integral to the song I think.
Anything else the world needs to know?
Just the fact that I am going to be out of here in four days! So expect to see a little bit more of me. I’ve got a few convention appearances across the country and a few radio appearances that I am excited about. I’m just trying to get my name out there. I believe in my songs and I believe that they have the opportunity to be bigger than they are now and I am doing everything I can to get them to that point.