Following on from a wave of bright and uplifting acoustic compositions over the last few years, Marlow-based singer and songwriter Nick Byrne is now ready to sweep us off our feet once again as he shares his latest single 'Summer Rain'.
With its smooth and uplifting aesthetic, 'Summer Rain' is one of the more sombre and atmospheric additions in his catalogue to date. Filled with humble emotions, sweeping hooks, and his own calming vocals, his newest swoon is perfect for kicking back and unwinding after a hard day.
So with his new release out and about, we sat him down to find out more about his background and what has inspired him most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
The guitar has always been a key part in my music taste. I started learning it at school at around 7, but I gave up because I wasn’t motivated to practice, the songs didn’t interest me. Then at around 13 I fell in love with rock, punk and alternative music. I remember trying to work out how to play again on a little classical guitar that was completely out of tune and had a few strings missing. Soon after that I got my Christmas present early and started lessons. After a few months I just started learning all my favourite songs that I’d recorded off the radio or off a TV channel. Fast forward 8 years later and I decided to focus on the acoustic guitar and never really looked back, although I have started to use an electric guitar more often recently.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Obviously certain songs are inspired by my own experience, I’ve long been inspired by musicians like Justin Vernon and Keaton Henson, who don’t necessarily have to be particularly loud but can still communicate these strong feelings in a very powerful way. Probably the biggest inspiration to my music is wanting to get out these thoughts and emotions and somehow turn them into something constructive. I also really just want to create music that I’m proud of, that is lasting and beautiful. Something that I can look back on and know that the songs come from a meaningful place.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
I was quite obsessed with anything that entered into the alternative genre. But at the same time I was quite interested in a wide range, I was constantly searching out new music. There came a point around the time I turned 20 where the bands started to sound the same and it lost a bit of impact for me. I remember listening to Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’ and I was so taken aback by how hard the emotions hit, it was the most powerful yet vulnerable music I’d heard and started me on a path towards where I am now.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
It wasn’t necessarily the bands on TV, but being a part of the local music communities was the biggest thing for me. Seeing kids my age or a few years older playing an all-ages show for all the other kids just made you feel like you could do it yourself. Understanding the DIY ethic of a lot of alternative and underground music also helped you see that you just had to jump in the deep end and do what you wanted to do.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
Absolutely love Andy Shauf’s latest album ‘The Neon Skyline’. He’s just able to construct such a strong sense of mood in his songs, and I just love listening to his voice. Loving the new tracks from Novo Amor and Fenne Lily. I also recommend checking out Low Girl and Talitha Ferri.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Most of my songs are related to someone in my life, but most of them aren’t very specific or describe something exactly. The songs tend to be more of an arrangement of ideas or images that might be thought up to work around a central theme. But I have written about my family a lot. My recent single ‘Houses’ talks about my dad mostly, and I’ve also written a song called ‘Terra Firma’ where I tried to describe how my mum felt when she emigrated from Chile to the UK.
What has been the most unusual moment in your career so far?
It was quite surreal to support Declan McKenna a couple years ago. It’s the biggest show I’ve played with a really great audience. It was a bit of a blur to be honest but a fantastic experience.
Outside of music, what is your biggest passion?
I’m a professional graphic designer, so that’s definitely my other big passion. It actually stems from my love for music really, I started out designing gig posters and merch for bands before eventually studying it at uni. I’ve always been into music packaging, tee designs and band logos so perhaps not a real surprise – it certainly comes in handy when you promote your own music!
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Outside of music and graphic design… I’ve always enjoyed writing, so perhaps a journalist – maybe even a music journalist!
And what advice would you give to other musicians looking to start a career in music?
It’s not easy, but jump in at the deep end, do your best. Don’t be scared to ask for advice, musicians are normally happy to share knowledge. Try and find other musicians that you’re similar to and help each other out.
Nick Byrne's new single 'Summer Rain' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.