Interview with Singer-Songwriter Nikolas Metaxas
We recently had the pleasure of enjoying the music of Nikolas Metaxas at a show that we attended. He’s a singer-songwriter with amazing energy, terrific stage presence and catchy songs. He’s an indie artist who has mainstream appeal. We took a few minutes to catch up with him between gigs. Here’s what he had to say…
NYP: Tell us a little bit about your music?
Nikolas: Well, I consider my music a blend of singer/songwriter thoughtful lyrics with the pop/rock element. I have the hardest time classifying my music in a specific genre. I’ll leave that to audiences. I try to craft songs that have a twist both musically and lyrically but are simple enough to be appealing to a wide range of audiences. I like playing the guitar and singing honest thoughts and feelings…..Ok, maybe I’ll throw in a mini vocal show off every now and then…but come on!! Who doesn’t??
NYP: How long have you been writing and performing?
Nikolas: I have been musically active since I was a little kid back home in Cyprus. At 7 I started taking guitar lessons and choir practice. At 10 I started playing the piano and doing musical theater. At 13 I wrote my first complete song. At 16 I won my first songwriting award and released my first EP which was in Greek. After that, I started playing local bars and venues, and slowly went on to concerts by the time I was 20. All this was before I decided to move to the USA. My path was pretty laid out and simple. Just keep writing and singing!
NYP: What or who inspires you when you write a song?
Nikolas: I always try to write about genuine feelings that I have. Could be a story I heard, a movie I saw, a concept that had been pestering me in my brian… But most of the time it’s about personal experiences. I like to keep it real. You know that when you get an incoherent song, It’s probably how I feel at that time. Confused and incoherent.
NYP: Who are your musical influences?
Nikolas: Wow, everyone that I have been listening to since I was a kid. From my five year old naked dancing to Michael Jackson, to jamming over Dave Mathews tunes with friends in my apartment in Boston, to lonely nights in Cyprus with Bryan Adams playing on the radio… The range of music that I listen to is vast. From Beethoven to Slipknot, from Ray Lamontagne to Muse. I can honestly say that I have the most diverse Ipod collection ever and the crazy thing is that I DO love all of it!
NYP: How do you build your song?
Nikolas: Usually I’ll be jamming on the guitar or piano, playing random stuff. I’ll usually start with a familiar riff or chord progression and slowly change it up and once I feel that I have an intro or a verse, I’ll play it for a while, and see how it makes me feel. Then I’ll start mumbling words to create a melody, and from there on, it just comes. There have been times though where I’d write lyrics first. Bottom line is that when I get that uneasy feeling of wanting to be left alone, I know it’s time to write. I can be really unpleasant company when I’m musically frustrated or when I haven’t written something decent in a while
NYP: How did you decide that you wanted to be a full-time musician?
Nikolas: Well, after basically devoting my life to music after the age of 14, I would say it just happened. A natural progression of the inevitable. My parents knew it early on and where scared initially. But after seeing my persistence, and recognizing that I may have “something”, they just went along. I am good at convincing people I guess. Can I have your money now please? “lol”
NYP: What was your most memorable gig and why?
Nikolas: My most memorable gig I must say was my first headlining concert in Cyprus. I had the pleasure of playing a 5000 people packed basketball arena with one of the biggest bands in Greece. Just getting on that stage and looking down at all the people was extremely humbling. I just wish someday I can do that in the US
NYP: What do you have in the works for 2011?
Nikolas: Well, I have been recording and prepping my album since June 2010. I am extremely proud of it since it is my debut album in the US, and I’ve had an awesome time working on it! I had the pleasure (and curse) of writing, producing, performing, and partly at least engineering it along with great and awesome people and true friends. It has been a fun ride and I am sure people will appreciate the effort and hopefully like the music. Also, I am lining up a tour of America. The plan is that I will be traveling from city to city and state to state, playing any shows I can get, and trying to meet people. Wanna tag along? It’s a two passenger van!!
NYP: Where can we find your music or here you play?
Nikolas: Erm, well since I handle my booking and I made my website, I’ll just direct you to it It’s www.nikolasmetaxas.com . Also, I constantly post events and other stuff on facebook.com/nikolasmetaxas and twitter.com/nikolasmetaxas .
Also, don’t forget to get on YouTube and go to youtube.com/nmetaxas and have a listen. If you like my songs, then subscribe That’s that. I announce gigs in NYC and Boston all the time so stay tuned