Newcomer Joe Nix today releases his debut single ‘Yikes’, produced by London-based writer, engineer and producer Cashy (formerly of Columbia-signed Cash+David).
The track is available to stream on all platforms from here – https://songwhip.com/song/joe-nix/yikes.
Camouflaging the bruises & scrapes of finding your feet on your own terms with a breezy sleight of hand, ‘Yikes’ brims with 23 year old Londoner Nix’s laidback savvy. It’s a resilience shaped during a childhood defined by motion & progression, ever since work commitments took his parents – with a young Joe in tow – from Birmingham to South America.
Going on to spend two years immersed in life in Paraguay, the family’s eventual return to the UK – relocating in quick succession between Essex, Birmingham and Blackpool, all before Joe had turned 4 years old – was fraught with change.
Bumpy by anyone’s standards, it’s a period Joe is fairly sanguine looking back on, aside from the loss of total fluency in Spanish & native Paraguayan language Guarani. “When we got back to the UK my Mum just stopped speaking to me in Spanish and it’s totally gone – I need to get myself on Duolingo!”
Nix stumbled across his capability for relatable, disarmingly blunt songwriting by chance, whilst going through the motions of an unfulfilling college course, following another fresh start in West Yorkshire in the wake of his parents’ split. Writing songs to kill time on the train journey back from classes, and spurred by an all-or-nothing focus (early songwriting sketches also included tackling Ed Sheeran’s ‘A Team’ as an answer song from the girl’s perspective), Nix soon traded in his training for veterinary college for a music tech course, now newly settled just outside of Liverpool. It’s a move that crystallised a firm passion for both song-writing and creating music.
Stints at both the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford and London’s Institute of Contemporary Music followed, though with Joe’s increasingly patchy attendance revealing a growing disillusionment with the taught side of songwriting. “I didn’t want to go in the end – you could have passed the degree without doing any actual complete writing” he notes; “Anything you did write went through endless re-drafts – it ended up feeling like taught anxiety. I’ve got enough of that as it is, thanks!”
By contrast, the unhurried boom-bap of ‘Yikes’ speaks loudly to Nix’s newfound collaborative ease with Cashy at the production helm. Playful keys and cartoonish ad-libs are a bluff for vulnerable, off-the-cuff lyrics which pick at the temptations to do it all to excess – infatuation, partying, self-doubt – that typify burgeoning adulthood. Speaking about the experiences that feed into ‘Yikes’, Joe notes; “It’s about the culmination of lots of things, reaching a point where you feel you’ve been chasing something for so long, waiting for it for so long, then when the moment comes being scared as f*#k! But excited as hell. It’s somewhere in the tension between the two”.