If you've been on social media giant, Reddit recently, you should be familiar with Nick Camillo, an endearing folk musician who charmed his way to the frontpage. His thoughtful lyrics and sweet melodies are the type you spend hours absorbing in your bedroom or wandering a park. We got the chance to get to know Nick in an exclusive interview below. We hope you enjoy and support him at his show at Arlene's Grocery on 1/7 at 7PM. Info
1. Why did you post your album to Reddit and what was the overall response?
I've been a redditor for over three years now and I have to admit that reddit is probably the only online community that I ever truly felt like I was an intimate part of, despite its vast amount of members. I had submitted stuff here and there, but it was mostly just sharing cool art that I had found, as opposed to something I had created myself. I submitted the album to reddit on December 5th, two days after its release. Anyone who has tried submitting anything to reddit knows how hit or miss it can be, and I was pretty sure it would get buried in the sea of new posts. To my surprise, it blew up. Within a few hours it was on the front page in the #11 slot. Over the course of the next couple weeks I’ve accumulated nearly 100k total song views, went from 150 fans on facebook to well over 2,000 and my album was downloaded (legally) a couple thousand times. Some generous folks were even awesome enough to buy it on iTunes and Amazon! I owe a lot to the reddit community and I think they’re going to be very happy with the surprise that I have coming for them soon!
2. What is the story behind Something I Ought to Know?
I believe in making music that connects with people in a unique and personal way. The most amazing thing about music is its innate ability to turn the listener into the creator. Whether I wrote the song, or Thom Yorke wrote the song, or someone who died a thousand years ago wrote the song is to a large extent irrelevant, because when any given person listens to a piece of music, they are experiencing it in a completely unique way. In that moment, the song truly becomes theirs. And I think that is the most incredible thing that I’ve experienced due to the success of my album; knowing that there are people from anywhere in the world who are listening to my music and drawing connections to people and moments from their own lives with my lyrics and melodies. Take this engagement video for example. To these people and their family and their friends, Something I Ought to Know has become a deeply symbolic part of their lives. It would only change their experience to find out what the song means to me.
3. Who and what do you draw your inspiration from?
The only time I can truly escape from music is when I am the one playing it. Maybe I’m crazy, but as far back as I can remember, everywhere I go there has been music playing in my head. I get this question all the time and I’ll usually list my favorite bands of the moment, but now that I’m sitting down and actually contemplating the question, it brings me way back to the essay I wrote a few years back. Here’s a quote, “The sounds produced by the world around me form together into symphonies, my unconscious psyche filling in the composition with any and all instruments that it lacks. The air conditioner makes up the bass while the whistle in the wind provides the tenor, and the procession of crows resting upon the power lines make up the soprano in my constantly changing improvised choir.” As for who? It’s really hard to say, I’m constantly coming across albums that I haven’t heard in several years and thinking to myself, “Woah, I had no idea how much this influenced my writing style!”. For the sake of answering a straightforward question though, I’d say my top 5 favorite albums of all time are: You Forgot it In People by Broken Social Scene, Yellow House by Grizzly Bear, Is This It? by the Strokes, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis and In Rainbows by Radiohead.
4. How did you get into playing music?
When I was about 4 or 5 years old, my grandfather gave me a little toy guitar. I’m not sure if it was actually a toy or just a really small classical style guitar, but in any case it was practically unplayable. I don’t think I showed much interest in it when he gave it to me, but when I was 10, I was stuck at one of many extended family get-togethers with my cousin Pete at his grandmother’s house. We went to the basement to escape all of the adults, and started messing around at the workbench hammering pieces of some scrap metal that we found. We ended up making something that loosely resembled a guitar pick, and so when I went home that day I got out that old guitar and started fooling around. I’ve been hooked ever since. From that moment until I went to college, I played guitar and/or piano for at least 2-3 hours per day. In high school I never went to parties, but played shows with multiple bands of varying genres every weekend. No regrets there!
5. What are your next steps with your album and music career?
When I released this album I didn’t expect anything of it. It was mostly just for me, my friends and my family; I had the idea to release an LP for years and finishing/releasing Ad Infnitum seemed more like a checked box on the bucket list. I had pushed the idea of seriously pursuing music to the back burner. The response that I saw with this album was a lot to take in. Reading reviews like this and seeing the overwhelmingly positive feedback in the reddit comments was like a swift blow to the head. In a matter of days my friends and strangers had begun helping promote my music. Since the release I’ve played four shows in DC and NYC, I’ve recruited a full band to make for a fun and exciting live show, I’ve been invited to play music festivals and contacted by some indie record labels. There’s even a film crew coming to this Saturday’s show at Arlene’s Grocery to interview me and document the performance. Things are happening very quickly and I’m trying to keep up with the pace. In a few days I’ll be receiving an order of 1,000 CDs in beautiful 6-panel digipaks, and hopefully getting some vinyls pressed. I plan on releasing some new songs in the coming months and continuing to play shows. My new fans seem to have a lot of awesome suggestions as well, so most of all, I’ll be working to make them happy!