By Avon Echo Staff
“Check out my mixtape.”
A lot of people say it. Senior Nick Newman, also known as “Nico The Kidd,” actually means it.
He’s already put out one mixtape on SoundCloud, titled “Flu Game,” a nod to Michael Jordan’s famous flu-stricken performance in the 1997 NBA finals. Newman’s next mixtape, set to release March 17, is called “Lately I’ve Been Up to Something.” In all, he’s posted 22 tracks to SoundCloud in the past three months, and he has plans for many more.
“You can expect two more mixtapes and around 30 new songs before the school year ends,” Newman said. “You can definitely expect good quality music that you can appreciate for longer than just a week.”
Newman has grown up listening to J. Cole and Drake, and he said their influence has made its way into his own work.
“If I were to describe my style of art, I would say I favor J. Cole slightly when it comes to the lyrical aspect of my raps,” Newman said. “But I also have my own goofy style.”
For a taste of Newman’s lyrics, here’s one of his favorite lines from his song “There’s No One”: “This is the plan, blessed from Jesus’ hands, I start as The Kidd then turn into The Man. I’m just tryna keep ‘em jumping like a rocking band, I’m just tryna pop like the top of a soda can.”
Writing lyrics is an ongoing process for Newman. At any given moment—in class, at dinner, watching TV—a sequence of words might come to him. If you were to check out the Notes app on his phone, you’d see pages and pages of rhymes.
“I write all of my music on my phone, in my Notes, when I have it,” Newman said. “Otherwise, if any lyrics come to my head, I write it down on anything I can, such as a napkin at a dinner table. My best rhymes have come to me when I wasn’t actually writing music—I would just be doing something, and if something happens, I’ll think of a rhyme to just explain what happened.”
Newman gives credit to classmate Tyler Euriga, a junior, also known as Ace, who has produced some of the beats for Newman’s tracks.
“During the process of recording, I basically hear the beat, feel it, then get in front of the mic, and lay the track down,” Newman said. “After that, Ace messes with it and does his part, and then you have a song.”
He’s reluctant to call this anything more than a hobby, but he can’t deny that growing support for his work has him taking it pretty seriously. He’s not sure how rapping will fit into his future. For now, it’s just about the art, he said. It’s just about putting stuff out there that people will enjoy.
“I am very blessed to receive positive feedback on my art,” Newman said. “I am extremely grateful because I know I have more to give.”