Interview by Ian Cole, Editor-in-Chief
I first met Nick Hissom when he was 16-years old and about to embark on a modelling career. I photographed him for his first ever professional photo-shoot and despite a very long day, he worked hard throughout, impressing us all. Nick, who in his modelling career has worked for flagship brands like Tommy Hilfiger and has been profiled in Interview Magazine, also released his first track as a music artist in the Summer of 2013. But as you will see from this interview, he has plenty more plans up his sleeve.
1. First of all, congratulations on the release of your debut track last Summer, we know you have worked very hard on this project. We were intrigued by the title, can you tell us a bit about the story behind it?
Thank you! “If I Die Young” is essentially a track about living for the moment, and maturing through making the best out of any given situation. The song is also in part an ode to a friend of mine who I lost to cancer earlier this year – she had such appreciation and joy for everything despite being sick, it was always so inspiring to spend time with her.
2. You worked with producer Mick Schultz, who has a lot of great productions under his belt and who has achieved success at a young age. Would you describe this collaboration as a meeting of the minds?
I think so! Mick and I agree on most things sonically and we’ve also both been working in creative fields from a very young age, so we have a lot in common. I loved working with Mick on “If I Die Young” because he really understood what type of sound I wanted to achieve – “If I Die Young” was initially too pop orientated for me so Mick very patiently made a lot of changes to the record so that it fit the pop-EDM crossover sound I was going for.
3.Where did you film the music video? We love the location
We filmed the music video in several locations around Los Angeles and Las Vegas: Malibu beach, Runyon Canyon, Mick Schultz’s house, Death Valley, and the Mojave Desert salt flats. I worked with Brian Michael Henderson [director] and my manager Tim Kash to scout these remarkable locations. However, Death Valley is one of the hottest places in the entire world, so shooting in 130° heat in mid-July was pretty intense!
4.The video looks like it was a lot of fun. Tell us about your highlights and what was it like working with stunning Playgirl Alyssa Arce?
Alyssa was the highlight of the shoot! She’s smart, funny, hot, hard-working, she’s got it all. Alyssa’s a trooper too, when we were shooting the beach scenes there were hundreds of bugs crawling on us because they were attracted to the camera lights – Alyssa handled it like a pro.
5. If I Die Young is a dance track and we heard it’s been getting a lot of club plays. What else can we expect from your debut album? Will it be a dance album or are you planning any acoustic tracks or any other genres?
My album will be a mix of everything; I want it to reflect all of the different aspects of my life throughout the past 3 years. There will be EDM rave tracks that appeal to the college demographic, there will be daytime party pop songs geared towards Moms and daughters, there will be pop ballads which reflect the various ups and downs that I’ve been through both personally and professionally – really everything will be on this record; however, all of the tracks will have a consistent and unique sound which will fall into an EDM-pop crossover genre.
6.Although you are well-travelled and spent your teenage years studying in Switzerland, how does Las Vegas compare to London, now that you have such strong roots in Vegas? Also, you were born in London, but where do you think of as ‘home’?
Without a doubt, London will always be my home and I’m a Londoner at heart, it’s where I grew up. With that said, Vegas has also become a second home to me over the past few years. In comparison, I’d say that London is a more cultural and better-rounded city overall for day-to-day life; however, nowhere is more fun and entertaining then Las Vegas!
7. Name your Top 3 Holiday destinations
Nassau, Bahamas. Aspen, Colorado. St. Tropez, France.
8. Which industry do you find more exhilarating – fashion or music?
I don’t think that I could really pick between fashion and music because I feel that fashion and music are always fused together. For example, for my music video release party at the Jazz Room at the General, I worked with Angela Simmons and Gigi Hadid. Gigi and Angela are both involved in fashion – Gigi is the face of Guess and Angela is an aspiring designer – yet both have deep roots in the music industry. Furthermore, I feel that music and fashion are linked because both have clear trends, seasons, similar turnover times between seasons, and both industries define what is cool and current in popular culture.
9. Family is obviously very important to you – how do you deal with the amount of time away from them, what with school and work commitments?
I’ve been used to spending time away from my family since I enrolled in boarding school at 15, so it doesn’t bother me too much anymore. I also make time for my family when I’m travelling for work. For example, I try to plan my New York dates to coincide with my Dad’s business trips to New, and whenever I am recording in LA I’ll often fly up to Vegas for the night to see my Mom and Stepdad.
10. Your debut album will obviously be taking up a lot of your time over the next year or so. Tell us, when do you graduate and what is next for Nick Hissom?
I graduated from UPenn in May 2014 and I’ll be moving to LA to focus on music full-time shortly afterwards. I’m going to buy a dog, live with my friends, live healthily, and take a long break from constantly travelling every three days!
11. What are you passionate about?
My biggest passion in life is music, but I’m also very passionate about business. I’m involved in a nightlife iPhone app. called Status On (www.statuson.com), which connects partying friends through social media and also acts as a high-end event platform. It’s an app. that is going to revolutionise the way we exchange information pertaining to venues we frequent. Aside from Status On, I’m also involved in a communications company called S Squared Communications with my long-time friend and publicist Sara Stosic.
Special thanks, Nick Hissom & Sara Stosic! For more information about Nick, follow him here: