Nico Stai
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Nico Stai

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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Echo Park. Nico Stai, has the intensity of a tornado, the regal airs of a king, and the humility of a minstrel as he enters the café. Late night shows and keeping a vampire’s schedule lends to 1pm breakfasts. Nico has reached the tip of the Indie artist iceberg and is ready to break into mainstream. Appearing on Carson Daily last April (www.nbc.com/Last_Call_with...Daly/.../nico-stai/1081208), playing The Fonda, Troubadour, Spaceland, and going into cut a few tracks with producer Rob Schnapf (Beck, The Vines, Elliot Smith), Stai leads a life most mainstream musician would kill for…a life filled with artistic freedom. So how did he do it?

Tinpaco, Stai’s former band, “self imploded” before finishing a deal with Producer Garrett Lee (Snow Patrol) and London Records (Warner UK). “While you’re in it, you see failure all around, but in hindsight it afforded me the opportunity to do what I want to do.” Stai walked away with ownership of the masters and began his solo career.
“I went home and picked up my acoustic and started doing what I always do…I view myself as an artist or a craftmaker…a guy who makes tables…but I get up in the morning, (laughs) or afternoon, and make songs.” He sips his coffee. “When I decided to go solo, I had to see what I had to say and that’s tough too. Your ego wants you to be this guy, talk about this, and whatever…but maybe whatever is coming out of you is not that guy, and its not talking about this, but it’s talking about sh*t that you don’t want people to know that you’re talking about, that’s the good stuff. “ When something “makes me feel really self-conscious…then I know I’m onto something good. It makes me feel really naked, like I don’t wanna tell my best friends about this…I don’t wanna write a song about it (and) that’s (exactly) what you should be doing.”
“That’s the whole point of it, art is this whole process, by which you get to create to cure yourself. The great thing about music…it helps you fix yourself and others can do the same. It becomes this communal medicine. When you hear something and you’re like “WOAH” (snaps)…it’s their personal thing. Art isn’t complicated.” Nico’s course, melodic music, touches the soul in a very genuine and effortless manner.
Thrusting himself into recording and completing his first solo effort, “Park Los Angeles”, he booked shows, played acoustically, sold and gave cd’s away to people who didn’t have money. “Any small business ventures when you first start, you’re not going to be making money and that’s ok. Don’t have that expectation. It’s about building a fan base…you want to get to a place where you have 250 kids showing up to your shows and that are singing your words. You want people to be there for the music.”
They not only showed up, but also came back for the music. “In a few months I created more buzz and attention then I had in years with really strong management. I wasn’t sending things to people, I just built a fire and people were like, what’s that?”
Perseverance won him gigs at Spaceland, a venue known for larger band acts, not solo acoustic performers. Successful Spaceland shows gave him a month long residency in March . “I got really clear about what clubs I wanted to play and what clubs I didn’t…”. His philosophy became simple “The way to get the good shows is to turn down the bad shows…you gotta be picky about what you do”. He humbly but wisely asserts “…I don’t mind being the opening act guy as long as the act that headlines brings something to the table.” Promoting and generating buzz around shows takes exhausting amounts of work.
Planning his schedules, he books “about a month and a half ahead…I try not to do more than 2 things locally…so I don’t steal away from my audience..” Nico plays Spaceland Nov 7th and the Dec 12th Gallery Loft show downtown will be “intimate” for a change. “I like to be on the same level as people {when I perform}.” Releasing 2 more cd’s, which Nico modestly refers to as “demos”, “Dead Pony”, the latest, releases the title track video this holiday season. Shot live at Ghetto Gloss Gallery in Hollywood, it shows Nico boldly shines in smaller artistic venues as much as larger ones.
Money isn’t a factor when a talented Indie artist records. “I spent very, very, little money making this last EP…$320 in studio time and I cut the rest at home.” He smiles broadly “I went to my buddy Tim’s studio, cut some drums and guitars, and then I cut vocals, I did all the acoustic songs at home with a microphone, Pro tools rig, and cool, it’s out there…” The critic in Nico comes out “…and maybe it’s the not best produced record…I don’t know what the hell I’m doing….it sounds how I wanted it to sound and it feels how I wanted it to feel…and the next one I’m hoping to do a better job at it…people want it and love it, so…(I) keep going.”
Arranging the order of the songs on a recording is a “Nightmare” he grimaces. He straightens up “(it’s) just like set lists…you figure out what’s the best opener and cl - THE EXAMINER


"ON THE VERGE OF BECOMING AMERICA'S NEXT BIG INDIE ROCKER, EVOKING MEMORIES OF BOB DYLAN AND POST SGT. PEPPERS BEATLES,
NICO MANAGES TO CREATE THE FULLEST SOUND OF ANY SOLO ARTIST IN RECENT MEMORY.
EASILY THE MOST MUSICALLY INTRIGUING ARTIST TO COME ALONG SINCE SUFJAN STEVENS, AND ON TRACK TO BECOME ONE OF THE GREAT TO EMERGE FROM THE ECHO PARK/SILVERLAKE SCENE."

The Deli Los Angeles - THE DELI L.A.


"ON THE VERGE OF BECOMING AMERICA'S NEXT BIG INDIE ROCKER, EVOKING MEMORIES OF BOB DYLAN AND POST SGT. PEPPERS BEATLES,
NICO MANAGES TO CREATE THE FULLEST SOUND OF ANY SOLO ARTIST IN RECENT MEMORY.
EASILY THE MOST MUSICALLY INTRIGUING ARTIST TO COME ALONG SINCE SUFJAN STEVENS, AND ON TRACK TO BECOME ONE OF THE GREAT TO EMERGE FROM THE ECHO PARK/SILVERLAKE SCENE."

The Deli Los Angeles - THE DELI L.A.


Nico Stai kicked off with his Replacements-like jangly guitars and Springsteen-steady heartbreakers spoken from Steven Tyler jawbones, tales from a guy who’s seen his share of gutters and guttural heartbreak. With just a striped polo shirt, jeans and a guitar, he had more rock star in his little pinky than all the heavy KROQ rotation in the room, all while singing about the sky falling on its knees and a dead pony running in his dream. - Los Angeles City Beat


Nico Stai kicked off with his Replacements-like jangly guitars and Springsteen-steady heartbreakers spoken from Steven Tyler jawbones, tales from a guy who’s seen his share of gutters and guttural heartbreak. With just a striped polo shirt, jeans and a guitar, he had more rock star in his little pinky than all the heavy KROQ rotation in the room, all while singing about the sky falling on its knees and a dead pony running in his dream. - Los Angeles City Beat


How is this guy not signed to a label? Nico Stai is, without a doubt, one of Echo Park and Silverlake’s most beloved acts and once you see him live there’s no need to wonder why.

Stai and his band are the quintessential indie rock band of Los Angeles, and we probably couldn’t be more proud to know he’s from this city. It’s funny to know that his tag-line on MySpace right now is “Like alcohol,” because that’s exactly what he and his band members are like. They play these incredible songs that make you feel good but a little loopy because it’s got so much soul and angst at the same time, you’re not really aware of what you’re really feeling. Nico Stai live is like having a really good buzz after a few beers – your ears are perfectly happy and you feel like you’re up for anything. - Beat Crave


How is this guy not signed to a label? Nico Stai is, without a doubt, one of Echo Park and Silverlake’s most beloved acts and once you see him live there’s no need to wonder why.

Stai and his band are the quintessential indie rock band of Los Angeles, and we probably couldn’t be more proud to know he’s from this city. It’s funny to know that his tag-line on MySpace right now is “Like alcohol,” because that’s exactly what he and his band members are like. They play these incredible songs that make you feel good but a little loopy because it’s got so much soul and angst at the same time, you’re not really aware of what you’re really feeling. Nico Stai live is like having a really good buzz after a few beers – your ears are perfectly happy and you feel like you’re up for anything. - Beat Crave


Make way for Nico Stai, a poet, a songwriter and a man destined for stardom. From Bruce Springsteen and U2 to Elliott Smith, Stai has been compared to a number of lyricists.
In reality, comparisons mean nothing because the half Norwegian, half Spanish singer-songwriter is paving his way in music history with blood, sweat, tears and some sincere and fierce tunes.
His 12-track solo album, Park Los Angeles, is a true testament of power, will and faith. The CD is complete with catchy yet moody ballads that talk about facing struggles with eyes straight on the future, to memoirs of broken and restored dreams.

This is a stirring album that, if anything, dares you to do what you always wanted to do.It is exquisite. - Campus Circle


Make way for Nico Stai, a poet, a songwriter and a man destined for stardom. From Bruce Springsteen and U2 to Elliott Smith, Stai has been compared to a number of lyricists.
In reality, comparisons mean nothing because the half Norwegian, half Spanish singer-songwriter is paving his way in music history with blood, sweat, tears and some sincere and fierce tunes.
His 12-track solo album, Park Los Angeles, is a true testament of power, will and faith. The CD is complete with catchy yet moody ballads that talk about facing struggles with eyes straight on the future, to memoirs of broken and restored dreams.

This is a stirring album that, if anything, dares you to do what you always wanted to do.It is exquisite. - Campus Circle


“Growing on me like sumac, I keep having to itch for
relief even if temporary.
Think Joseph Arthur presence with a Nick Drake mind.
He’s been there AND done that so you should probably listen up”
- Paste Magazine


“Growing on me like sumac, I keep having to itch for
relief even if temporary.
Think Joseph Arthur presence with a Nick Drake mind.
He’s been there AND done that so you should probably listen up”
- Paste Magazine


What is in a name, like the one possessed by Nico Stai? Nico is an L.A. based musician and his new release, his 3rd in all, The Victory Of Miss Friday is his most decisive to date. The trappings of creating records has not affected Nico as it is apparent on his newest creation. The music is entrapping, grabbing your brain cells and lulling you into a beautiful stupor. Bob Dylan, you have company now ...., someone who can create a stunningly simple acoustic piece and reign in a legion of fans, but with consumer friendly smooth vocals. The music on The Victory Of Miss Friday has engaging rhythms like with in the track Scream," which has ensnaring vocals of the pleasant and hypnotic gesture along with driving acoustic rhythms and above all, horns. Any artist that incorporates horns into their music is my hero. The Skies Over Your Head offers something different, a strumming bass line behind the acoustic guitar with Nicos urging vocals lying overhead. Dead Pony was an advancement for Nico but this is the just deserts. Stunning acoustic movements with frantic moments here and there are Nicos calling card. Go check him out and make Nico Stai your next musical love. Check him out this March for his monday night residency at Spaceland. -Jeffrey Easton - The Deli Los Angeles Magazine


What is in a name, like the one possessed by Nico Stai? Nico is an L.A. based musician and his new release, his 3rd in all, The Victory Of Miss Friday is his most decisive to date. The trappings of creating records has not affected Nico as it is apparent on his newest creation. The music is entrapping, grabbing your brain cells and lulling you into a beautiful stupor. Bob Dylan, you have company now ...., someone who can create a stunningly simple acoustic piece and reign in a legion of fans, but with consumer friendly smooth vocals. The music on The Victory Of Miss Friday has engaging rhythms like with in the track Scream," which has ensnaring vocals of the pleasant and hypnotic gesture along with driving acoustic rhythms and above all, horns. Any artist that incorporates horns into their music is my hero. The Skies Over Your Head offers something different, a strumming bass line behind the acoustic guitar with Nicos urging vocals lying overhead. Dead Pony was an advancement for Nico but this is the just deserts. Stunning acoustic movements with frantic moments here and there are Nicos calling card. Go check him out and make Nico Stai your next musical love. Check him out this March for his monday night residency at Spaceland. -Jeffrey Easton - The Deli Los Angeles Magazine


For music fans who fear the fate of music, Jane is here to tell you. Have no fear, Nico Stai is here. Myspace fans of Nico Stai have grown to love the acoustic harmony, hosted on their page, but to witness the band on stage is to find a hard rock set on Spaceland’s stage. Yet as our socks were rocked off, we couldn’t help but wonder could Nico Stai be the masked rocked band to save our fate?

There is the example set by “The Kings of Leon.” A southern rock band who started (musically) strong, made a big impact overseas, and struggled domestically. Finally on their third album with proper commercial production, “The Kings of Leon” sound like a watered down version of themselves covering U2. Molly’s Chamber is ten times better than Sex on Fire. But “Sex” with homogenized production is what sells in the states.

Fortunately amid the ceaseless banality of the L.A. music scene, we found a band that not only looks rock n’ roll but plays rock n’ roll; and is doing so at Spaceland!

nicostaidec15 Nico StaiI ventured out to Silverlake to catch “The Movies”, who have a huge buzz and are playing relatively innovative music in their own right, I was greeted with a throng of Sunset Strip types milling around the dance floor. At ten o’clock, Jeff Evans, Sean Stentz, Josh Mervin and Nico Stai took the stage as the sound of frenzied anticipation took the crowd. It was as if no one in attendance had seen these guys, a theory quickly dispelled as soon as it became apparent how many people were singing along to the opening song.

A blow by blow assessment of the show is pointless; The band opened strong and displayed a cultivated sense of showmanship while not neglecting energy or catchy choruses. It’s refreshing to see a band who’s members sing together on the choruses, even when there isn’t a microphone in front of them.

The sound of Traces of Americana, Wilco, The Stones, and The Replacements permeated the set. Mariachi horns accompanied the band on ‘Scream’ and did so in a way that both blended seamlessly with the show and added a new dimension of sound.

The most crucial hurdle for a local band to jump is to impress non-fans with a live show. We walked into Spaceland unfamiliar with Nico Stai. We left with Nico Stai as our Fan favorite, as was the case with everyone we talked to. - American Non Fiction


For music fans who fear the fate of music, Jane is here to tell you. Have no fear, Nico Stai is here. Myspace fans of Nico Stai have grown to love the acoustic harmony, hosted on their page, but to witness the band on stage is to find a hard rock set on Spaceland’s stage. Yet as our socks were rocked off, we couldn’t help but wonder could Nico Stai be the masked rocked band to save our fate?

There is the example set by “The Kings of Leon.” A southern rock band who started (musically) strong, made a big impact overseas, and struggled domestically. Finally on their third album with proper commercial production, “The Kings of Leon” sound like a watered down version of themselves covering U2. Molly’s Chamber is ten times better than Sex on Fire. But “Sex” with homogenized production is what sells in the states.

Fortunately amid the ceaseless banality of the L.A. music scene, we found a band that not only looks rock n’ roll but plays rock n’ roll; and is doing so at Spaceland!

nicostaidec15 Nico StaiI ventured out to Silverlake to catch “The Movies”, who have a huge buzz and are playing relatively innovative music in their own right, I was greeted with a throng of Sunset Strip types milling around the dance floor. At ten o’clock, Jeff Evans, Sean Stentz, Josh Mervin and Nico Stai took the stage as the sound of frenzied anticipation took the crowd. It was as if no one in attendance had seen these guys, a theory quickly dispelled as soon as it became apparent how many people were singing along to the opening song.

A blow by blow assessment of the show is pointless; The band opened strong and displayed a cultivated sense of showmanship while not neglecting energy or catchy choruses. It’s refreshing to see a band who’s members sing together on the choruses, even when there isn’t a microphone in front of them.

The sound of Traces of Americana, Wilco, The Stones, and The Replacements permeated the set. Mariachi horns accompanied the band on ‘Scream’ and did so in a way that both blended seamlessly with the show and added a new dimension of sound.

The most crucial hurdle for a local band to jump is to impress non-fans with a live show. We walked into Spaceland unfamiliar with Nico Stai. We left with Nico Stai as our Fan favorite, as was the case with everyone we talked to. - American Non Fiction


Nico Stai has been shaking the trees in LA since the release of his CD Park Los Angeles in 2006, featuring his acoustic work. He's back with a new EP called Dead Pony that features a full band and his salacious growl. It's brooding folk rock with a Pete Yorn-like sound. I think I'm in love. Look for a new full-length from Stai soon. - My Old Kentucky Blog


Nico Stai has been shaking the trees in LA since the release of his CD Park Los Angeles in 2006, featuring his acoustic work. He's back with a new EP called Dead Pony that features a full band and his salacious growl. It's brooding folk rock with a Pete Yorn-like sound. I think I'm in love. Look for a new full-length from Stai soon. - My Old Kentucky Blog


Sat. Nov 8th, 2009.
Silverlake. Spaceland. Hipsters watch War Children open with strong, melodic vocals as they played “urban cowboy” styled rhythms. Solid opening performance from this band hailing partially from Joshua Tree.
Nico Stai stole the show and the audiences energy. Killing the crowd, Nico and his band, Sean Stentz (Bass), Jeff Evans (Guitar), and Josh Mervin (Drums), played a tight, electrifying set. Anointing the stage with water he spat from his mouth pre performance, whatever magical mojo was in there should be re bottled and sold to record labels.
A thundering “Feeling like I should” started the set launching the packed club into a sea of bopping heads. Nico plays strong, fast, furiously and the band is pure synchronicity. Creativity and willingness to explore and combine his musical roots and indie style shone through with “Scream” as the mariachi trumpeters joined in. Eager to continue, Drummer Josh Mervin rolled right in to start “3000 dollar girl”, as Nico said, “Wait for me Josh, I wanna play too”. Fist of musical fury flied as they exploded from the stage with that number.
Finishing with a song “I’m not sure what this one’s called yet” which Stai later mentioned as “Home” solidified the feeling that he would be so no where else except on stage. His talent and drive is seemingly effortless with a hardcore rawness to that becomes more evident with every song he plays. It’s no wonder he is the up and coming King of the Indie Music scene.
Finishing the show, Jason Faulkner strolled onto stage as the crowd calmed. Faulkner gained fame playing with the band Jellyfish in the early 90’s. His solo career has solidified his talents, as he has contributed and played with legends such as Beck and Paul McCartney. His smooth, eloquent, catchy sound was a warm simple transition from Stai. The crowd stood in awe as Faulkner laid down beautiful melodies. Pied piper of Indie Rock, Faulkner left the audience in a trance of fulfillment from an amazing night of music.

Nico Stai plays The Fonda Sat, Nov 14th at 6pm

w/ Great Northern, Deadly Syndrome, Dum Dum Girls, and Castledoor - THE EXAMINER


Sat. Nov 8th, 2009.
Silverlake. Spaceland. Hipsters watch War Children open with strong, melodic vocals as they played “urban cowboy” styled rhythms. Solid opening performance from this band hailing partially from Joshua Tree.
Nico Stai stole the show and the audiences energy. Killing the crowd, Nico and his band, Sean Stentz (Bass), Jeff Evans (Guitar), and Josh Mervin (Drums), played a tight, electrifying set. Anointing the stage with water he spat from his mouth pre performance, whatever magical mojo was in there should be re bottled and sold to record labels.
A thundering “Feeling like I should” started the set launching the packed club into a sea of bopping heads. Nico plays strong, fast, furiously and the band is pure synchronicity. Creativity and willingness to explore and combine his musical roots and indie style shone through with “Scream” as the mariachi trumpeters joined in. Eager to continue, Drummer Josh Mervin rolled right in to start “3000 dollar girl”, as Nico said, “Wait for me Josh, I wanna play too”. Fist of musical fury flied as they exploded from the stage with that number.
Finishing with a song “I’m not sure what this one’s called yet” which Stai later mentioned as “Home” solidified the feeling that he would be so no where else except on stage. His talent and drive is seemingly effortless with a hardcore rawness to that becomes more evident with every song he plays. It’s no wonder he is the up and coming King of the Indie Music scene.
Finishing the show, Jason Faulkner strolled onto stage as the crowd calmed. Faulkner gained fame playing with the band Jellyfish in the early 90’s. His solo career has solidified his talents, as he has contributed and played with legends such as Beck and Paul McCartney. His smooth, eloquent, catchy sound was a warm simple transition from Stai. The crowd stood in awe as Faulkner laid down beautiful melodies. Pied piper of Indie Rock, Faulkner left the audience in a trance of fulfillment from an amazing night of music.

Nico Stai plays The Fonda Sat, Nov 14th at 6pm

w/ Great Northern, Deadly Syndrome, Dum Dum Girls, and Castledoor - THE EXAMINER


Discography

Park Los Angeles
Dead Pony & Miss Friday

Photos

Bio

Nico Stai is a musician singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles Ca.
Born and raised in Spain, Nico relocated to Los Angeles where he formed and fronted various bands before embarking on a solo career in 2006.
Former front man for local Los Angeles bands Tinpaco and The Bonnie stai.
His songs have been featured in TV shows like Private Practice (TV series), Numb3rs, Chuck (TV series), Gossip Girl (TV series), Beverly Hills, 90210
Nico Stai has played shows supporting Cold War Kids, Art Brut, Jason Falkner, The Deadly Syndrome, Neil Finn, Great Northern
Appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly.
Nico Stai played at the Sunset Junction Festival, including acts like Conor Oberst, Built To Spill
BONARROO, NOISE POP MUSIC FESTIVAL, SXSW, SANTA BARBARA NEW NOISE MUSIC FESTIVAL, SAN DIEGO NORTH PARK THANG
Played at the Silverlake Jubilee Festival with acts like Entrance Band, Foreign Born, The growlers
In 2009 Nico Stai held the coveted Monday Night Residency at Spaceland, in Los Angeles, CA.
Guest acts included bands like Youth Group, The Temper Trap, Josh Pyke, Hesta Prynn, Eastern Conference Champions, The Movies
Was featured on the cover of The Deli Los Angeles.