I Built It Myself Assures Acclaimed Singer Nicholas Rowe

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio versatile artiste Nicholas Rowe switched styles right after hearing Bob Dylan’s 1975 masterpiece Blood On The Tracks, Rowe first garnered national attention in the college/non-commercial radio market with his 2017 EP, Everything Has Beauty.

Artiste like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Queen, Talking Heads, and David Bowie really influenced Rowe’s music creation. “I Built It Myself” is the second single from the upcoming album, The Circle Remains Unbroken.

Growing up with a dad who played the guitar has really influenced his music and choice of lyrics for his songs. Although his dad played the guitar, young Rowe didn’t show interest in playing the guitar until he was 16 years, and because he was left-handed, his dad had to restring the guitar before he could use it.

His dad became his first music teacher, but young Rowe was so much in love with the guitar that he locked himself up and played the guitar for longs hours, which this sometimes led to his fingers bleeding.

Nicholas Rowe shared more of this in an interview with Mister Styx of Musicarenagh

Get the full story below while you enjoy I Built It Myself

 

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Where do you find inspiration?
A lot of my inspiration comes from my own life experience or the things I see around me. I find it very difficult to process emotionally heavy life events in real time. It’s like the weight doesn’t drop until the moment has passed and it’s too late to say what I should have said or do what I should have done. So, instead I tend to obsess over these moments after the fact. A lot of my song ideas end up coming out of these introspective ruminations.


What was the role of music in the early years of your life?

My Dad plays guitar and also loves listening to music. The way I remember it, there was always music going on in the background of my childhood. I grew up listening to bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Queen, Talking Heads, and David Bowie.

Are you from a musical or artistic family?

My Dad has played guitar and bass for as long as I can remember. He always played out a lot in various cover bands as I was growing up. He still does today. I remember a lot of background guitar strumming going on as he practiced or just played for fun.

My mom is a very creative and talented seamstress. She’s made all kinds of costumes for local plays and productions. She’s even made Luchador masks and costumes for Mexican Wrestlers. We always had great homemade Halloween costumes growing up.

Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
It’s very much a personal drive that I have, not necessarily to be in the industry, but to write, and play music, and to always be creating. Once the songs are there it can be terrifying to share them, but for me it’s an important part of the process.

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It’s very much a personal drive that I have, not necessarily to be in the industry, but to write, and play music, and to always be creating.


How did you learn to sing/write/to play?

Even though I grew up watching my dad play guitar, I didn’t really take an interest in it myself until I was 16. Once it hit me though, it hit hard. I’m left handed, which meant I couldn’t just pick up his guitar and start learning. He had to re-string it for me first.

Which he did after I begged him for a month. Looking back, I didn’t fully appreciate the sacrifice that was for him. Either he could play that guitar or I could, but not both.
For my part though, I took to it instantly and I was obsessed. I remember practicing in my room for hours and hours, practicing until my fingers bled. I never had a teacher.

My dad made me a few chord charts and diagrams to help me get started, and I would go to the library after school to print guitar music I’d find on the internet. I took it and ran with it.

How could you describe your music?
I often describe it as alt-folk or indie folk. I get comparisons to Wilco, Jason Isbell, and Conor Oberst. Lyrically, I would say it’s often very introspective, even brooding. It’s very hard to describe it beyond that, at least for me.

Describe your creative process.
It can really vary quite a bit from song to song. I try to do a lot of creative writing. I mean writing of all kinds, most of it never sees the light of day and that’s perfectly fine. The point is just to keep creativity flowing. I also do a lot of walking outside by myself.

Once an idea starts to develop I try to just hold on to it any way I can. I record everything; a little scrap of melody here, an interesting chord progression there. Sometimes I hold onto these fragments for a long time, trying to find ways to put the different pieces together like a puzzle.

Other times it all comes at once and the process is very quick. The important part is to keep creativity flowing and to hold on to everything.

What musician do you admire most and why?

I will always cite Bob Dylan as my absolute favorite artist and biggest inspiration. For all the great music my dad introduced me to, I don’t remember listening to much Dylan as a kid. I had to find him on my own.

The first time I listened to Blood on the Tracks was in college, and it just changed everything. I had been playing guitar and writing for a few years, but suddenly I had a much higher bar to aim for in terms of great writing. I began to understand songwriting as a craft that you devote your life to practicing and perfecting.

What are your interests outside of music?

I’m very boring, I’m afraid. I really like being outside. I like walking and hiking. I enjoy books and podcasts and playing video games. I like to be the first one up in the morning, and I like to be in bed by 9:30.

If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?

I think that no matter what I would be a writer of some kind, a novelist perhaps. Maybe not a successful one, but that wouldn’t matter much. The creation would be the important part, just like now. The exciting part is creating something out of nothing. I would want to find some way to do that no matter what.

If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
That’s a tough one. It’s not like it used to be, that’s for sure. It’s easy to point out all the ways that streaming has seemingly ruined the industry, but streaming is also the only reason anyone knows who I am. I’m not the kind of artist that is ever going to get a record deal. Streaming lets me get my music out there without spending my life touring.
One thing I will say though, I miss the tactile nature that CDs, cassettes, and vinyl have. I remember pouring over album art and lyric sheets as a teenager and just studying everything as I was listening to a new album. It adds a lot to the experience and it’s kind of sad that we aren’t passing that on to the next generation.

Why did you choose this as the title of this project?

The Circle Remains Unbroken is one of the songs on the album, the final song in fact. It’s a song about the cyclical nature of time, as told from the perspective of an older man looking back on life. Lyrically, it explores what it means to be happy and successful, and how to keep moving forward when things go wrong.
As an album title, The Circle Remains Unbroken also speaks to my personal need to always be in an ongoing cycle of creating and sharing, and my commitment to make that a central part of my life.

What are your plans for the coming months?
Creating and sharing, creating and sharing. Once all the new album promotional festivities are done and things settle down I’ll get back to the part I really love – planning for the next one. Then I’ll get back to writing and the cycle will begin again. I have some other creative projects I may focus on for a bit, namely a lofi hip-hop project and a book idea. Who knows though? I may find myself jumping headlong into something I haven’t even thought of yet.



Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?

Nothing planned at the moment but I’m always open to the idea.

What message would you like to give to your fans?
Thank you! It really means so much to me to have your support. Sharing creative work can be terrifying. In many ways it’s my least favorite part of the whole creative process. It’s important though, and necessary.

When you put something out into the world, you have no control over how it will be received, if it will be appreciated or even understood. It means so much to me that people are finding my music and enjoying it, so thank you.

Mister Styx
Mister Styxhttps://musicarenagh.com
Entertainment freak || Facts only || Mechanical Engineer by profession, i guess i can do blogging part time right? Right, there we go, thats where it all started
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