Nick Hampson, the musician and acclaimed film director behind East London artist Now Ex, presents a completely new sound in pop music with his powerful debut EP Sad Kids In America.
Coming from a classically trained background, notably as a soloist in the Royal Opera as a teenager, Nick’s voice is rich with a soulful musicality and intense vulnerability. Defined by his unique, almost operatic, vocal style, and backed by an innate ability to tell relatable stories that helped earn his latest feature documentary “In The Cold Dark Night” a 2021 Emmy® award nomination, the title track is a timely and highly necessary anthem for the disillusioned youth of contemporary America.
Having an American mother meant Nick grew up spending large amounts of time in the deep South, surrounded by its incredible beauty, but also its devastatingly painful social issues. This of course heavily influenced the EP and its raw and poetic lyrics, creating a timeless piece that’s still uniquely relatable to the Tik Tok generation who avidly consumed his first 6 singles. Huge orchestral instruments sing out in this flawless production, led by star producer duo MyRiot, known for being at the helm of London Grammar’s debut and platinum-selling album, and masters at combining classically resonant vocals with an electronic underscore, to create infectious and chart-topping pop music. Despite the orchestral significance of Sad Kids In America it wouldn’t be a Now Ex song without a rousing electronic underscore that kicks in and uplifts the whole record to a triumphant chorus, as Nick begs the EP’s large and haunting question, “Will we be forever, Sad Kids In America?”.
Nick’s film work is highly significant to Sad Kids In America, giving his music a cinematic integrity and enabling him to create an EP that feels like a soundtrack. A feature from Notion explains «Nick’s films and music both create and explore parallel worlds laced with melancholic euphoria and a hunger for life.» This can be felt in the stunning music videos Nick has directed and produced himself for the EP, as well as in past videos, such as for First Light, featuring rising star actor Lydia West (It’s A Sin, Years and Years). The video garnered over 200,000 views in a week and has been instrumental in helping Now Ex accumulate over one million streams from his first six singles. Now Ex has also crafted a truly exciting live show, delighting hundreds of fans at his recent packed headline gig at the O2 Academy Islington.
With bookings flying in for 2022, Now Ex’s vast musical talent is sure to make waves on a global stage. Nick has interviewed on multiple BBC radio shows, and Ireland’s RTE, been Amazing Radio’s track of the week, as well as had editorial playlist support from Spotify multiple times on his early releases. In an industry and culture that requires artists to communicate with their fans across a huge range of media, Now Ex really is a cross-platform pioneer and his talents stretch far beyond most artists in the scene. In a world of uncertainty, we turn to artists like Now Ex to voice our hopes and fears in a continuously distorting reality, and as the EP’s big questions and ideas linger for the listener long after the final note sounds, one can’t help but believe this is an artist that will play a big part in the pop music of not only 2022, but of the decade ahead.
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