Just a singular moment with Nick Calarco and one can tell how vibrant he shines. A lover of music and aviation, this flight attendant/musician grew up listening to his beloved stereo while daydreaming about living above the clouds. It’s not every day you encounter someone who was able to make something out of two of their interests but that’s how much determination is wrapped up in Nick Calarco. Throughout this back and forth Calarco dives into travel inspo, being part of the LGBTQ community and how that has impacted his journey thus far, and more like his latest single; “Feel Good.”
Kendra: When your grandparents gifted your first stereo, what was the song off the radio that you performed in your room the most, and do you feel that shaped the type of artist you are today?
Nick Calarco: When I was a kid, I’ll never forget my grandparents getting me that stereo. The sound was something we’ve never experienced before. I remember actually recording the songs from the stereo on cassettes and recording my voice like a radio DJ. One of my favorite songs I ever listened to off that stereo was “One More Time” by Daft Punk. The way the bass and melodies sounded made me smile so big and feel so connected to the music. I’ll never forget those feelings.
I didn’t really fit in when I was in grade school so when I got this stereo, the music took me to a place where I felt like I belonged. Being a part of the LGBT community, we know kids can be cruel, there was just something about the beats that lifted me up and made me happy again. Made me feel like I could be me and just enjoy the music. I wanted to create music and help others feel the way I did. Naturally, life gets in the way but I’ve come to a point where I need to express myself through my music and help others feel the way I did listening to the music on that stereo.
My grandparents mean (they have since passed) the world to me so the fact that it started with them, means more than I can ever hope it will. My mother being one of my biggest fans and biggest support systems in this world; is a major reason why I am where I am today.
Kendra: The biggest commonality between being a musician and a flight attendant is the amount of travel. Is that why you headed towards a career as a flight attendant before you got started in music?
Nick Calarco: I have actually loved aviation since I was a kid. I remember going to our local airport to watch the planes take off and land. My grandfather took me for my first flying lesson when I was 11 and I was hooked ever since. I ended up going to a university in Florida to get my ratings and become a pilot. I ended up graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree and played the waiting game. In the meantime, I became a flight attendant and again life got in the way and I wasn’t able to pursue my career as a pilot.
However, I absolutely love being a flight attendant and love what I do so it all worked out. I love making people smile, feel happy, laugh, and being a flight attendant helps me do this. I put music on the back burner while I focused on my aviation career but it was never fully shelved. While in my travels, with the downtime and time alone it helped me reflect on what I wanted to do, my real passions and allowed me the opportunity to revisit my music and make it finally become a reality. It allowed me to research, plan, focus, and execute while I was around on my layovers with nothing to do, especially during COVID times.
Again being part of the LGBT community is not the easiest sometimes. Some days are harder than others and some inner demons are stronger and deeper than others. So I took my thoughts, my past, my present, and my future and wanted to express it in a way that was good for everyone and help make everyone feel like they belong. Even for just the duration of my songs I want everyone to know they can just be themselves, not who someone wants them to be. The world needs the best version of you that you can be and I want to try and help them realize this. My songs are inspired by many different aspects of life and many different reasons to just enjoy yourself and know that all you have to offer is more than enough.
Kendra: You have a handful of singles out now including your latest, “Feel Good.” With all your travels for work, are you inspired by any one place in particular?
Nick Calarco: Each of my singles is created for different reasons. With everything going on in the world it’s important to know that you are included and heard. “Feel Good” was created to help everyone know that they are needed and that no one is more important or less important than anyone else. We are all equal. If you look at the album cover it is red and blue smoke that’s coming off of my body. This is supposed to symbolize good and evil being released and let go. The reason good and evil are both included is because we need to let go of everything good and bad and just be in the now and enjoy the moment on the same level and page as everyone else.
It’s important in life to make sure no aspect overpowers the other to have that balance in life. Too many people these days think they are better than everyone and I created this single to make sure we can all come together. Part of my inspiration was when I was in cities where the rioting and protesting took place. It pained me to see so many people in pain and there was nothing I could do, so I turned to music. It was important to me to write a song where we are able to release everything and come together where everyone is equal and everyone can just let go, let the music in, and feel like nothing else matters in that moment but the sense of being together and feeling good.
Kendra: Will you continue to release singles, or are you working on an EP or even LP?
Nick Calarco: My plan was to release five singles and then work on my album. My album will have 12 songs total and I can’t even begin to describe the love and excitement I have for my music. It’s coming along so well, I now have five singles and have three songs completed with a total of eight and working on two more as of now.
Being a flight attendant, the LGBT community, working with and meeting so many different people help me get the inspiration I need to write my music. It’s amazing the connection I feel with so many people and the similarities we share so I turn it into music that we can all seem to relate to. It seems to just come naturally when I’m there creating and I couldn’t be happier with it. I know a lot of my songs are just instrumental, however, they all have heart and soul in them, and eventually, I’m going to have explanations for each one on my website. I feel that it is very important for artists to explain the reasoning behind their songs and music so they are not just empty lyrics and melodies. This way the listener can connect on a much deeper level and I can not wait till I’m able to share it with everyone. I hope everyone loves it as much as I love creating it.
Kendra: With all that’s going on, how do you feel 2020 has shaped your creativity and drive moving forward?
Nick Calarco: I thought that 2020 was gearing up to be one of my best years thus far. Turning 30, my music getting published, and work being busy It seemed it was going to be the best. However, with everything going on we know that didn’t happen. My plans for my birthday were canceled and the stress and anxiety of work and possibly losing my job were overwhelming. Thankfully I get to keep my job through at least the end of the year. I feel like now more than ever we need to come together and be there for one another.
Music has always been my outlet and my reason to bring me back to being grounded (no pun intended). My inspiration will always be the sense of togetherness and a sense of making everyone feel as one. Everyone has some kind of negativity and if I can make even just one person smile, feel happy, and rock to the beat, then I have been incredibly successful. I’ve struggled mentally, and physically, and I’ve always just wanted to bring myself and everyone I meet happy, and I feel that my beats are a reflection of this.
Working, traveling, and seeing how the country is right now gives me all the motivation to keep my drive and keep creating my music for everyone to have an outlet they can go to. Especially in today’s world, we all need a pick-me-up and I hope I can help however I can.
Kendra: Usually, this is where I ask people what they have planned in the coming months but with the world in a strange place right now, plans aren’t as concrete as they typically are. You can go ahead and let us know what you have tentatively planned but can you also share a song that never fails to get you through when the world around you feels like a mess?
Nick Calarco: Before the world turned into the strange place it is today, I was planning on publishing my music and possibly performing in some local places. Living in South Florida, EDM, and dance-pop music are very popular so I feel like I would fit in genre-wise very easily.
As the world needs to adapt, so does everyone living in it. I’m now trying to get ideas on how to move forward over just creating music. Possibly doing some live streams or maybe even areas more open to doing performances in parks that will allow it under the social distancing rules. I’m currently working on a music video for “Dance Together” and “Be You” to keep my listeners engaged before I can figure out how to do more of a “live” interaction.
I will have all my announcements and events posted to my website when I can figure it all out. When life gets me down, really down, my true musical inspirations have always been Lady Gaga and Kylie Minogue. Their songs have always made me feel loved and included, where I can just be myself and know that there’s no reason I have to change. I’m loved for being me and that’s exactly how it should be. Not because of race, color, sexual preference, none of it, I am who I am and that is enough. I want my music to help bring those eases, and troubles out of everyone’s life as much as they did for me.
All of this is also inspiring me to create an organization to help people get through their life’s troubles. I want to try and create one that donates money and time in helping people be themselves and get through their times in need. Celebrate their times in joy and happiness. I’ve always been about giving back, and if I’m successful in my music career my goal will always be just that, never less, and always more. People need to be celebrated in their good and bad times because helping someone who’s really down brings them to the point of being able to celebrate them when you pick them up.