Australian-born, LA-based actor and musician Nicholas Hamilton has released his sparkling new single In Line, a song about coming of age that was two years in the making. 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. We caught up with Nicholas for a quick Q+A
Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?
I drove home from the Sunshine Coast! About a 4 hour drive back down to Byron. Up there celebrating Mother’s Day and my 21st Birthday, all in one.
Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for?
Not too long! I’ve been writing for near to 3 years now, and releasing songs for just over 4 months. I’m really new to the industry, but music’s been in my blood since I started acting when I was 11, and probably before that.
Who are your greatest inspirations? Why?
Musically, I look up to people who built themselves from the ground up. Found the right people to help them and succeeded immensely. Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi, Tones and I. Life-wise, I’d be a dick if I didn’t say my parents. It’s true, too.
How do you create music? Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first? Explain your process.
If I’m writing alone, I work mainly with voice memos. If something is running in my head, I have to sing it and catch it before it’s gone. That can be lyrics, but it’s more often a melody. Then I sit behind my piano and cry about something. Most of the time a song pops out. If i’m writing with someone else, which I love to do, it varies a ton, depending on how the other person writes. I rarely bring a piece of a song into a session, I like hearing what they’ve got, or starting from scratch entirely.
What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?
Everything about it, really. I’ve been an actor for almost half my life now, so the performing and creating isn’t new, but the music industry, although closely related to the film/tv industry, is completely different. Learning the ins and outs has been tough, but I’m lowkey loving it.
Tell us about your new release, how did it come about?
I wrote In Line with my guitarist and collaborator Ben Kuhl, about 2 years ago. It was originally directed at someone, “I wanna stay but you say that your heart’s run out of time, and nothing that I could do could even try to change your mind”, but there was no one I could relate that sentiment to in my life, so it morphed into a song directed at my own brain, and my conscience about leaving Australia and moving to the US, “I wanna stay but you say that our heart’s run out of time, and nothing that I could do could even try to change our mind”. I recorded it and produced it in NYC with my producer Arthur Pingrey, and it turned into a funky little number.
What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?
I’d prefer to ask them for advice. I’m still learning, and everyone, no matter how experienced they are, are doing the same. It’s about asking the right questions, and knowing that you don’t actually know everything.
Tell us your favourite Zen practice.
Looooove a massage. Or a cocktail at a jazz bar after a big day.