Nick Nittoli is a jack-of-all-trades in the music business. Starting off wanting to be an artist, Nick developed his talents to the point where he was accepted as a contestant on Bravo’s 2011 reality TV series Platinum Hit starring Kara Dioguardi and Jewel. Shortly after placing 4th overall, Nick found himself songwriting for artists like Snoop Dogg and French Montana. Nick then signed a deal with Warner Chappell and New Heights Entertainment as an artist and started releasing his own music. I had the pleasure of chatting with this self-made man about his journey as a writer, musician, music video producer, and passion pursuer.
Do you remember the first time you knew you wanted to make music?
Yeah, I mean my journey started really really early. My first words were “Nanny are you okay” from the Michael Jackson song, and they used to put on this movie called Moon Walker which is a Michal Jackson film. It’s basically like a little biopic on his life, and he’s singing his songs and dancing throughout it. I would cry whenever the tape stopped. So, they would play this tape for me in the crib relentlessly just to keep me entertained and to stop me from crying; I want to say I knew in the crib, man. I was obsessed with Michael, I couldn’t stop watching his music videos, I was trying to do his dance moves and stuff. So, that blossomed into getting a guitar and learning how to sing, but I knew from the age of 5 years old that I wanted to be in the entertainment industry and be an entertainer. What I’m doing now is a graduated idea from that.
What does the graduated version of the dream look like?
So, fast forward 10 years to when I was 15 years old and my mom got me an acoustic guitar at a garage sale. I started strumming Nirvana and Blink 182 songs from my bedroom, and that’s when the songwriter was born. I fell in love with songwriting, it was mine, it was something I did, and I was so proud of that fact. This was all in pursuit of getting to Hollywood and becoming the Superstar I wanted to be. So, I harnessed my talent and kept working. Around 5 years later I was cast on Platinum Hit. Before that show, I didn’t really know I was a songwriter. I thought I was an artist that had songs that didn’t sound like me. So, when I got on that show they said “You’re a songwriter. This is a real job that pays dividends”, and I learned so much about the business from that show.
Do you feel like being on Platinum Hit helped get you to the next level of where you wanted to be?
100%. I took the show and its credentials to propel myself to the point that I’m at today. While the show didn’t do amazing, I still had a name and google search results that I used to my advantage in Hollywood. That’s what got me into sessions where I started working with Snoop Dogg and French Montana. I had this one accolade and hustled to make that accolade the smallest thing on my resume.
What was it like writing with artists like Snoop and French Montana?
It was absolutely insane man. I’m a west coast guy and a huge hip-hop fan. So, for Snoop to be saying my lyrics and singing my melody back to me was unreal. It was the best day of my life. The first time I worked with Snoop it came as a surprise. I was working with a business partner in West Hollywood and we had a little independent label. We had pitched this stuff to Snoop to see if he would record it. It was my voice on the recording, my lyrics, my melody, and my partner surprised me by closing the deal without me knowing. He surprised me in the studio with “Hey, I have something for you” and played back Snoop Dogg singing back my lyrics and my melody. I was speechless.
Do you feel the music business has changed since you were on the Bravo show, and what would your advice be to young musicians and writers starting out right now?
Yeah, it has definitely changed a lot. I think it’s changed a lot for the better and a lot for the worse. As far as the better goes, I think a lot of people are gravitating more to real music and people who can really sing and perform. There is a lot more DIY music stuff going on, you can blow up on TikTok or Instagram; It’s putting the power back with the people. At the same time, there is a lot of pay for play that there wasn’t 10 years ago. You can buy Spotify plays, YouTube views, you can pay for press and subscribers. I’m not a huge fan of that part of it.
What is your definition of success?
Success is when preparation meets opportunity. That was how the Platinum Hit thing happened. I was getting off work each day, going home, and working my craft to the point where, once I got the audition, I was ready for it. Preparation had met opportunity and it was right there in front of me.
What are you working on right now? What’s next for you?
So, I took the music video thing into my own hands like I did with production, mixing, and mastering. I asked myself “how long do I have to spend to get my 10,000 hours, learn this, and do it myself”? So I shoot, direct, and edit my own videos. This is a huge part of my brand right now, I’m shooting and releasing a ton of music videos. I also just hit the iTunes Top 40 charts in 3 different genres, Metal, R&B Pop, and Hip Hop. I also have a new album coming out this month called Self Untitled. I’ve already released a few singles off of the album and there are about 6 or 7 songs that have not been released yet.
So, you’re on the iTunes Top 40 Chart in 3 different genres? That’s awesome! With the same song?
No, they are all different songs. I wanted to do something that no one else has done with my artist project, and in 2021 there are not a lot of things that people haven’t already done. My artist project is multi-genre and I’m going to keep switching genres with it. I actually just dropped a Country album earlier this year. I want to break down barriers and switch up the curve with my music, think outside the box.
What do you like to do outside of music?
I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist and was recently featured on BBC talking a bunch of conspiracy stuff. UFO’s, Roswell, basically anything that keeps me up at night haha. I also love to learn and do a lot of historical research. I’m a huge movie buff, I’m into every movie that comes out, and love dissecting them. My grandfather is actually Joe Pesci’s stand-in, so I grew up around Joe Pesci and the industry. Joe is actually my godfather, so I’ve had a lot of movie influences around me my entire life.
Finally, if you could say anything to your fans right now, what would you like to say to them?
The best is yet to come!