J-14 is scouting out the hottest music around... and this week's pick is Eric Nicolau!
Here are five things you need to know about Eric Nicolau, whose debut EP Won't You Stay drops tomorrow!
1. It was a trip to Brazil in the winter of 2008 that inspired 24-year-old Eric Nicolau to leave his home in Detroit, MI, and head west to L.A. to chase after his big dreams -- inspired by his father, a guitarist in a Top 40 cover band. "I had always entertained the idea and never considered it until one morning I woke up and said, 'what have I got to lose? I'm doing it,'" he tells J-14. "I came back home from the trip and was packed and on the road headed west within a week."
2. This singer-songwriter would best describe his sound as melodic, not constricted by one genre. "It's earthy, a little pop, a little rock, some Latin moments, and some sass," he tells us.
3. His solo career may have just started but he's not new to Hollywood -- he plays guitar and the keyboard in the band on Glee! "Working on Glee is a total honor and always such a great experience. Everyone is very cool and like family," he says. "There is so much talent and hard work that goes into that show, it's inspiring. It reminds me that everyone here got here because they stayed focus on pursuing their dreams and worked hard. In my career: The focus for me is about doing good work. Period."
4. Not only was Eric finishing his new album in 2011 but he was also on Selena Gomez's summer tour where he played guitar with Allstar Weekend. "Touring and working with Allstar Weekend was fun. We got to perform for some of the biggest crowds I had ever played and it was a total mind blowing experience," he tells J-14. "I'm so grateful!
5. His debut album Won't You Stay consists of a variety of tracks that Eric wrote and recorded over the past year. "It's kind of a potpourri of sounds for me. The title track 'Won't You Stay' is an acoustic, vulnerable falling in love kind of song," Eric tells J-14. "The final track on the record is a Brazilian samba rock song sung entirely in Portuguese." How did he settle on the title? "This is my actual first solo release, so it made sense to ask the listener, 'Won't you stay?... Just a little while longer?'"
Check out his cover of "Till There Was You" from the musical The Music Man and let us know what you think!
Photo: Nicole Rork