Interview: Nik Davies

Dan McAvinchey: Thank you for doing this interview Nik, when did you first get interested in guitar, and how did you progress as a player?

Nik Davies: I first picked up the guitar when I was around 7, then became hooked from the age of about 12 onwards. I used to wake up in the middle of the night to play as I was just so excited by it! I had a few lessons, including some classical lessons, then moved more into the realm of acoustic fingerstyle playing.

Dan McAvinchey: Was your album "Unfurl" self-released?

Nik Davies: My album is self-released. However, if I came across a good label I would be up for hooking up!

Dan McAvinchey: What words would you use to describe your music to someone who is hearing your music for the first time?

Nik Davies: My style has been described as atmospheric and gentle. I think this is because I pay a lot of attention to resonance, and try to let the guitar sing out for itself as much as possible. I like open, almost magical, sounding chord voicings; I have always been enchanted by the ethereal side of music.

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Dan McAvinchey: How did you write the songs for your most recent album?

Nik Davies: All the pieces were written by me alone. I had a sudden burst of creativity that lasted a month or so, and that is when most of the tracks were written. Having said that, a lot of the chord progressions and fingerpicking styles were developed by me since I stared to find my own style. I guess a number of phrases and progressions built up over a few years, and then I made coherent songs out of them by piecing the bits together.

Dan McAvinchey: Do you get the chance to showcase your music before a live audience?

Nik Davies: Yes I do play live. I recently featured on the Sky Arts programme Guitar Star, in front of judges Helen Sanderson, Huey Morgan and Nitin Sawhney. I play gigs mostly around my city Bristol, as well as at weddings, parties and restaurants.

Dan McAvinchey: Are you using any social media sites to promote your album and music career?

Nik Davies: Yes I use Youtube, Soundcloud, and Twitter.

I email out free tabs for my arrangements via these platforms, as well as showcase
some of my original work.

Dan McAvinchey: From a publicity and promotion standpoint, what do you find is working best for you at the moment?

Nik Davies: Youtube and Soundcloud are both very useful platforms for me. I reach people all around the world, and gain followers and requests for tabs on a daily basis.

Dan McAvinchey: What do you find to be the advantages and disadvantages of being an independent musician?

Nik Davies: Being independent allows you to have free reigns over creativity and I think it makes music making a far more personal experience. However, nothing beats playing with other musicians as well, and feeding off each other's vibe. In all honesty, I like working both independently and with other musicians, and that is what I do. I have my own solo project, but I also love to play in my swing band.

Dan McAvinchey: Other than guitar-oriented music, what kind of music do you like to listen to?

Nik Davies: I actually like a lot of electronic and ambient music, as well as post rock, jazz and folk. One of my favourite acts at the moment is Portico. I appreciate good musicianship and production wherever that crops up.

Dan McAvinchey: What's up next for you, what are some of your plans for the future?

Nik Davies: I'm going to continue recording and writing and giving away tabs. I'm hoping to get more into working with film makers, as I’d love to work on more soundtracks for moving picture. I'm also going to continue gigging both as a solo musician and with my swing blues band, and hopefully play at a few festivals in the coming summer.

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Nik Davies is a Bristol (UK) based acoustic guitarist, making delicately atmospheric guitar instrumentals. Davies was recently featured on the Sky Arts TV programme "Guitar Star", and is starting to make a real splash in the guitar world, starting with "Unfurl", a mini-album released on Bandcamp.

Dan McAvinchey contacted Davis recently, and they discussed her new mini-album, as well as her musical beginnings, live performances and promotion.