Nicholas Hamilton for The Meadow
interviewer: Sara Sharif (@sarangelic)
interviewee: Nicholas Hamilton (@nicholas.hamilton)
Nicholas Hamilton is a rising Hollywood star and social media influencer best known for his roles in It (2017), It Chapter Two (2019) and Captain Fantastic (2016). Born and raised in the legendary music town of Byron Bay, Australia, the 20 year old now lives full time in Los Angeles pursuing an active film career.
When COVID-19 shut down the film industry, Nic dove head first into his love of music and created a compelling and authentic EP exploring the mixed emotions of love, loss and change. His debut single “Different Year” mines the depression and shock of life in isolation, and wishing for things to go back to normal. Nic’s soaring vocals and honest lyrics play effortlessly with the indie pop bedroom beat and leaves the listener hopeful for what will come next. “Different Year” was written by Nic and Britton Buchanan, runner-up on Season 14 of The Voice, and is releasing on January 8th, 2021.
Nicholas' ideal 2021 Summer
"Hopefully working! It sounds lame but I haven’t worked in so long, I crave being on-set. Orrrrrr maybe performing a music festival? That feels a long way off yet, though."
* in relevance to our issue #3
t h e i n t e r v i e w
1. Please start with a little introduction about yourself!
Hi, I’m Nic! I’m a 20-year-old Australian singer-songwriter and actor currently living in LA. I love music and movies and dogs. That’s basically all I can say, everything else I keep locked away deep inside with my feelings and emotions.
2. Being a Hollywood actor (and a great one at that!), what led to the transition of becoming a singer as well? Was it something you always had at the back of your mind, or did it happen all of a sudden?
Thank you! I’ve been acting since I was 11, practically half my life, and I’ve wanted to entertain ever since then. I’ve always had an affinity for music, and it’s just grown since I started writing songs with my guitarist and co-writer back in Australia, Ben Kuhl, back in 2018. I’m obsessed with music now and love listening to anything I can get my disgusting hands on.
3. How has your journey been so far as a musician?
I haven’t really had much of one yet! Different Year is my debut single, so finally having something musical of mine available for people to listen to is insane. Of course, I’m hoping this sparks something bigger, but I’ll take whatever luck I’m given.
4. How has being an actor and an influencer helped you during your path as a musician?
Having this incredible fanbase that I’m able to use and build on for my music is such a blessing. These people have watched me grow as an actor and an entertainer for so many years now, It’s really cool to have them be my focus group for this music. So far they’ve been incredible and I can’t wait to show them what I’ve made.
5. Your debut single, "Different Year" releases on January 8th! Tell us more about what it means to you and what you wanted to portray through it.
Different Year is about that feeling you get, or at least I get, when you’re depressed and lonely, and you just want to go to sleep and wake up when everything’s fine. As much as it is about how I felt during 2020, it is designed to be relatable to anyone feeling that feeling, whenever they feel it.
6. Share with us all the BTS during the making of “Different Year”!
I wrote the song with my good friend Britton Buchanan (runner-up on S14 of The Voice). It was the second song we ever wrote together, back in August. After our first session went better than we could’ve anticipated, we met up as soon as we could for the next one, which is when we wrote Different Year. We were both so proud of it, I couldn’t stop playing the demo we made for everyone who would listen. I actually played it live to Jaeden Martell, Wyatt Oleff and Andy Muschietti at Andy’s place right after we wrote it, and the feedback I got was phenomenal, so I knew I had to put it on my upcoming EP.
7. What is your creative process? What is the basic theme and genre that rushes your creativity?
I write with honesty. If I’m writing a song that I plan on singing, it’s almost always about something that has happened to me or is happening to me. Different Year is a shining example of that, and so are the rest of the songs on the EP. They’re all candid accounts of feelings I’ve felt and my relationships with the people in my life. It’s a scary thing, writing a song about someone you know, knowing that they’ll hear it. Everyone else in the world might not know who that song is about, but the person will. Getting over the fear of that is something I’ve had to learn how to do really recently.
8. Who is your musical inspiration?
I listen to a ton of chill pop. People like Quinn XCII, Jordan Mackampa, Ruel. Sad songs sung in an upbeat way. I also love Lewis Capaldi and Yebba, ballad artists who sing with everything they’ve got. I’ve also started to think about writing for other people, because I just enjoy writing so much, so in that sense I freaking idolise Ed Sheeran. The way he can just write for someone else and it sounds like they wrote it, how he can fit into someone else’s shoes perfectly like that is incredible.
9. Who is someone you look up to as a person?
I could say a celebrity but honestly it’s my parents. As you get older you learn how your parents are just human beings. Ones who have lived a full life, with mistakes and challenges. It’s made me respect them more. I look up to my Mum’s drive and passion for everything she does, how, if she loves someone, she LOVES someone, with her entire soul. I look up to my Dad’s hard-working attitude, his humour. I love how open he’s become and how honest we can be with each other. I love them both immensely.
10. Any tips from your experience for our actors and musicians out here?
I always feel silly giving advice. I’m only a very young boy. I feel like I can only pass down advice I was given by my elder co-workers. The best piece I ever got was, “in order to be a good actor/musician, you have to be a good person”. I carry that with me. I stand on my decency and try my hardest every day to treat people with the respect that they give me. The next-best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was, “don’t let anyone treat you like sh*t”, so I guess my mindset always lies somewhere in the middle of those.
11. How have you been spending your days and dealing with the current pandemic apart from music?
Apart from music? That’s tough. It’s my hobby and my career now so I don’t really spend any time doing much else. I still audition and read scripts, and try to catch up with friends in the most Covid-safe way possible, which is mostly over video games. I just love making music though, the majority of my days are spent on my little pink Casio keyboard, writing or polishing off songs.
12. So, what should we expect next, in the near future?
2021 should be big! Everything I had planned for 2020, including 3 signed film/tv gigs, has been pushed to 2021. Those projects, on top of my music leading up to my Debut EP later this year, should make for a pretty exciting year!
13. How would we gain access to “Different Year”?
Anywhere you listen to music! It’s available on all the streaming services you can think of. Here’s the link!