I recently chatted with up and coming singer Nick Tangorra. With his work ethic, determination, humility, talent, and family support this man is well on his way to becoming the next big thing.
How did you get into singing?
Well I’ve loved to sing ever since I was a very, very little kid. We were very close with my grandfather. When he passed away I was at a very young and we had been going through his stuff and found old records of his. It wasn’t something that was discussed growing up and I was also very young but he was in a Doo-wop group. Listening to it inspired me to just always be singing. It was like, wow I always felt the connection to my grandfather.
From there my brother and I ended up joining a Columbian folk music group inside of a barber shop where we would rehearse. It was pretty interesting. My brother would play Timbales and I would be singing Columbian music. I’m Italian and Irish so I had no idea what I was singing about. (Laughs). So it was pretty funny but it was a really good experience.
From there I thought maybe I’ll dabble a little bit in musical theater. I fell in love with that. One day me and my brother were like, “Let’s just make a band. Let’s just go out there and make music.” We’ve been doing it ever since.
What inspires your writing?
Everyday situations. Often times we’ll write love songs or songs where we may be hurting a little bit or maybe just songs where we’re in a good mood. That has to go off of the way we’re feeling because we’re not going to write a happy-go-lucky song if we’re in the worst type of mood.
I’m very lucky to have a very good relationship with my fans where I communicate with them and I tell them my struggles. I tell them what I’m dealing with and they know it. They tell me the same things. We just have that type of relationship. So I feel that through music it’s just a great way to be honest.
What is the lyric you’re most proud of writing?
Well with Damage Done that was one of the few songs that was actually given to us. It was specifically written for the band. Immediately when I heard it I just fell in love. From that point on I just had this vision in my head where I said, “Wow”. This song and this concept I had in my head from the beginning. I knew I wanted to take the anti-suicide route and make the music video into a PSA.
That’s why I had written the music video. I wanted to tell the story of someone who felt like they had nothing and they were just really hurting, coming from an abusive household. All different stuff like that. One day the person that he feels isn’t there, really is, but he feels like she isn’t. He feels like, “Ok I’m just giving up on this” but then when he’s going through this really terrible time he sees who cares about him, who loves him. When he closes his eyes he’s able to see the beautiful future that he has. The whole message of it is don’t give up because you never know what is waiting for you out there.
The ugliness of today can just be blinding you don’t see the beauty of tomorrow. It’s so true.
What did it feel like the first time you heard your fans singing your songs back to you?
Oh My God it was AMAZING! It was so amazing because it was like WOW! All my hard work. All the stress and the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into creating this, in my art. People are appreciating it. People are listening to it and they’re going home, listening to it, then memorizing it. Then coming back to our shows and performing it with us. I always say that, for the fans they could be in the audience and I could be what’s entertaining them. When I’m performing I’m the audience and they’re entertaining me.
They put on a killer show every single time. Sometimes they know the songs better than I do. (Laughs). So it’s actually pretty good. I know I can always rely on them. If I forget a lyric I can stick the mic right out to them and they know everything. It’s perfect.
Jamie Lawson does that too. He has said that when he forgets lyrics he points the mic at the audience.
You have to. It’s like OMG you blank. There’s so many songs, so many different lyrics. So many emotions going on and the adrenaline is everything. So it’s like you’re going to forget some things. So luckily the fans, I hope they’re not going to our concerts with stress and have to worry about anything like that. But when I point the mic out to them it’s no problem. They know everything so it’s perfect.
I read that you trained with the famous choreographers Nappytabs. Can you describe that experience?
Oh that was fantastic. I was working on a project in Los Angeles for two years. It was just a great experience getting to work with them. They’re such professionals. They’re legends in this industry. To work with them was a complete honor and I definitely learned, I would say, 90% of the dancing I can do is from experiencing lessons from them. Also just in watching them. Prior to that I was never a dancer. I’d taken some lessons here and there but I was not much of a dancer.
Going into it I didn’t really know who they were. When I started working with them I looked them up and I was like, “OH, wait a second they’re legit. OMG!”(Laughs). I looked them up and I was like blown away. Getting to work with them made it that much cooler.
When you go on tour what is the thing you miss the most?
It depends on who you’re with. For me I just turned 18. I know a lot of people want to say, “No parents! No parents” but I love my family and so I will never be able to give up my family. Luckily I get to do this with my brother. So that’s a given. He’s always going to be with me. Since he’s my drummer. I think it’s just very hard to leave the family you have back at home.
Of course my dog. It’s so tough. I know some people would say, “Oh it’s just a dog” but you don’t understand. It’s my dog that I care more about than other human beings. (Laughs). My dog is a human being. It’s rough. I think definitely my dog plays a huge role in that.
The music industry can get pretty crazy sometimes. What do you do to stay grounded?
I surround myself first off with amazing people. I work with my family. Who I absolutely love and adore and I absolutely wouldn’t have it any other way. I have incredible parents. I have an incredible support system. I think the best part about that is my parents are the type of people who are like, “Oh God I wish you wouldn’t do the music industry.” That makes it so much better because they’re not in it for any other reason than just to support me. They understand how much I love it. They’re like, “I just want you to be safe.” They have my best intentions at heart and I know that.
I also surround myself with great friends. For me I have my eye on the prize. This is my goal, my dream and I won’t stop until I get there. I won’t even stop once I get there. I’m not going to let anything get in the way. I’m not going to be a pain in the butt. I’m not going to be that type of person. There’s just no reason for it. You’re better off being a nice person. You attract more bees with honey. I think that means be nice. (Laughs). At least that’s what my parents say.
Doing colabs is huge right now. Who would be your dream colab?
Ok so, I’m going to do a living and dead one. Living would be either Bruno Mars or Justin Timberlake. Because wow who wouldn’t want to collaborate with them?
Dead, oh my this is so hard. It’s gotta be Amy Winehouse. It has to be Amy Winehouse. She had a phenomenal voice. It’s so funny because a lot of people are like, “Wow are you sure you’re 18 years old?” because I’ve been giving these types of answers since I was 14. (Laughs). They’re like, “Are you sure you’re a kid?” I’m like, “I don’t know.” They’re like, “I think you’re like 45 years old.” I might be honestly. I have no idea. I should take a test on it. Make sure I am 18 and not 45. (Laughs).
I just appreciate their style and their vocal abilities. It’s just absolutely phenomenal.
You are very involved with Rock Out Autism. Can you tell our readers what it’s about and how you got involved with them?
Rock Out Autism is something that I cofounded with my brother. I want to say it was seven years ago. Maybe eight. I was very, very young at the time. When we moved out to Long Island we moved from Queens, New York to Long Island, New York. We started noticing neighbors and we were in towns that said, “Slow down. Autistic neighborhood” and stuff like that. We were like, “What is Autism?” We had no idea.
So when we got here we started meeting children and young adults who were dealing with Autism. We were like we need to help. We need to help in some type of way. So what we decided to do was we would go down to the centers and meet with the kids and that really, really, really lit the fire. It made us go out there. The first year we put on a concert at this local bar and luckily they let all ages in for the day because it was a family event. We got different bands to perform. Zero budget. I performed and Rafe was with me. We put on a show and there was about 750 people who showed up.
We were like what? We have this type of power? We were able to have people here for this great cause and raise thousands and thousands of dollars. We were like, “this is incredible. It’s absolutely incredible.”
Ever since then we’ve been putting on events yearly and we’ve raised over $200,000 for different local Autism centers! It’s been amazing and of course we always go back to visit the different centers. We visit the children. We put on different types of performance for them. We get to see how they’re using the funds and how it’s bettering them. We ask them, “What more do you need and how can we help in other ways?” It’s been an experience that totally changed my life. It really has.
We at TNWU all have something nerdy/geeky about us. What is something nerdy/geeky about you?
I guess they say the typical nerd is always studying for tests kind of thing. I am such like a freak when it comes to studying. I get so nervous I have to make myself 10 different quizzes. I ask myself the same question 10 different ways. I have to make index cards. I spend five hours just creating that stuff. Then I spend like 30 minutes actually taking the stuff. I freak myself out about it and then I come home with the test and it’s 100%. I’m like, “Yeah, ok it worked!” I would say that’s pretty nerdy.
Also I love video games. Especially with WWE. We love the wrestling video games, me and my brother. We’ll just sit for hours playing different matches. “Oh that’s a dream match. Also that’s guy’s dead so it’s impossible but it’s the dream.” Many people don’t know that about me but we’re big wrestling fanatics. We get very, very nerdy when it comes to that stuff. We’re big WWE fans. (Laughs).
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