My name is Nicky Egan, writing from Philadelphia visiting my parents at the moment, but now based in Los Angeles! I'm a multi-instrumentalist, artist and songwriter.
How did you get into the music business, from your start to where you are now.
I've been playing music as far back as I can remember. I sang in choirs in middle school and high school, had a band with friends outside of high school and eventually went to Berklee College of Music where I studied Contemporary Writing and Production. After college, I focused mostly on performing, writing and touring, and have been at it ever since. I lived in Brooklyn for about 7 years, where I sang with a band called Turkuaz for a while and had my own band. I released an EP, The 45 Homestead Project, and toured a bit with my band while in New York and then about four years ago I was hired to tour with Chicano Batman out of LA as a keyboardist and background singer. So I moved out there, and have been on the road with them while writing and recording my new album in New York in between tours which has been a really fun experience.
Who are your influences?
My influences have changed and evolved as I've gotten older, but some of my earliest influences probably came from my grandfather who was a jazz musician. He introduced me to a lot of classic blues/jazz singers like Sarah Vaughan and early funk like Jackie Wilson. My parents had great taste in music growing up, showing me everyone from Richie Havens, Bonnie Raitt, and Joni Mitchell, to The Rolling Stones and Bob Marley. Voice, being my first instrument and growing up in the 90's, I was very influenced by the powerhouse voices of the era like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. I definitely used to drive my mom insane belting out The Bodyguard soundtrack in my kitchen when I was little. From my early 20's until now, I've been really drawn to a lot of 60's and 70's era soul music, and recordings in the Willie Mitchell and Stax production vein, that slightly grittier sound. Candi Staton, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions, Shuggie Otis. Then there are so many great contemporary artists doing it now, so the influence from my contemporary peers is a pretty giant pool.
What is your relationship like with coffee? How do you prepare it? What's your local, go-to spot and what coffee do you drink?
My relationship with coffee is deep love and comfort :) I've tried to be a wake up and work out type of person, but the truth is I'm really a wake up & coffee gal, with a book, journal, record or podcast depending on the day of the week. Lately, I've been making americanos or espressos at home, maybe with a splash of chai if I'm feeling naughty and oatmilk. I just moved and found the coffee shop down the road, 1802 Coffee, is my go-to! They're focused on sustainable and responsibly sourced beans. Their cold brew has a hint of cocao nibs and is SO good. Also, sometimes, I miss a good ol' super sugary NY corner bodega coffee.
We feel that coffee and music go hand in hand, and like music, coffee is a creative process as well. How do you feel about music and coffee together?
I feel music and coffee are truly a match made in heaven. Sundays are usually when I put on a record like Sarah Vaughan or Aretha Gospel and sit on my patio with a cup of coffee, its the best! But yea if I'm in the studio, a steady coffee flow is usually standard.
What music are you listening to these days?
In the last year or so I've been pretty into the SAULT records, Holy Hive, Y La Bamba, Yola, Michael Kiwanuka, Tame Impala, Khruangbin, Ari Lennox... Shuggie Otis and Mac Miller are frequent go-tos. I also recently discovered Mulatu Astatke's Ethiopiques album which I've been diving into a bit.
Have you done anything non-music related during the pandemic (hobbies, learning something new, etc.)?
I have! Similarly to I'm sure most people, my life had slowed down considerably in terms of my day to day, as I was supposed to be on tour most of this year. I started water-coloring a bit. My mom's a painter so we'd started zoom painting dates early in the pandemic and I've begun to really enjoy it. Aside from water-coloring, more cooking, more reading, and more running than I've done in years. I also started working with a mutual aid org called Hydrate LA, which has been really eye opening, and rewarding to be more involved with the community in LA, especially right now, when so many people need help. Oh yea, and learning to perfect my own espresso drinks at home.
Parting words, anything you want.
Support your local coffee shops and your indie artists! Stay positive, test negative :) Thanks for the look & support!!