- Words Miriam Balanescu
Notion catches up with cinematic singer-songwriter Rhett Nicholl to chat musical storytelling, the good, the bad, and the ugly of the music industry, and much more.
For Rhett Nicholl, music is much more than a passion or career. Song-writing has been a lifeline for the artist, especially throughout mental health crises or periods of struggle. The North London-born musician has frequently lifted the lid on issues of mental health and the lack of support within the music industry.
It’s a topic which has often breached Nicholl’s music, with 2014’s haunting single “Border Line” preceding a breakdown. He brings a heavy dose of storytelling to his music – it comes as no surprise, since as a poet his artistry is also indebted to the written word. The theme of speaking out is a recurring one in Nicholl’s music; his debut 2020 EP ‘Omertà’ drew on his Italian heritage, deriving its title from the mafia word for silence.
Nicholl was raised by parents who worked in the music industry, a concrete introduction to the world and its stars. Snatching influences from funk and gospel, Nicholl cites soul singer Terry Reid as a major influence. He weaves together cinematic singles which fuse suspenseful instrumentals with his own husky vocals. “Love In Vain” is his latest, which is paving the way for another anticipated EP.
Notion chatted to Nicholl about his musical upbringing and influences, what drives him and much more.
What can we expect from your upcoming EP?