Moving Mountains with Nico
Nico Zarcone has been a rather permanent resident of Imurj, since the opening over a year ago. You can find him regularly singing and playing acoustic guitar at Wednesday Open Mics or hanging out with Paul in the Imurj Recording Studios. He has played shows here in the past, and is having his launch party for his first EP, “Mountains” on Monday, August 6th at 8pm.
Hailing from Buffalo, NY, Nico moved down to Raleigh about three years ago with this girlfriend, Ali. After attending three different colleges, with the last being Fredonia School of Music with a major in music business, Nico finally acknowledged that since he wanted to be a performer, college was not the right place for him. The middle child with four brothers and sisters, Nico is the only musician in the family, and the members of his family are his biggest fans. “I never even knew i was going to play music. I’ve always been unsure of what I’m supposed to be doing. I wasn’t even supposed to move to raleigh, but I just take it as it comes.”
Once Nico figured out he wanted to write and perform music as a career, he hit the road solo, busking in towns down the east coast to see where he should settle down, starting with Portland, Maine. His Godparents live in Raleigh and he came down for a weekend so he didn’t have to sleep in his car and could take a much needed shower. A weekend turned into two weeks, and then a month. Before he knew it, a year had gone by, and he was still in Raleigh, making music his career.
After sending press kits out to numerous venues hoping to get a gig, Nico found that networking with other musicians at jam sessions and forging relationships in which he could show what he could do was way more effective at getting gigs. Nico was fortunate to meet musicians like Jared Place – guitar/lead singer of Solar Bear, and Jason Adamo at various Open Mics. They would recruit him to play some percussion or open up for them with a 15 – 20 minute acoustic set. Booking agents took notice and started booking Nico for singing/acoustic guitar gigs.
Those booking venues, of course, included Imurj. Nico was one of the earliest performers and met Paul Voran, our Head Engineer at the Imurj Recording Studios soon after Imurj opened in 2017. “I like working with Paul. He’s a fun guy to hang around with and knows his stuff. Most engineers know their stuff, but you have to find someone that can do that and you can hang out with for long periods of time”. Paul and Nico have since become friends, as they’ve worked on his EP, “Mountains”.
Nico got his start in music pretty late. As a child, he always enjoyed listening to music and singing in chorus. At age 18, he picked up a guitar and started by playing songs of bands he liked. He taught himself how to play, but never really studied anything about music theory. When asked what was the catalyst that made him want to be a professional singer/songwriter, Nico’s answer was Jason Mraz. “ I was at a Jason Mraz concert. I saw him play once and I was like, whoa, I want to do that.” Nico identified with the style of music he played and really admired his stage presence. “It was him and a band of ‘real’ musicians. I feel that there is a really big difference between what I do and an actual musician. A real musician is someone that can listen and is well versed in music theory. The idea of being able to attract musicians of that caliber because of something you create is really cool. That’s what I wanted to do.” Nico believed he had himself found that in Producer – John Briggs, whom he met in Raleigh.
Briggs is the Producer on the album and played many of the instruments on the tracks. Nico feels that he really took his music to a new level. “I was blown away watching John work. I could think of an idea and he would just create it, as well as come up with most of the music for the bass, electric guitar, and drums.” Briggs experimented with different arrangements and would create the songs. The pair worked on the songs, made demos and brought on drummer, Alex Jolly, of the band, Solar Bears. They, along with Paul Voran of Imurj Studios, went to the Fidelitorium in September to record. His goal was to capture the sound of live drums, rather than digital in the space. From September to July, the songs were mixed and mastered to exactly how Nico wanted it. Nico admitted that he, John and Paul were perfectionists with the production. “John definitely had his opinions and most of the time he was right.” Female vocalist, Rebekah Holland, contributed to one song as well.
Finally, ‘Mountains’ was created. “The songs are about coming to obstacles and trying to bring the best out of every situation. You can stand around and do nothing or you can start climbing mountains”. Come out and see Nico before he starts climbing those mountains, because he is moving to Denver next month for a new chapter!
You can find Nico Zarcone at Imurj for his Album Release Party on Monday, August 6th.
MORE INFORMATION ON NICO
Contact Paul Voran in the Imurj Recording Studios to find out about how to get your music recorded!