Nick Monaco Lets His Freak Flag Fly
As an artist, Nick Monaco is complex. His music, image, and message are a melting pot of all things sexy, sincere, slightly awkward, strangely comfortable, ultimately entertaining, and so much more. In short, he and his music are the the embodiment of all things human.
After growing up breathing the artistically-rich San Francisco air, Monaco found music to be something he felt “destined to do.” At just the age of 10, he started working to fulfill this destiny, addressing and nourishing each of his many creative impulses. Since his early beginning, Monaco has nurtured his creative seed to blossom into a self-actualizing, crowd-compelling movement.
“I’ve changed light years since I started. It’s taken me a while to find my own voice, but that’s always been my ambition, as opposed to riding whatever trend is hot at the moment. I’m more interested in making things that speak to me at the moment, rather than being a digestible, predictable commodity…I’ve gotten more comfortable with songwriting and my own voice over the years and have fun exploring that rather than strictly making music for clubs.”
The style of his music—what he describes “is like retro-pop”— features a mix of live instruments, looped beats and vocals, ambient transitions, and even old school-style synth breakdowns. Yet, as you listen to his albums from beginning to end, you can’t help but feel each of your emotions kissed by the music spilling from Monaco’s iconic ruby red lips.
“My music is really an embodiment of a part of me. It’s personal that way. It’s my voice. The lipstick and fashion just help me better express that, I guess. It’s like putting on my work uniform. It’s a ritual that signals my brain that it’s show time.”
Through his Freak Flag movement—a campaign centered on personal expression and self-exploration—Monaco hopes to “[offer] a new model of masculinity” to his fans and listeners. While Monaco attributes his artist persona to “The Bowie’s of the time past,” he has succeeded in establishing a new basis on which he and his listeners can embrace and experiment with gender fluidity and sexuality.
What can we expect from Nick this year at Voyager? Three words: “Champagne, Roses, and Lipstick, baby!” But, will he steal the stage rocking a sequin dress, or a tuxedo? Well…you’ll just have to show up to find out.
Buy your ticket to Voyager 2018 today for a New Year’s celebration you may not remember but you’ll never forget.
Photograph: Maximilian Hetherington