Australian-born, LA-based actor and musician Nicholas Hamilton has just released his sparkling new single In Line, a song about coming of age that was two years in the making, out today – April 23. As a young actor and musician, Nicholas took the plunge and moved from his home in Byron Bay to Los Angeles. As an actor he has starred alongside Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving and Jessica Chastain to name a few, and has an ever growing list of successful films under his belt, including roles in global blockbusters such as It, It: Chapter Two, Captain Fantastic, Strangerland and more.
Jen had the chance to catch up with Nick to chat about his return to Australia and his brilliant new track called ‘In Line’ and more.
Hi Nicholas, you must be relieved that you are back in Australia right now. Being overseas during a pandemic would have been stressful.
It was just different, honestly. I learnt a ton about myself in 2020, and I think living alone during it had a big part to play in that.
I bet your family is happy to have you back.
I think they are! I’ve been away for almost 15 months now, me and my ex managed to cram a vacation to Aus in, back in March of last year, just before everything shut down. I’m excited to see everyone again. I’m moving back home now to enhance my career, so the prospect of being able to be close to them and do that is pretty fun.
To prepare for this interview, I thought about watching you act. So, I looked up It and remembered that that was a bit scary for me, just a little…. so I went with Captain Fantastic. Much more type of my movie! You certainly can act the emotions that your character was feeling!
I’m so glad you went with Captain Fantastic! I love that movie so much. We filmed it when I was 14, so it doesn’t even really feel like I was in it, to me. I just love that movie at its core. IT’s a good one, too, if you can handle it! I don’t blame you though, I hate scary movies too. I appreciate that compliment! I love playing real characters, people who you’d meet in reality, that’s more fun to me.
As a mum I really related to Captain Fantastic. It was nothing like I expected. Each family is unique and that one was definitely unique! Did you always know you wanted to be a musician as well as an actor?
At what age did you make the move to LA?
18. So I started acting in 2011, and was filming projects while doing school on the side until I graduated at the end of 2018. I moved to the US almost instantly after that. I’ve been there for almost 2.5 years now, it’s turned into the place I call home.Now about your new single, I like when artists release songs meaningful to them, and ‘In Line’ is definitely that for you.
100%. All my songs are, really. Little diary entries put to music. I enjoy being honest in my songs, my best ones are candid and real. If they can make someone feel something and make them bop their head, that’s my job done.
The theme of ‘In Line’ is exploring the emotions and negative thoughts that could have stopped you from getting on the plane to go to LA. Although I thought this, then I read that you said “. It just feels right, it makes me comfy.” Was it a bit of both?
The comfy quote is me talking about coming back to Australia after being in LA for two and a half years and expanding my music career, but I guess it works both ways. I was always an independent kid, always. I wanted more than anything to get out of my small hometown and hit LA, but “In Line” is about the part of me that was terrified to leave the comfort of home, my family and friends. It may not have been what I was fully feeling, but the song’s about the part of me that did.
Was this song difficult to write considering it would have brought up emotions you suppressed?
All my songs do that, it’s actually what I love about them. Songwriting is therapy for so many songwriters, and I’m no different. It’s very much a creative funnel for all my emotions, suppressed or otherwise. The difficulty, for me, is making sure I don’t go too far, making sure a chorus isn’t just me screaming someone who hurt me’s name over and over again.
I thought the lyrics were really well written, what is your writing process like?
Thank you! A lot of my songs are co-written, because I love working with collaborators who are on the same wavelength as I am. In Line is the oldest song on the upcoming EP, I wrote it with my guitarist in my hometown, Ben Kuhl, just before I moved to the States. No matter whether I’m writing with other people, or sitting behind a piano crying, I try to be as honest and candid as I can with my music.
Were you pleased with your fan response to ‘In Line’?
I think to be pleased or displeased with a response is unhealthy, to be honest. I’ve loved working with my already-established fans to suss out what music they like and how I can relate that to what I write. It’s not only a collaborative process between me and my co-writers, it’s one between me and the listeners.
I read some comments by your fans, you have some pretty hardcore fans, is there any pressure felt that you will make them unhappy?
No, not at all. I’ve been working for long enough now that any pressure from the outside has pretty much dissipated. I make what I make, it’s bound to be liked by some and disliked by others, that’s how anything worth watching or listening to works, I think.
While I was typing away, the music video stopped and then your song ‘Different Year’ came on. That song captured exactly how millions or billions of people that would have been feeling in 2020.
I’d like to think so! I loved that Different Year was the first song I ever released, it’s the easiest one to relate to, especially this past year.
How often do you write songs? Do you have a few on the go at once?
It varies, but often I have a few days where I crack out a ton, then a few days where nothing comes to me. I kinda love that though, I don’t like forcing songs, good songs will find their way to the top, it’s my job to recognise the good ones, and work my ass off to get them on paper.
I watched a video compilation that showed you covering songs on Tiktok, so I checked you out, wow you have a huge fan base that are impressed with your vocal sound.
Thank you! I’m really loving Tiktok as a way to reach people purely for my music. If someone is mindlessly scrolling and they see my face, recognise me from a project and stick around long enough to hear me sing, that’s perfect.
Was singing these covers a way of coping with what 2020 through at us?
100%. Music was, in general. Little coping method that turned into my second career.
Who was the guitarist that often joined you?
That’s Ben! I wrote in Line with him. We went to the same high school near Byron, he was a grade lower than me, and we knew we were both musicians. We linked up mid-2018 and started recording covers and eventually writing songs together. He’s my brother, love the kid. We’ve been growing a ton, separately, over the past 2 years while I’ve been gone, so I’m excited to come back and play with him again.What is next for you? More music! Next single comes out next month, then an EP after that, hopefully interspersed with some live shows and film/tv projects while I’m back home!
Oh and my 24 year old son is Nicholas Hamilton Rees, what are the chances!
Hahah wild! Tell him hey from me, maybe if I punch my own face he’ll feel it.
Haha! I will. All the best.
You too! Get well!!
Cheers! Appreciate that.