Contact

co-founder karla@side-note.com
co-founder emma@side-note.com
art director stephanie@side-note.com
partner projects contact@side-note.com

About

Celine by Hedi Slimane top and tie

PEOPLE OF NOTE: NICK WARD BY JAKE TERREY

Photographer & Creative Director: Jake Terrey

Creative Director: Karla Clarke

Stylist: Nichhia Wippell

Talent: Nick Ward

Words: Bianca Farmakis

Designer: Francesca Nwokeocha

NICK WARD grew up playing classical piano and putting out albums in his bedroom. He’s carved out a space in music that’s equal measures relatable as it is redemptive, layering personal thoughts over hypnotic rhythms, elevating darkness from shadows and making haunting words less threatening.  As he continues to erupt in the Australian music scene and be described by listeners and labels, he defines his journey so far. 
 
How did you navigate that path from independent to being with a label? 
This new record is just a culmination of everything I’ve learned, and me properly finding myself as an artist. I was working hospitality three days a week and making music in all my free time. It’s great to be able to say that it hasn’t changed the way I approach music at all, because that side should always be kept completely pure and childlike I think. 

Who influences your work? 
My dad used to play The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Springsteen, David Bowie, Lou Reed and classic Aussie rock in the car, and I think those records taught me everything I know about songwriting. One thing that really changed everything for me was my brief time with Troye, Leland and Oscar Gorres in Stockholm for his last record. Seeing how some of the best pop music in the world was being made really affected me, and changed how I see production as a whole. It made me completely rethink the idea of pop music. 

Prada jacket

[left] Gucci jacket | [right] Prada jacket and pants

Celine by Hedi Slimane jacket, top and pants

What’s a memory from your first headline tour that had an impact on you? 
I was sitting in a restaurant with my band beforehand, pulling my hair out – I was a wreck. Then, the show was f–king awesome. A couple of kids had Nick Ward tattoos, it was really affirming after being so scared an hour before. 
 
Mark Holland described you as a “true music-lifer” – how would you define that? 
I’d say the same of him too. I think that releasing music is often an attempt to emulate the kind of artist or rollout that your sixteen-year old self would have responded to. It’s always important to keep him in mind. 
 
How do you approach directing and producing music videos to your songs? 
I imagine production and mixing as a very visual, 3D process, and get really vivid images in my head of colours, faces and settings. Making a music video is just translating those ideas into a three-minute short film.  
 
What do you hope people feel when they listen to you? 
I absolutely resist the ‘emo’ tag that people try to put on me. To me, pop music is a way to trojan-horse the weird s–t you like.I hope I can give some people the same experience that my heroes gave me – that feeling of being seen and heard and understood. I also hope they like the drums. 
 
What’s the biggest challenge facing emerging artists? 
Cutting through the noise in such a wild time in music culture – the feeling that you get when listening to a song you love is something that technology and industry can’t touch.

Injury jacket, Michael Lo Sordo pants 

Prada jacket and pants

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SIDE-NOTE acknowledges the Eora people as the traditional custodians of the land on which this project was produced. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples reading this.