All you need is a dream – Interview with Nicholas Veinoglou
Nicholas Veinoglou began his musical journey at age 10. Highly influenced from Blues, Classical and Jazz, Nicholas created a unique and flavorful approach to his instrument which paved the road to his musical journey. Nicholas graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Guitar Performance and a minor in Harmony. He released his first album “Love Languages” in January 2016. Currently, Nicholas is working as a Musical Director, songwriter, and guitarist in Los Angeles. He tours both nationally and internationally with Jordan Fisher and Atlantic Records recording artist Bazzi, opening for artists such as Justin Timberlake, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, Calvin Harris, Khalid, Cardi B, Dua Lipa and many more.
How did you start your musical journey? What were your early major music influences and inspiration?
I started playing guitar around the age of 10! My parents had just got divorced and I took it really hard. The only time I would feel at peace was when I was playing guitar, so I spent countless hours locked in my room playing to Jimi Hendrix and Slash records. I remember having this crazy epiphany one day-realizing that the joy music was bringing me could help other people who might be feeling damaged; and felt an overwhelming responsibility to share that with the world. Even after 15 years, my love for the guitar still grows daily.
You graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Jazz Guitar Performance. How did your music education shape your music career later on?
Berklee gave me all of the tools I needed to be a confident player/musician. I think beyond your actual ability and skill, having the confidence to perform is huge. This helped a lot down the road with auditioning and getting gigs. Whether it be for a tour, a Broadway show, or musical directing, Berklee definitely gave me the tools I needed to be confident in most musical settings. On top of that, Berklee has an absolutely massive community or like-minded, hard working and successful musicians. They’re all over the place! We all want to help each other win, so its been awesome being a part of such a powerful community.
What helped you most to jumpstart your music career?
My dream was to be a touring guitarist, and a musical director. Everyone I knew who was successfully doing this-lived in Los Angeles. So, after graduating Berklee, I moved to Los Angeles on a whim. I didn’t really know many people in the city, but I had a strong vision and a clear goal. A week or two after making the move, I connected with a friend who recommended I check out a website called Musicians Casting. Initially I was thinking the same thing anyone else would have-“great, another craigslist for gigs that will lead no-where”. But, after checking out the site, that was certainly not the case. Musician Casting allows you to create an incredibly detailed profile where potential employers can gather all the info they need about you in one place. On top of that, the gigs they had posted were all freaking legit. The first one I saw was an audition for “Hollywood records artist seeking guitarist” (or something similar). A notable record label seeking the help of this new website to help recruit new players? Sounds good to me. I submitted to enter, booked the audition, and got the gig. Getting my first gig out in LA with Jordan Fisher really jump-started my career. The connections I made while on tour kept me busy long after getting back home, and have led to beautiful friendships, working relationships, and many awesome collaborations.
We know you now tour both nationally and internationally with rising names like Jordan Fisher, Bazzi and open for artists such as Justin Timberlake, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes and Cardi B to name a few. What does it take to work with all those people? What are the biggest challenge and the biggest reward?
I think the biggest thing to realize is that anyone can do it. It’s not about what gear you have, what school you went to, or how fast you can play. Its about the work you put in, the relationships you cultivate, and overall just being a good person! The whole touring world is so small, everyone pretty much knows everyone; so be a good hang, be prepared, have your sh*t together, and give it all you got. Never say “”no” at an audition! For me, the biggest challenge with touring so much has been the time away from loved ones, family, and friends. Obviously with any passion comes sacrifice, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier. The rewards are boundless; traveling the world doing something that’s very meaningful to me, making amazing memories, eating new foods, sharing your gifts with thousands and thousands of people night after night.. the list goes on.
Musician Casting has numerous musicians who have booked major tours and gigs like yourself. What would you say is the most valuable piece of information on your Musician Casting EPK profile that got you selected for these opportunities?
When I booked my first gig through musicians casting, I didn’t have a ton of experience listed on my profile; I was straight out of college, and had only worked with a handful or artist names, ect. I think as long as you create an honest-true-to-yourself profile that vividly expresses who you are as an artist/musician you’ll do great. Don’t go overboard listing every accomplishment and every show you’ve played; just the things you are most proud of and have challenged you to grow. Clean and simple always works best!
You have played live on some of the biggest music festivals worldwide (Lollapalooza, iHeart Jingle Ball, Apple music Fest, Osheaga, etc). Which is was the most memorable live show you have had, and why?
I remember our Jingle Ball show at Madison Square Garden being surreal. Lots of my family was in the audience along with some friends, and growing up on the east coast you only dream of playing that damn place! Being on stage was so surreal and beautiful.
As you advance in your career as a Music Director what value do you see Musician Casting bringing to your hiring process?
I see Musician Casting as an invaluable resource for MD’ing. I’m always needing to find new players and musicians with special abilities-so having a database of hundreds and hundreds at my fingertips is truly invaluable! Musicians Casting gives me and my clients a streamlined way of hiring/auditioning new players.
How do you see yourself and your music career changing in the next decade?
So much of the music world is taking to the web these days-Instagram being one of the biggest players in the game. I’ve had many opportunities arise from Instagram, and I know dozens of people who’s lives have changed from a simple DM to collaborate. As social networking grows, new platforms emerge, I’m anxious and excited to see what’s new. I know things are changing fast in this digital world, and I’m interested to see how it will effect the music industry as a whole.
In the digital age we are able to connect with people anywhere around the world. Why do you think it is important for musicians connect online? How has musician casting professionalized this process?
Circling back to my comments on social media-connecting online is 100% necessary in our current music industry. It almost seems as though everything happens online. People collab, get gigs, release projects, ect… all through social media platforms. What I like most about musicians casting is the ability to create a professional profile dedicated to musicians. Linkdin and all of these other web sites just aren’t for us! Musicians Casting gives me a clean platform to promote myself as a musician, letting me display all the important information up front, without it being to sterile like a resume.
If you can give only one piece of advice to aspiring musicians worldwide, what would it be?
Honestly, all you need is a dream. If you dream big enough and truly believe in yourself, you can literally make anything happen. I know a lot of people say that-and there’s no real path to achieving your dreams aside from working your butt off EVERY DAY (except Sundays. Put your guitar down and eat some donuts. Don’t forget to breathe.) Live-breathe-sweat your dreams. Realize that everything is a process, things take time; and timing is everything. Realize that you are good enough right now in this very moment, and that you deserve to have your dreams come true. Make a plan, set goals, and get working.
MusicianCasting.com offers an elite casting service for music professionals. Opportunities come from partnering up with the best record labels, music directors, agents, and management companies in the industry. As a result Musician Casting has helped countless musicians and crew book tours, gigs, and other work all over the world. MusicianCasting.com is free to post gigs and currently offering a limited time One Month Free Trial for users.