Born and raised in Chicago, we caught up with Nylo to talk musical inspo, a day in the life and what’s on the agenda for 2017…
What does a day in the life of you look like?
At the moment I’ve been on tour as a musician with a couple different artists almost the entirety of 2017, so it looks like waking up in a bunk bed on a bus with 12 people looking outside to see what city I’m in and where I can get the best coffee. When I’m home it’s a little different, I usually get to bed as the sun is rising after staying up all night watching ‘Pulp Fiction’ or ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ on mute while playing with different sound landscapes and instruments in the studio.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
That question is getting harder and hard to answer. This year I’ve gotten to live many musicians dream of playing two of the biggest festivals in the world: Glastonbury and Coachella. In a couple weeks I will also get to stand on stage at the legendary and magical Red Rocks amphitheatre while on tour with the artist Sohn, who I’ve long musically admired and adored. There was one show in Dallas that I’ll remember forever though for a couple reasons. My mom has, in a truly motherly fashion, cautiously and lovingly supported me in all my endeavours, and as a result sadly witnessed music, the love of my life, be a source of so much tumult for me throughout. This year though, I toured through her home of Dallas, and after the show I ended up taking pictures with audience members for an hour while my mom stood proudly nearby watching. She’s never seen people lined up to take a picture with her daughter, and for a moment my mom and I shared the love of those amazing people and she got to feel in her home a glimpse of the amazing rewards a life in music can have, even it will run over your heart with a semi truck and leave you wondering if you’ll ever love again on occasion.
Who did you listen to growing up?
I listened to a vast amount of music and every year was something different. Solo classical piano made the biggest impression on me first, it was so moody and complicated, I felt like we belonged together. Then I got into pop music and came to listen to the velvety big voices like Whitney and Mariah, and would dream that one day I’d wake up be able to sing like that for a day. I stayed with pop music while Timbaland took over radio, and pop music was basically really amazing new R&B, until I hated everything and everyone and listened to bands like Nirvana and Radiohead in my room hiding from the sunlight.
What’s your guilty pleasure track?
Hmm, which one will I admit to? Well, I feel pretty guilty when I make everyone listen to End Of the Road by Boys II Men, but that song is still too amazing to stop.
What’s the last album you listened to all the way through?
Vulnicura by Bjork. Its so heartbreaking and it seems I’m sad all the time, so it helps get the sadness out of my heart and stomach and onto my face so I can feel normal again.
What’s been your career highlight/proudest moment?
I’ve gotten validation from industry greats who I looked up to like Nas, LA Reid, and Timbaland, but every time I am in a studio and make something out of nothing, I get these waves of butterflies and those moments are actually the only thing I can logically ever really pursue.
Who’s the coolest person you’ve worked with so far?
Mmmm, I work alone a lot more now than ever, but in the past probably the artist Blackbear. We used to work together a lot, and he’s such an elaborately different, unpredictable and unusual being, it was always a movie.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m halfway in the past and halfway in the future. I’ve been melting over Billie Holiday, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Diana Ross, etc, but also the people who I think are pushing boundaries today like FKA Twigs, Bjork, and Sohn.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists trying to break into the industry?
Follow the love. Don’t sacrifice EVERYTHING, you don’t have to, you can have music, love, friends, family, and money. They are not mutually exclusive. Work with people who inspire you, and stop thinking about other peoples’ thoughts, because you are actually a lot more interesting, resonant, and easy for you to access.
You can only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what is it?
Easy, Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’
Where can we see you perform next?
I’m finishing festival season playing with Sohn and Yuna in Europe, but when I get home I’m playing in LA! Come visit.
What’s on the agenda for the rest of 2017?
More and more music, and more art. I’ve lost so much music to hard-drive failures and different technological tragedies that I’m also packaging a little book of poetry and photos for all the long forgotten songs I still love.
Wanna know more? Follow Nylo on Twitter @lovenylo