What's the deal with… Nick Mulvey?
Here's everything you need to know about the singer-songwriter with a jazzy background
Wed Nov 13 2013
A man with an acoustic guitar… could he be the new Ben Howard?
No. Not really.
The new Jake Bugg? The new Ed Sheeran?
Stop trying to make out he’s the ‘new’ anyone! It’s time and talent – not simply hype – that makes the musician. Mulvey’s travelled from Cuba to the Congo learning his instrument, studied for a music degree at SOAS in London, and spent several years in Mercury-nominated band Portico Quartet before embarking on his blossoming solo career.
His, ahem, instrument?
I’m talking about the guitar. Not just any guitar – one he went specifically to Granada, in southern Spain, to buy when he was 17 on a trip funded by his concert pianist grandmother. Eleven years on, that’s the same guitar he picks, showing timeless sensitivity, and spinning out folky tales that eschew oldfangled nonsense in favour of modern themes.
Like getting high on laughing gas. ‘And if you see the nitrous man, selling laughter from a can…’ he sings on ‘Nitrous’.
I don’t think Granny Mulvey would like that.
She knows the score, as does Mulvey’s soprano opera singer mum, and his guitar-playing dad. You could say musical genius is in the blood.
He’s done alright genetically as well.
Yes, he’s good-looking, but that’s not the point. Mulveyites are more interested in his music, including Laura Marling, who invited Nick to support her on her latest tour.
Okay, I’m in. But now I want to know who the ‘Nitrous Man’ is…
Dude, I can’t have your epiphanies for you. Spend a little time with this trailblazing troubadour, though, and he’ll point you down the right path.
The Bottom Line: A singer-songwriter with a sound that’s all his own – what a gas!
Watch the video for 'Nitrous'
- Critics choice
What does a sensitive soul do after quitting a Mercury-nominated jazz fusion act? Nick Mulvey, a founding member of Portico Quartet, has the answer: reinvent yourself as a singer-songwriter performing mellow, jazzy, offbeat folk-pop, with a world music slant informed by an ethnomusicology degree from SOAS. It seems to be working for him: Mulvey’s gently affecting sound, showcased on his recent debut album ‘First Mind’, has hit the charts and seen him playing ever bigger venues. Catch him this autumn on the way up.
Listen to Nick Mulvey on Spotify
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