Smooth Artist Interviews

Nils - 1
Nils - 2
Nils - 3
Nils - 4
Nils - 5
How did your new album/single and overall concept for it come about?

I wanted this album to reflect my R&B and Soul influences. After Covid I wanted to produce a record that was uplifting and projected a Feel Good vibe. That's where the title came from. On the album’s digipack I wanted to include my band members to showcase their contributions. The most important factor though was, that It needed to stand up to the success of my last 2 releases, which both were album of the Year 2021 and 2023 respectively.

What are you most proud of at this point in your life and career?

Having written and produced the most played song on Smooth Jazz Radio of the decade 2000-2010 Pacific Coast Highway. And since having established myself as one of the top songwriters and producers in the genre with 20 Top 10 Billboard Hits, amongst 8 #1s and counting.

Who would you like to collaborate with musically, recording or performing live?

Chaka Khan has always been one of my favorite singers. I would love working with her life or in the studio.

If you were to choose to learn a new instrument that you've never played before, what instrument might that be?

The cello. I just love the sound of it. It's so warm and expressive. It also looks beautiful. 

What aspect of the creative process, from concept to market, do you personally find to be the most rewarding?

I love the production process. It's when I take the song from the original idea to the finished product. Which each step, adding parts, finding the right sounds,  recording live musicians, the song becomes more alive. I like to compare it to creating a sculpture out of a piece of marble. You start with an idea and chisel away and shape it until you reveal the statue. Or a painting, where you apply layer upon layer of color to create your vision.

What would be the most important piece of advice you'd impart to a young musician just starting out in the jazz/smooth jazz arena?

Here are my top 4:

1.Try to find your own sound, your own voice. We all have influences that we like to assimilate, that's normal and ok, but you want to combine that with your own style and so create a unique identifiable sound of your own.

2. Approach being an artist like a business. You are the boss and need to deal with all aspects of your career. Structure your time so you can create, practice, promote and market your music.

3.Don't wait around for opportunities to fall into your lap. Create them yourself.

4. Build relationships with your peers and like minded musicians and help and support each other.