Welcome back everyone! I am absolutely elated to share with you the debut single from Nicholas Hamilton. You may recognize him as Henry Bowers from the notable Steven King series IT, but he has branched out creatively into the music world. The debut single Different Year really captures a sense of wanting normalcy again after the world fell into lockdown due to the novel Coronavirus. However, as down and out as life seemed -- Hamilton is able to capture these feelings, along with his co-writer Britton Buchanan the runner-up from Season 14 of The Voice, in a positive and uplifting manner. When asked about how he would describe the new single, Hamilton stated:
"As much as Different Year is about how I felt during 2020, it can really apply to any point in anyone’s life where they’ve felt like they want to legitimately time travel in order to get away from the situation they’re currently in.
I was lucky enough to be able to chat with Nicholas a bit about how he got into entertainment and a few other exciting tidbits down below. Check out the interview and stream the song which can be found at the end of the interview.
Hey there Nicholas, such a pleasure to have you on Stay Vibrant. Most people know you as the rebellious Henry Bowers from the IT series. Now, you've broken into the music scene, what has that creativity shift been like for you?
I’ve loved it so far. It’s all a matter of creative control. When I’m acting I have control over my performance on the scenes I’m in, and that’s it. In music, I have full control. I can write about what I want, and sing about the same. I think that’s why there’s so much pride involved in releasing music too. Having something so vulnerable and “you” out in the public domain is so insanely scary, so you want to make sure everything’s perfect with the end product before you do so. It’s the same pride that I think a lot of directors and writers have when something they’ve made is released. Acting fills a hole in my creative head, but I feel like music flicks a
way bigger endorphin switch for me.
I read about how you got into acting due to your Uncle. Do you mind talking a bit about that and why he inspired you? Was he also the inspiration for adding musician to your biography as well?
Sure! My uncle, Ross, was also my godfather, so we had a special bond from day one. He was the only real “entertainer” in the family, he dressed up as Elvis at his 40th Birthday Party to perform for everyone, so I think I subliminally took a huge chunk of inspiration from him when I first started acting. It just so happened that my first “gig” was playing an Elvis impersonator in my 5th grade school musical, while he was in the hospital due to brain cancer, a disease he ultimately succumbed to. That role is what kicked off my career, so I attribute a ton of my adult life to him.
Many artists find inspiration in others and the world around them. Obviously, your uncle played a large role in inspiring you. What musicians inspire your musical journey?
I grew up listening to my Mum and Dad’s music. Basically everywhere you go in Australia is at least a half-hour drive away, so every drive with them was like a road trip. I remember driving with my Dad to football practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays and listening to The Eagles and Cat Stevens, or driving up the coast to my extended family with my Mum and listening to Kenny Rogers and Charley Pride. Those trips 100% fuelled my love of music, even if I didn’t know it at the time. When I started listening to my own music on my first mp3 players and iPods, I started formulating my personal taste. Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Alicia Keys. Artists I still love to this day. In a professional sense, I’ve always idolised people like Ed Sheeran. Not only are his songs always beautiful, but he’s written for almost every artist I respect. That’s my goal, I love performing and writing songs for myself, but there’s a certain thrill about writing a song with someone else, for them to sing. Putting yourself in their shoes in order to write something that’s special to them is an incredible feeling.
Within the entertainment industries there is a ton of stress and often large work loads. What really continues to drive your creative journey, both in music and acting?
Mainly the fact that I love doing it. Both of my jobs are just hobbies of main that I sometimes get paid for, which is something I’m hugely grateful. The busier I am, the happier I am. But even on my least busy days, the days where all I do, in regards to my career, is sit down and write half a song, those days are still so special to me, because I enjoy it all immensely.
You identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, which is amazing to have someone like yourself vocal and proud on the big screen and in music. What was your coming out story like both at home and being in the public eye?
I’m incredibly lucky to have quite a boring coming out story. My mum and dad found out on the same day, and were both widely accepting of me and who I am, and the rest of my family and friends followed. Australia as a whole is behind the times in regards to a lot of things, but the area I grew up in is widely LGBT-friendly, and that’s only been amplified since I moved to LA. I’ve also never really cared to come out publicly. Not as a result of shame or guilt or anything like that, more because I don’t want it to define me. The world is moving in the right direction, in the fact that sexuality and gender labels are beginning to matter less, but we’ve still got a long way to go in that regard. I can’t see myself ever posting a photo of me holding a rainbow flag in my Instagram feed, with 7 paragraphs detailing my coming out, but I’ve also never shied away from tweeting exactly how I feel about a hot boy, or sharing an Instagram story about The American Red Cross’s antiquated blood donation laws. If someone wanted to know if I was gay, a quick google search would confirm their assumptions, and I think that’s enough.
2020 was a year for the history books (literally), "Different Year" really captures the feeling of desiring normalcy again, in such an upbeat way. 2020 was also very eye opening and enlightening. Were there any life lessons you learned while the world slowed and you had
time to focus more on yourself?
Maturity, I guess. I only have a tiny slice of it but that’s still more than I had in 2019. Going through two break-ups mid quarantine teaches you a lot about the type of person you want to be and the type of person you want to be with. I’m a big fan of love, I fall real real quick, so I’ve learnt to catch myself a little more now, instead of falling into every little bit of attraction I find.
Mental Health is an incredibly important topic, which is a large reason behind the creation of Stay Vibrant. How have you taken care of your mental wellbeing during these wild times?
Woof. Have I, even? Staying busy has always helped my mental health, and I feel like I’m the busiest I’ve ever been, as a result of music. But I still have a tonnnnn of down days, where I find myself crying behind my piano or using vices to drown my sorrows. I guess the upside of being unstable is that really great music comes out of it… silver lining?
I appreciate you joining me today Nicholas, it has been such an honor. Do you have anything coming up or any words of encouragement for the readers before you go?
I have both! My debut single Different Year is out everywhere right now, and I’ve got music coming out of every orifice, so be on the look out for more releases super soon. My words of encouragement can only be these, “be yourself, unless yourself is annoying, then change lol.”
Photos used are not my own.