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Eric Nicholas was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. His childhood was very much shaped by music. At the age of seven, Eric took piano lessons. His interest in music quickly became a full-blown passion. In middle school, he studied percussion, as well as the saxophone. With a firm grounding in music theory, Eric's young ears were eager for new sounds. As a teenager, he was captivated by the guitar. He took a few lessons, and soon began learning every song he could. It wasn't long before he began singing along to some of his favorites. After positive feedback from friends and family, he was lucky enough to land a gig at a local Mexican restaurant. After several crowded shows, and several full tip-jars, Eric decided that a career in music might be a good fit for him.
In 2006, Eric graduated from Farragut High School and headed to college at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. When he wasn't studying broadcast journalism or political science, he was busy performing on the famous Cumberland Avenue Strip. He quickly discovered that the SEC college crowd was sure to sing along when he played country hits. Eric, who had East Tennessee blood flowing through his veins, quickly fell in love with the country sound. His natural southern accent, combined with his clear strong voice, made him a local favorite. Before long, he was playing three to four nights a week all over Knoxville.
Eric performed for thousands of people in Knoxville over the next few years. His passion for the guitar had turned into a full-time job. After graduating from UT, Eric continued to experience growth as a performer. He played at dozens upon dozens of charity events, corporate meetings, weddings, fraternity parties, and clubs. In 2011, he put together a band, and began to study the art of entertaining larger crowds. He sold out the popular Tin Roof in Knoxville on several occasions. He also had the opportunity to open for Nashville artist Matt Stillwell at the invitation of legendary radio station WIVK-FM.
While Eric was experiencing success as a country cover-artist, he was quietly growing as a songwriter. He began to share his original material with friends and family members, who were deeply impressed with his raw talent. At the urging of his peers, Eric packed his road worn 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and made the drive down I-40 to Nashville.
If Eric's love for country music was a like a flame, then Nashville turned it into a full blown bonfire. After only a few months in town, Eric was fortunate enough to meet studio drummer Jeremy Warren. Jeremy and Eric began collaborating on a studio project. In early December 2012, Eric went into the studio for the first time. He worked with several of Nashville's most talented musicians, and produced a five-song EP. Eric was the sole writer, and co-producer, on all five tracks. Producer Zac Kubilus gave the songs a modern, electric country sound. The EP was released in January 2013, and is already gaining the attention of Music Row.
2013 finds Eric gearing up for the road. At 25 years old, he has just enough life experience to know that the highway is calling his name. "It's always been a dream of mine to be on the road, with four or five great friends, playing to big, rowdy crowds. I think every major artist was shaped by that phase of their career, and I'm looking forward to having that experience," says Eric.
Between playing songwriter nights in Nashville, and rocking out packed honky-tonks across the Eastern US, Eric will have a lot on his calendar in 2013. But that's the way he likes it. Eric explains it like this, "I was always told that if you find something you love, you won't work a day in your life. I really believe I have found that in music, and I just hope I can continue playing for as long as possible! I am blessed with the ability to make people happy with my talent. I can't imagine something I would rather do!"
Watch for Eric Nicholas coming to play in a town near you! His music is available on the iTunes Store, as well as Spotify. You can check out his website, at www.ericnicholas.net.
-Written by Alex Johnson, February 2013