With his last album We Are Able having received over 7 million streams on Spotify, Nick Urb has a lot of expectation riding on his upcoming release Until the End Of Days.
The singer-songwriter from Michigan has already been compared to the likes of Ed Sheeran and has earned himself a growing fan-base of both sides of the Atlantic thanks to his ability to create songs everyone can relate to.
With his new album due out on February 26 and plans for extensive touring in the pipeline, Nick kindly agreed to this interview to chat about inspiration, social media, song-writing and simply being himself.
PW: How would you sum yourself up in five words?
Nick Urb: Calm, soft-spoken, musician, open minded, loving
PW: When did you first realise that you wanted to be a music artist?
NU: Sometime around the age of 15.
PW: Can you recall the first record you bought and concert you attended? How did they impact you in terms of your music career plans?
NU: The first record I bought was Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. The first concert would’ve been Aerosmith and Run DMC haha. I think the Michael Jackson album impacted me more than the concert. It was just a huge inspiration. Listening to that album was the first time I really felt anything while listening to music. I just thought it was amazing that you can connect with people that you’ve never met before just through the music.
PW: Did you have any other ambitions prior to taking the music route?
NU: Not really. Music has really always been my passion in life.
PW: Your last album was a huge hit, especially on Spotify where it received 7 million streams. Looking back, what do you think it was about that album people liked so much and how has your song-writing and music evolved since then?
NU: Thank you! I mean, I think the reason people connected with it is because it’s just super honest music. It’s not all dolled up and made into something it’s not. I think the simplicity and honesty are what make it so relatable. As far as song-writing, I think I’ve just grown up. I still write exactly what I feel, but I think I’ve learned how to write songs that work with bigger arrangements.
PW: You've been compared to the likes of Ed Sheeran and Noah Gundersen. How do you feel about that and would you agree?
NU: I’m extremely honored to be compared to them. They are two huge inspirations for me. I would definitely agree that there are certain elements of both of them in my music.
PW: Tell me a bit about your latest singles "Emily" and "Brothers". Are there a stories behind them?
NU: There are absolutely stories behind them. I’d really prefer to not share that though. I think that, in certain cases, when stories behind songs are told, it has the tendency to ruin the song for people. I just want people to listen to the songs and take from it their own feelings and meanings. I’d like to let them paint their own pictures of what the songs mean.
PW: You've also got a new album, Until the End of Days out on February 26. What can you tell me about that?
NU: Yeah! I’m super excited for everyone to hear it. I’ve been writing for it pretty much since the first album was released. So, it’s been almost 4 years now. The album is really just a little snapshot of my life over those 4 years. Some of my favorite songs I’ve ever written are on this album and I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks!
PW: Could you pick a favourite track from it?
NU: The title track “Until the End of Days” is definitely one of my favorites. There’s also a song called “Heaven on Earth” that I really enjoy. It's definitely one of those songs that hits me every time I play it.
PW: Is song-writing something that comes easy to you or can it depend on the subject matter for instance?
NU: I wouldn’t say that it is necessarily something I find difficult, but I’m just really patient with it. I never force myself to write. I end up writing really terrible and meaningless songs if I try to write. If I sit down to try to write a song about a specific subject matter, then yes, it’s very hard for me.
PW: Which song, in your opinion, is the greatest ever written and why?
NU: Wow. I really don’t know. I have a couple in mind, but that answer is ever-changing. John Mayer’s “Stop This Train” is one that I always find myself coming back to. Ben Howard’s “Black Flies” is another. More recently, I would have to say that Glen Hansard’s “Grace Beneath The Pines” is one of the best. I don’t know, that’s a terribly difficult question.
PW: What are your tour and performance plans for the album?
NU: There is a lot of stuff in the works right now. I plan on touring quite heavily in the near future. The best I can do right now is tell people to keep up with my website and social media for those dates!
PW: What are your thoughts on social media? To what extent has it helped you grow your fan-base and get your music out to people?
NU: I think it’s a double edged sword. It’s wonderful for helping artists connect with their audience. I’ve built some incredible friendships through social media that, otherwise, wouldn’t have ever been able to happen. On the other hand, social media definitely creates a lot more noise. So it’s a lot more difficult to get people to hear your music through all of the other stuff out there.
PW: Finally, whose musical career would you most like to emulate and why? What's your ultimate ambition as an artist?
NU: I’m not sure that I would really like to emulate anyone else's career. I just want to make my own. I would like to just keep moving forward and writing what I feel. To do that, I would say is my ultimate ambition.
For more information on Nick, be sure to visit his website, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter. You can pre-order his new album Until the End of Days, as well as purchase his other releases, on itunes.