Nick Riguardi isn’t wasting anymore time. After a powerful spiritual transformation, he set out on a bold personal journey. Today, he shares his enlightenment with his uplifting pop-rock debut, the aptly titled Make A Road.
“I came to a point where I got tired of being caught up in an unhealthy cycle. I took a hard look at myself, and I recognized I wasn’t being the best person I can be. I had to let a lot of extraneous things in my life go,” the New York-based singer-songwriter confesses.
Nick’s songs are sage and reflective slice-of-life snapshots brimming with parables, stories, and metaphors. His music brings forth a message of positivity, freedom, and faith. Stylistically, Make A Road traverses funky pop-rock, elegant folk balladry, and rustic folk. It hits that sweet spot between breezy song-oriented jam and folk enlightenment, recalling vibrations-raising albums by Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, and Dave Matthews Band.
Nick is an unlikely candidate to emerge a shamanistic folk-pop artist. Growing up in New Jersey he was known as a sports aficionado and a video game fanatic. However, as a kid he curated music mixes with his older brothers, and framed powerful moments of his youth listening to his favorite songs. For Nick, music was a private passion.
As a young teen, he began to formulate his taste for soulful pop-rock, and his soundtrack revolved around albums by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay, Jack Johnson, and Dave Matthews Band. During this time, Guitar Heroloomed largely in Nick’s teenage life. Sagely, he realized the time he dedicated to the game he could channel into actually learning the guitar. Somewhat secretively, he began learning his favorite songs through YouTube tutorials. Command of the instrument came quickly, and at parties he would surprise his friends by launching into impromptu performances of popular songs.
Simple good advice and mentorship paved the way to Make A Road. Prior to hunkering down and readying himself to share his musical gifts publicly, Nick had made some crucial personal changes. He had cast aside his party and video game lifestyle, and was he was living a life of faith. When he met producer Robert L. Smith, Nick was spiritually strong and ready to face the music. It was indeed time to make a road.
“The title of this album, Make A Road, came from a study of neurology. In short, it taught me our thinking is just conditioning. We can build a new road to think positively. We just have to reprogram our brains,” Nick shares.
Landmark moments on Make A Road include the album’s leadoff single “Lemonade,” Joy,” “America,” and “Orchards.” “Lemonade” is a peak into young summer love in the woods of New Jersey. Here, Nick’s sweetly soulful vocals pine for bygone days with warm nostalgia. The sentiment is made that much more poignant by the song’s lush production aesthetic which boasts mournfully melodic ambient textures and touches of stately strings. “I like how with music I can recreate memories, and then share these intimate parts of my life in song,” Nick says. Nick will capture these carefree moments with a time-capsule video that brings memories to life.
The breezy pop-funk of “Joy” offers forth a gently rousing wakeup call that it’s always darkest before dawn. The track “America” is a slow-burn political pop-rock anthem that smolders with tenderly honest vocals and a searing slide guitar solo. And the track “Orchards” is an impressionistic ballad elegantly adorned by slowly billowing sax melodies and balmy folk touches. “Sometimes you have to let your subconscious mind go and just write the songs. Later on, you find out their meaning. For this song, the idea was to create a feeling,” Nick says. “But, upon reflection, that song has a ‘time is running out’ message.”
Nick plans to seed the path to Make A Road with a series of videos for an official album release, and he plans to play residency gigs with a full band. Though it’s been a swift journey recording this album, these songs have been a lifetime in the making. Recalling that first listening session where he heard his songs produced and polished with a full band, Nick says: “I remember being exhausted from being in the studio for 10 hours. When listened back to the recording, I had this overwhelming feeling—it felt like I finally did it. Now, I can’t wait to share this music, and, hopefully, inspire others with a message of truth, love, and faith.”