Nyck on letting go of expectations, the benefits of touring and music collaboration

Get the latest from Beat

Nyck on letting go of expectations, the benefits of touring and music collaboration


“It started out with massive bouts of anxiety because I didn’t know where I sat in terms of what my purpose was or what my future looked like.”

Nyck’s Nick Acquroff has been on a journey over the past two years. Beginning one winter, his first long-term relationship came to an end and suddenly all the expectations he had about his future were shattered.

Before the breakup, Acquroff had lost interest in writing music after he stopped playing in bands with friends. “We would focus more on the music and the dynamic of the music and making noise. It was a different means of expression,” he says. “When I left that I stopped playing music and came back 18 months later it was the first time I’d written something – or started writing something – that was truly personal.”

So Acquroff began writing about his experiences and the changes he was going through in the months after. This became nyck’s debut EP Alive.   

“Then over the course of that three months – which I talk about in the EP – all of that changed and I started going, ‘Well you know what my life doesn’t actually have to turn out like that. I don’t actually have to get married, I can be happy doing what I’m doing now.’ So it was just more of a return to being like, ‘You know what? Follow your heart, do what you want and let serendipity take over and don’t try and control the future.’ It was really liberating.”

While Alive’s lyrics deal with Acquroff’s personal life, the EP would not sound the way it does without his bandmate Dominique Garrard. “Dom is a much better musician than me,” he says. “She brings a huge amount in terms of the actual way things are structured and the musicality of everything. We’re a really nice yin and yang in that sense.”

Although nyck started off as a very personal project, Acquroff admits that to keep it going they will need to broaden the stories they tell. “You get sick of yourself,” he says. “It’s good to have another person to collaborate with be­­cause then you’ve got a huge breadth of different experience to draw on,” he says. “We’ll probably start working a lot more closely together now, because we’re super close mates Dom and I, and value her creativity and musicality a hell of a lot.”

Acquroff and Garrard spent much of last year cutting their teeth touring across the country with the likes of Amy Shark, Dope Lemon, Emma Louise, and Felix Reibl. “We had the most incredible run of shows last year,” he says.

“It was this incredible thing with Dom and I, because we played so many shows in so many different states you don’t really have the budget to take a full band with you. We took the songs back to their bare bones, stripped them all back and played with just us two and a sampler. It was awesome.

“We just played 30-35 shows over the space of eight weeks and we got so much out of it. It completely changed the way we play live,” Acquroff says. “It’s the hard yards, but it’s such an amazing learning experience because you play to so many different crowds.”