Nick Henderson's latest offering 'no u' is a vibrant summer track filled with sounds from different genres. We wanted to find out more about the inspiration behind this unique blend, so we asked Nick for 5 of his favourite songs. Check out Nick's hand-picked tracks below to get an idea of what his music is all about, and don't forget to check out 'no u' at the end!
1) John Mayer - 'Clarity'
Even though this song was not as popular as others from his arsenal, themeaning behind the lyrics regarding an intangible moment of peace and the anxiety that follows our vain attempts to cling to that moment, could not be better articulated. One of the things that John Mayer said that I easily identify with, is that "anxiety is a driving force" for my writing. Hearing this song at a young age, while being aware of my own anxiety and depression, gave me the validation that I wasn't the only one to feel those feelings, and it's something that I now hope to be able to provide for my own listeners. I loved how the video was shot at the Santa Monica Pier and so in honor of it being one of my favorite songs and videos, I included clips from the same boardwalk in my lyric video for my song, "No U."
2) The Fray - 'You Found Me'
This song has been a radio repeat for a reason, and has been a staple in any playlist that I have had since I was young and it first came out. The Fray has always been one of my favorite bands, and the acoustic rock sound that they create is closest to the direction that I see myself moving. The idea of man searching for God at his lowest points is such an universal concept, and the feeling that you have lost your whole world when you lose that certain person, could not be better represented. The dark and dramatic tones of this video always reminded me of Christopher Nolan's Batman, though they were both shot in a lot of the same areas as well.
3) Edwin McCain - 'I'll Be'
This song is the very first song that I can remember having as a favorite in my life. When I was a child riding in the car, I would always ask my parents to start it over the very second it ended, because one listen was never enough. Much of the world agreed as it peaked at number 5 on Billboard's Top 100. Edwin equates this song to being a sort of "prayer" towards manifesting a better version of himself as he watched his previous relationship end. In an explanation of its origin he recounts overhearing a barfly tell a woman that was mourning her own breakup that he would be her "crying shoulder," and how the resonance of that line sounded like a hook in itself. This iconic piece is an example of raw vulnerability and the pain behind it has been so relatable that 24 years later it is still resonating with audiences.
4) Mac Miller - '2009'
When Mac released his record "The Divine Feminine" is when I caught on and realized what a transcendent songwriter that he really was, but it was "2009" off of "Swimming" that really made me a fan. The song's focus on loss, mental illness, coping with substance abuse, and the peace that Mac found in accepting the things beyond his control, was something that really embodied the struggles of many songwriters and empaths. However, in his own masterful way, Mac was able to compose a hip/hop song that's ballad-like tone mimicked the peace he was finally finding, against the darker contrast of the lyrics and overall themes. Despite the world's loss of him, we are lucky to still have his art alive with us, and he will continue to inspire many more artists and listeners like he did myself.
5) Hootie & The Blowfish - 'Let Her Cry'
Darius Rucker refers to "Let Her Cry" as the first "country song" that he wrote, though it charted when his 90s rock band, Hootie and The Blowfish debuted the track in 1994. Darius shares that this track about a man struggling to leave a toxic relationship, was inspired by the Black Crowes' "She Talks To Angels." The modern sound of a rock band performing this country-styled ballad is the perfect balance of what I want to evolve towards stylistically. The unhindered pain in his tone is perfectly accompanied by the narrative song structure, a common style in country and bluegrass songwriting, that allows him to tell a story that any listeners who struggle with leaving unhealthy relationships, myself included, can truly identify with.
Nick Henderson - 'no u' OUT NOW