Nick Blaemire may rock out "day by day" as one of the stars of Godspell, but outside the theater the singer/writer/actor also heads the band Nick Blaemire and The Hustle. The group is set to release a six-song self-titled EP on March 12. Blaemire recently chatted with Broadway.com about the group's inspirations and how music helps him flex some “swagger.”
“The album is our shot at making something that blends jazz, funk and soul music in a nerd-pop way,” Blaemire said of the record. “Obviously it’s coming from a bunch of dorky white guys,” he joked of his bandmates.
One of those “dorky white guys” is Jesse Vargas, the arranger and musical director of Glory Days, the musical composed by Blaemire that briefly ran at Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre in 2008. Together the two gents are shifting their musical theater roots in favor of a more urban flavor.
“I grew up listening to Michael Jackson, George Clinton, Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder,” said Blaemire, who also lists Pharrell Williams, Maxwell, Anthony Hamilton and Robin Thicke as his favorite soul musicians of today. “Those guys were huge influences in my love for music and I realized that your voice can stretch in so many different directions. As an actor I get to work in classical musical theater shows, but I realized I should express myself in the world of my influences. As this band has continued to grow I realized that you can have both.”
For now the self-professed “idealistic dreamer” is hard at work preparing for his album release party at NYC music venue The Mercury Lounge the only way he knows how: with a hustler’s heart. “This period of our 20s is best describes as a hustle,” he said, explaining the band’s moniker. “You get up every morning just trying to find another door to open and get noticed. I’m not particularly a guy that walks with any specific sort of swagger, so soul music is the closest thing that I have.”
The group also includes Dave Cinquegrana on guitar, Justin Goldner on bass, Jake Cohen on drums, Geoff Countryman on flute/atlo and tenor sax, Miki Hirose on trumpet/flugel, Paul Nedzela on baritone sax, Rick Parker on trombone and additional vocalists Jo Lampert and Natalie Perkins.
Take a look at the band perform their tune "Headturner" below!