INTERVIEW: NICO NEWTON
Chicago based rapper and artist Nico Newton has been making waves with his almost hypnotic type of hip-hop music. Always one for innovating and persistent with his craft, his latest single 'Top Floor' is a deep and meaningful hip-hop track about wanting to push further and take whatever climbs necessary to make it.
We sat down with Nico and discussed his new single, along with his story so far and inspirations...
Hey Nico! Could you describe your sound & style for any of our readers who may not have heard of you before?
I had to describe my sound I would say soft rock mixed with some heavy 808's. Just off of my love for guitar's in my music it gives it that soft rock feel and then as my songs build up you usually hear heavy trap 808's come in. Makes you want to cry and rage at the same time.
Give us a fun fact about yourself we can’t find from Google/social media!
A fun fact about me is I listen to more R&B, soft rock, and jazz than anything. Don't get me wrong I listen to a lot of hip hop when I'm driving in my car but when I'm in the house and I have my headphones on it's a whole different vibe going on. It's really influenced the way I approach a lot of my songs these days.
Your newest single, ‘Top Floor’ has just been released, what inspired you to write this track?
Artistic Curiosity is what inspired me. Before "Top Floor" I never really messed around with melodies, I was strictly a rapper and at one point very closed minded about doing anything other than rapping. One I came across the instrumental for "Top Floor" and I decided to see if I could actually create a melody and now we have my new single.
As a lyricist and vocalist, which of your many talents do you find the easiest & the hardest to do? The easiest talent to do for me would have to be the lyrics, I wake up with a new punchline or metaphor in my head almost every day. Sometimes I hear lyrics in my dreams so that's the easiest thing in the world to me. The hardest is the vocals because sometimes I have days where i'll get the vocals perfect in one take but then I have days where everything sounds off and I'm not hitting the pocket that I want. There are songs that I'm still sitting on because I'm making sure I get the vocals perfect.
Please tell us a bit about your creative process when it comes to songwriting. When it comes to songwriting I love to pace back and forth while the beat is playing because it clears my mind. I usually come up with the first line of lyrics quickly, so I'll just say that line over and over again until I come up with something good enough to be the next line. Sometimes I come up with the chorus first and sometimes I get the verse done first. I don't stress it, I just go off of what's coming the fastest. I can finish songs within 15 minutes to an hour. All songwriters have great days where a lot of magic happens fast and then we have days where it happens very slow or not at all.
Who or what influences the sounds in ‘Top Floor’? You know what, I've always wanted to make a song like "Frontin" by Pharrell he was a very early inspiration for me. I always felt like "Frontin" was something you could hit a little 2 step dance to and I wanted to have music that was like that so I guess you can say "Top Floor" is me finally coming up with my dream song.
What do you like best about your newest single? I like the guitar, lyrics, and how this song forced me to step out of my comfort zone because rapping and writing lyrics is where I'm the most comfortable but like I said earlier I've never known that I was able to create melodies like this but I'm glad I tried it because now I feel like I've perfected it.
& Lastly, what can fans expect from you next? The fans expect more great music from me. I just released a 5 song EP called "Grandma Still Praying For Me" . Top Floor is also on there. You find that on Soundcloud. Expect to see me and my name everywhere from this moment on because I'm the now and the future. "Top Floor" will be all over radio, billboards, etc. See you guys soon! God Bless!
Check out 'Top Floor' now: