Di Vito “Nik H” Nicoletti
Hi Eric, it’s a great pleasure to have you as our guest on vocespettacolo.com Lets’ start from the first question…Were you always sure you wanted to be in the industry that you are in?
Yes. Since I was young I had this huge passion for music. My mom told me that when I was a kid, like 3 years old, I used to spend a lot of time playing invisible drums, listening to music, pretending to be a DJ, while my friends at the time were all playing soccer or whatever. What a cool/weird kid I was. I guess it took a while for me to understand that I couldn’t do anything with my life except music. I think the city I was born in has a huge influence on why I took many years to actually accept that I want to be an artist/musician. People there are usually conservative and they don’t accept that music can be more than a hobby.But looking back I can tell that I always knew that, I just took a while to accept it.
Was your family supportive?
I guess I can say that everyone was supportive but my mom. I actually had a deal with my mom that I could try to focus on my music as long as I got some bachelor’s degree on any conventional program before. So, I spent 5 years studying Civil Engineering. I got my diploma and I said to my family that I would try to follow my career in music. They were all shocked, I think they were expecting me to forget about my deal with my mom after 5 years studying all these crazy mathematical stuff. So, I had to talk to every single person in my family, eventually they understood that I would be a very frustrated person if I didn’t follow my dream, so they started to support me. My mom never supported me tho, that was actually very frustrating but after all this time I think she is proud of me. I hope she is!
You moved to Los Angeles to get to the next level in your career. What differences do you find in the music industry between Brazil and LA?
It is completely different. I can write a whole book explaining all the differences but I’ll try to be short.The fact that LA has a very successful story when it comes to artists making it, turns the city into a perfect playground for dreamers. So, the industry here is actually very competitive. Like me, a lot of people come here with a dream and they are willing to do anything to make it true.The industry in general is super professional and there’s no time for bullshit. You have to be productive, you have to do your best, you have to be professional, otherwise someone is gonna get your position, someone is gonna get the record deal that you wish is yours.To me that’s the biggest difference. In Brazil people are very talented but they don’t have a good work ethic, there are a lot of “dreamers” but most of the time they are not doing enough to achieve their dreams. They are spending so much time with distraction. That, combined with the lack of information about music in general, were actually my biggest frustrations of being an artist in Brazil.
How do you balance your personal life with your work life?
Well, I don’t! I have some friends that are always annoyed because I don’t hang out with them anymore. Some of them call me a nerd cause I’m always making music and they get upset. In this case, I love to be a nerd. Cause making music and improving is what makes me happy actually.But I kinda disagree, I think I try my best to spend some time with people I love the most. Also, after all this time working with music, a huge part of my personal life is actually related to music, I have many friends in the industry, they love the same thing that I do, as much as I do. It’s a good way to combine my professional life and my personal life.
Hollywood is one of the most traditional places in the world for musicians, any Brazilian musician would love to play there. What did it mean for you to perform in Hollywood venues?
To me it was a big deal. After my first concert, I remember thinking about my whole life as a musician, where I came from and where I am right now. I’m glad I made the right decisions and decided to come here. I came from a very small city and I was really frustrated with the music scene there. If I could go back in time and tell little Eric that someday he would be part of the music industry in USA, playing with people from a lot of nationalities I would’ve never believed. It’s a amazing experience. The whole experience in USA, far from my comfort zone, made me grow up a lot as a human being. I’m really grateful to be here.
Thanks a lot Eric, you’ve been very kind. Voce Spettacolo wishes you all the best in your career and life.
Eric Gorza is a native Brazilian based in Los Angeles. He moved to Los Angeles in 2018 to study and work in the music business as musical producer, audio engineer, session guitarist, arranger and composer.
Eric started his relationship with music at a young age by listening to his father’s LP records and started his musical journey studying popular guitar at the age of 12 when he had his very first lessons with Fernando Vieira, a well-known jazz guitarist from his hometown – Vitória. Quickly, Eric turned into one of Fernando’s best students, his understanding of rhythm, harmony and melodies were above the average level and in a few years Eric was helping Fernando on his educational concerts where Eric had a chance to play with a band for the first time.
Few years later, Eric formed his first original band, Silken Feast. With that band, Eric had the opportunity to play in a lot of small pubs/venues around his city. The band’s best achievement was to play in the biggest venue from Vitoria – ES, called Spirito Jazz, that was a stage for renewed national and international artists. Approximately one year later, Eric decided to quit the group and form another band, called Pelados. With them, he started playing not only in venues but also in festivals. With Pelados, Eric recorded a live videoclip of their first single “Ela é Sexo” which was his very first experience in a professional recording studio. This episode gave him a new overview on the process of creating, producing, recording and sharing music with people.
Eric got really into music prod so he started taking music production classes with Sergio Benevenuto – a latin grammy nominee producer, graduated in the Berklee School of Music (Boston, MA). This experience was important in teaching him better how to apply music theory in a functional and practical way. The classes gave Eric enough knowledge to produce his first Album “Saco Cheio – Pelados”.
At the time, Eric also started to study vocal, having weekly lessons with Alza Alves – a singer from Rio de Janeiro who worked for major artists like Tim Maia, Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque and Beth Carvalho. This experience too gave him a wider view and contributed to his understanding of the musical universe.
Even living in a small capital that does not care about artistic expression in general – with few opportunities and incentive, Eric put all his effort to be an outstanding musician and, one day, he was invited to enter the surf music group Pura Vida Original. The invitation came along with a call for an emergency rehearsal for a tour in Rio de Janeiro, which was about to start four days after the call. The tour was a success, Eric’s first experience with Pura Vida Original was to play for a huge audience, out of his hometown. According to Eric, that experience was mind blowing.
Since then, Eric has been active as a permanent member of Pura Vida. They made a lot of concerts in Vitória and Rio de Janeiro, playing together with important groups from Brazil (Falamansa – SP, Ponto de Equilíbrio – RJ, Maneva – SP, Armandinho – RS). Pura Vida released one EP (2016), one studio album (2019), 05 videoclips, 05 singles and 01 live concert recorded at the University of Espirito Santo’s Theatre (2019). His work with Pura Vida had definitely opened a lot of doors for him. The opportunity to produce an album with a Latin Grammy winner – Rodolfo Simor opened his mind even more about the music production industry. Beyond all the concerts, tours and productions, the most memorable achievements with Pura Vida were:
– Partnership with Radio Cidade, one of the biggests radio stations in Vitoria – ES;
– Rio Scenarium concert (one of the most traditional venues in Brazil);
– WSL (World Surf League) concert in Saquarema – RJ as the headline band;
– Partnership with Festival Casa Corais one of the biggest festivals in Vitoria – ES;
– Sharing the stage with major artists (Armandinho, Falamansa, Maneva, Ponto de Equilibrio);
– Single “A vida é uma só” featured in “Em Movimento” (Globo’s music television show).
Although happy with the progress of Pura Vida and Pelados (that made one original song get into Spotify official playlist “Indie Brasil”), Eric still wanted to take his career to the next level so he moved to Los Angeles to study guitar/audio engineering at Musicians Institute – Hollywood.
In his first year in Los Angeles, he focused on studying electric guitar. At the end of the first year he realized that his focus should change to sound engineering and musical production because of his passion and also the wider working possibilities in the music industry.
Throughout his two years at this Musicians Institute, Eric got the chance to expand and apply his knowledge as a guitar player – playing in renewed venues like The Hotel Cafe – Hollywood, The Lexicon – Downtown LA; working as a session guitarist for Minna Amanda; musical producer – producing Gabriel Franzese, Steep Gradient and Karlee Shannon; and sound engineering – organizing recording sessions, mixing and mastering songs. He also got a degree in audio engineering from Musicians Institute – Hollywood.
Nowadays he is working as a producer and freelancer recording/mixing engineer. He has been busy working for Thyphoon Music Group (LA/California), Gabriel Franzese’s (D’addario/Music Man endorsed artist), upcoming EP and Zé Maholics’ (brazilian group from Vitória) Quarantine Sessions. He is also still remotely collaborating with Pura Vida Original and Pelados, which changed the band’s name to Rosa Chá. The band just started a partnership with a major radio station from Brazil, Jovem Pan, and the band is working on a brand-new album that will be produced by Rodolfo Simor, Latin Grammy winner producer.
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