“There is a tendency in audiences to try to assimilate and compare something powerful and original to another – to grasp or hold onto the known. But with Nic Nassuet, this tendency won’t hold. Nassuet rewrites the singer-songwriter user’s manual like Ritchie Havens, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake and other legendary artists did before him. His gothic aesthetics and nocturnal atmospheres allow Nic to explore with his sound and extend far beyond the vocals / guitar format that is the staple of the singer / songwriter genre.”

Entertwine: Nic! Thanks for joining us, and allowing us to get to know you as a person and artist all around! Could you tell us a bit about your background? Where did you grow up, and what has brought you to where you are now in life?

Sure! I was born in Oklahoma where I started doing musical theater as a child, then moved to Colorado at around 10 years old. I hated it and became very depressed. I was constantly harassed as the new kid. Music was my “go to”, the only thing that helped relieve the pain. At around 16 years old I joined the Guardian Angels and started doing street patrols. I dropped out of high school and got my GED at around 17. Worked jobs until I was about 19 and then joined the army. After I got out of the army I moved back to Denver, joined a punk-metal band as a singer, and started acting again with professional representation. I then went to college for psychology and acting. In January 2012 I left everything behind and move to Hollywood to study at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, the Upright Citizens Brigade, and started going on TV and movie auditions due to my awesome agent and manager.

You’ve starred on stage in critically-acclaimed musicals and have worked as a private investigator and a Counterintelligence Special Agent for the US Army; what type of influence do these life experiences have on what you write and record?

I completed my training, and graduated the CI Agent course as a CI special agent in the Army, but I was never deployed in that capacity. Most of the intelligence work that I have done was for animal rights groups, or in the private sector – planting spies in companies and organizations that are cruel to animals, getting intel/video and audio recordings/employee manuals from people on the inside, etc.

I think that these experiences have influenced my music because it forces me to confront my emotions and be open to whatever is lurking down there inside of my mind. You can only see so many horrific things before you have to either stop feeling, or find a way to be okay with what you feel. I see lots of people choose the former. I chose the latter.

What encouraged you to pursue a career in music in the first place?

My mother likes to tell a story about when I was four years old and she went into the ladies room. When she came out I had amassed an audience and was singing “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie. Singing, and music, are the only things that have been a constant in my life, and that I have continued to feel truly passionate about from childhood up until now.

I don’t think that it’s really fair to say that I chose music. Singing, even alone in a dark room, brings me pleasure. It’s not a choice, its just part of what I am I suppose.

What is it like living in Los Angeles, California?

LA is the greatest place on Earth. Once you weave yourself into the fabric of Hollywood, it’s like nothing else. So many good people, kind people, talented people, amazing art venues, fantastic museums, beaches, people freely expressing themselves in all ways conceivable, great weather. LA rocks.

Definitely a great scene for anything entertainment, I would have to agree! What are some of your favorite venues to frequent in the area?

I really like the vibe at the House of Blues, and the stage area at Boardner’s is one of my favorite places in the entire world. It’s gorgeous.

Could you tell us about some of the most interesting performances you’ve been a part of in Los Angeles?

Back when I was doing open mic nights they let a “comedian” on stage. He started by talking about watching his grandfather masturbate, then made a bunch of homophobic slurs, which pissed a lot of us off, so he started asking us to come on stage and punch him, then threatened to blow the venue up with a bomb and left. That was pretty interesting.

What experiences and events inspired the recording of your three single (‘The Nothing’, ‘Immured’, and ‘Black Dress’)? Could you tell us a bit about each track?

I wish I knew where inspiration came from so I could find it when I need it, but the music just happens. Often I wake up with a riff in my head. That also happens just at random during the day. I hum the tune into my phone, then play it on the guitar, and a word comes into my head to describe it. That word forms the basis of the lyrics and the title of the song, and it grows organically from there.

“Black Dress” is about Santa Muerte (Holy Death, petitioned and sometimes worshiped in Mexico). I have been spending a lot of time in Mexico, and I’ve studied first hand almost every obscure religious sect that there is, so I was fascinated with Santa Muerte and wanted to understand the phenomenon better. As a result of my experimentation, this song came into my head one day as I was walking through the house. As I wrote it down, I realized that it was about Santa Muerte.10635981_713376055424592_8996174766817873456_n

What experiences and events inspired the recording of your three single (‘The Nothing’, ‘Immured’, and ‘Black Dress’)? Could you tell us a bit about each track?

“The Nothing” was the second song that I ever wrote. It is autobiographical, and that’s all that I really feel comfortable saying about that. I was very nervous about releasing it because it is so personal.

“Immured” is a retelling of an ancient legend about a woman immured in a stone wall on her wedding day. As I was going through the house one day a female voice came into my head and started singing about it from a first person perspective. I wrote it down as the female lyrics, and I wrote my response to her voice as the male vocal line.

How are you able to blend so many different genres and styles of music into your original compositions and sound so fluently?

I honestly don’t know. The songs just happen. None of these songs were intentional. They just happened.

What a great gift that is, so very jealous over here, hah! So what’s next? What does 2015 hold in store for Nic Nassuet? Do you have any plans to write, record, and release a full-length album in the near future?

I am very close to completing a full length LP. The bare bones are recorded, but there’s still a long way to go. I think it should be completed by April. May at the latest.

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