LA based Latinx crooner, composer, psychonaut, and storyteller, Nick Pagan is a fast rising musician with an old soul. Pagan’s sound is what he describes as “new-wop,” encompassing lean songwriting, catchy hooks, colorful sonic palettes and classic sounds ripe to be sampled. From the opening hook of “Hardly Use My Hands,” his latest single, you get a sense that Pagan’s heart is rooted in the past with his fingers firmly on the pulse of the future. The single has already received strong support from KCRW (Today’s Top Tune), Remezcla, and Grimy Goods. The highly anticipated music video, directed by Humberto Howard (whose credits include GRAMMY-Award Winners La Santa Cecilia, Juanes, and Phish) is launching on July 2, and perfectly encapsulates inspiration for the new single. Watch the video here.
Nick elaborates on the video passionately stating, “The concept is a multidimensional ode to my ancestors as well as my own journey in trying to find my place in the universe. With my ancestors guiding me, especially down this path of music, I hope to act as a bridge between worlds in many ways; musical genres, social economic systems, ancestry, and dimensional interplay. This video is a demonstration of these topics intersecting, by using home videos from the 90s when I was born, combined with current footage using a 90s video camera, family photos, collage, and animation. The video was done by Humberto Howard, who is the creative director for La Santa Cecilia, and successfully brought the vision to life.”
“Hardly Use My Hands” also features a pool of talent that surrounds Pagan including Paul Butler (The Bees, Michael Kiwanuka, Nick Waterhouse, Devendra Banhart) who produced it. Otto Hauser (Devendra Banhart), on drums, alongside Ben Brandrett and Mike Rexhouse who threw down on guitar and bass, respectively. Pagan highlights, “The bassline really brought this to life and the guitar solos—who the fuck else you know plays like that these days?”
Pagan’s wisdom comes from his wealth of life experience growing up in California. He concludes, “I’m a true Californio, having spent time in all parts of the state.” Pulling from a wealth of life experience, and the memory of his family being displaced by gentrification in L.A., there’s a deep well of substance to his songs, but they never lose the sense of optimism and joy that’s part of his DNA.
“Hardly Use My Hands” is out now on Yellow Stucco House in association with Mixto Records and is coming out on vinyl with another great single “In A Cave,” which was recently featured in Netflix’s Elite. Pre-order the vinyl at https://mixtorecords.bandcamp.com/album/nick-pagan-hardly-use-my-hands-in-a-cave.