Who knew an earworm could change your life? Three years ago, Nick Murphy stumbled home from DJing in a bar and sat down in front of Ableton to make a beat. “I’d obviously had too much to drink,” he grins. “When I was writing it I thought it was going to be an original, but I had ‘No Diggity’ in my head. I totally get the words wrong. Nobody’s pulled me up on that yet…”
The next day he stuck his reworked, and reworded, cover on YouTube for his friends to hear. Within two months it was the top track on Hype Machine. Emails and offers started to flood in, which meant he could focus on music – although his day job at a bookshop had been pretty good for a voracious reader. “I just read all day and spoke to weirdos,” he says. “You should have seen the place, it was like ‘Black Books’.”
He’s spent the last two years writing “about 80” tracks, culled to 12 for debut record ‘Built On Glass’. He adheres to Hemingway’s maxim that you have to write ninety-one pages of shit to get one page of masterpiece. “That’s it,” he laughs. “I got plenty of shit.”
‘Built On Glass’ is his own chance to write something that connects with people. “The big lesson is that no-one gives a shit,” he says. “but if you write a song that’s good enough people are happy to listen to your problems. It’s no longer whining, it’s art!”
Originally published in Mixmag, May 2014.