At only 21, Nick de la Hoyde has already been around the world and back. From his homeland in Australia to Spain to become a pro soccer player to London and the U.S. as an unconventional rapper, this sportsman-cum-pop singer found his true path in the studio via the pitch. His first single, The Longest Way, released in late February and it is already on the 20 most added songs list on Mediabase. The single just hit the US top 100 chart as well.
Nick de la Hoyde moved to Barcelona at the age of 15 as part of the club’s under 21 team, but he quickly found that the life of a pro soccer player was not all it was cracked up to be. During this frustrating period, De la Hoyde turned to music, a pursuit his brother Joseph was already passionate about, to vent is feelings. While brother Joseph focused on music production in his highly successful project, Monks of Mellonwah, Nick seemed to prefer songwriting. His process started with his very personal poetry and spoken word verse, and when he got back from Barcelona De la Hoyde the Younger learned all he could about how to put these words to music from his brother.
De la Hoyde began uploading videos to Youtube and passing out demo downloads to anyone who would listen. With his unconventional mix of serious, heartfelt lyrics and electronic, pop-based backing tracks, the upstart rapper soon caught the attention of Chicago-based hip hop producer Lemonye Alexander (Aaliyah, R. Kelly). Alexander brought De la Hoyde to America to record The Longest Way, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What sets Nick De la Hoyde apart from other rappers aside from his age is the very personal nature of his lyrics. Completely devoid of the usual subject matter of partying, money and “player” activities, De la Hoyde instead chooses to focus on more introspective and sometimes painful topics.
Nick De la Hoyde is very soft-spoken in his lyrical delivery on The Longest Way, as he details the struggles of trying to grow up in the already very grown-up world of pro sports. He uses generic terms, however, as he wants everyone who listens to the single to be able to relate on his or her own terms. The flow of his lyrics, rather than being heavily syncopated with the beat, is more spoken word-based than what the hip hop and pop world normally see from rappers these days. Though the backing track leans toward pop electronica, De la Hoyde’s lyrics and delivery are very indie; similar to Common or Talib Kweli.
A very emotionally mature 21-year-old, Nick De la Hoyde’s style and technique can only get better as he continues to develop them. As his star continues to rise on the charts, Nick De la Hoyde’s unique perspective on the world and his place in it should also give him poetic fodder for his rap verses for years to come. The Longest Way is available to stream or purchase on Nick de la Hoyde’s Bandcamp page and the new video for the single is available to view on Youtube. Both links are listed below in “Sources.”
Review by Layla Klamt