Hello. My name is Nickolas. I am a songwriter, singer, and producer living and working in Nashville, TN, USA.
I love writing and recording music for myself and others. Whether producing and engineering a full project from the ground up, or collaborating on overdubs for others, I take pride in my part of the creative process (however big or small).
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Nickolas Blazina
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Much of the time I will produce a full track for a given artist. More and more often, I have been fortunate to collaborate on overdubs for other producers. Background vocals are a particular favorite of mine!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For overdubs, I like to have a short discussion with the producer about what it is they are looking for in a collaboration. Whether they need a fastball down the middle, or something a little left of center (fun!), I enjoy providing my clients with some tasty tracks to add to their projects.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I've been told I have a good ear for harmony, and voice leading, learned in choir (from grade school through college). I've also been fortunate to write and record music for all sorts of different genres (rock, pop, EDM, musical theatre, singer songwriter).
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I am a singer first. I also play guitar, bass, drums, keys (and whatever other random things are laying around my studio...)
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I've been working on a lot of electronic pop lately. Super fun!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't give up.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Daniel Johns. Something about the music he makes has always resonated with me strongly.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I love pop music and the many forms it takes. Big guitar pop rock music is what gets me quickest, though I've recently taken a huge liking to Zedd, and Kimbra.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been writing songs and performing them live since I was a kid. Started recording with a Fostex 4 track given to me by my uncle. That was 20 years ago.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Loar acoustic guitar, Capo, Snark, iPhone, Beyer DT770.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Mytek ADC. Been loving the Crane Song Syren and an SM7 for rock vocals lately. I also really dig the Rode K2 with the Daking MicPre500 on acoustic guitar and background vocals.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I might suggest having a few references of things you dig so that we may have something of a similar vocabulary to pick from musically.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What do you think the song needs? How can I help?
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "What's your turnaround time?" For full production I allot 2-3 days/song (1 for preproduction, 2 for production). For overdubs I can typically turn things around in a day or less (fully edited).
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I don't stop until it's great.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. Quicker (read: cheaper).
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: New LP for my band State and Madison.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Making music is fun!
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I really loved working on the latest Abandon Kansas LP ("Alligator") for J. Hall (producer/mixer here in Nashville). I was fortunate to play bass on a lot of the record, as well as contribute to some background vocal production. The record is one of my favorites to listen to. Truly inspiring artist and producer.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: From the outside world, I think that software has given music production a bad rap in certain ways. While technology has leveled the playing field (barrier to entry is far lower), I still think that nothing can make up for years of trial and error, frustration and discovery, developing your ears and your own unique voice. Embracing one's story is one of the most powerful creative tools in my humble opinion.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm a big fan of Silverchair, Ryan Adams, Thrice, and Dawes (to name a few on the artist side). In the production world I admire and appreciate the work of Aaron Sprinkle, J. Hall, Butch Walker, and Mark Trombino, among others...