HOUSTON, Texas - 2020 has been a bummer, no doubt about it. But dare I say "good" is making a comeback? The last several months have drilled home powerful reminders of how the darkest, most confusing times lead to our greatest breakthroughs and discoveries.
One person to help me face such reality is Nick Greer. If you've in any way been plugged-in to the Houston music scene the last decade, you know this guy. And in case you don't, let me enlighten you. Greer is a legendary musik master who's made an undeniable impact through his creative sounds, style and soul. He's the legit Bayou City pianoman known for his knockout live performances and ability to bring to life a soundgarden full of ear worms. I challenge anyone to name a more skillful and passionate key-connoisseur in the city.
"Since I was a kid, musik has always been a healthy coping mechanism for me, it allows me to connect with something bigger than myself and gets me out of my head. It's where I meditate, alleviate, emote, fantasize. It's my medicine," says Greer.
But even the best medicine has a shelf life.
The past several years have been quiet on a musikal front for Greer and his battle with sobriety was a driving force. He retired his piano keys for house keys and evolved into a real estate agent and family man. His beautiful wife and adorable baby boy are a testament to his journey to getting back to himself.
"My secrets almost killed me, secrets cannot survive being spoken," says Greer, "That's a spin on a Brene Brown quote "Shame cannot survive being spoken" I try to live by that. I share about my family because I love them so much and I'm excited to share that love."
Interestingly enough, I started to find as much inspiration through Greer's sober truths as I have his musik.
"I decided to share my success with sobriety because it's important for other people who are struggling with it to know that it's possible. Sharing also helps me stay accountable. Addiction is perpetuated by keeping secrets. If the people that care about me know where I'm at then I have the support that I need."
*Cue worldwide pandemic and mandatory stay-at-home order*
"The music itself was a completely random thing that happened in March when the safe order went into effect. My friend sent some beats, I started writing to them cause that was better than focusing on what was going on outside," says Greer.
Slowly but surely, I watched Greer's posts on Instagram hint of a stir-crazed, creative monster brewing in the wake of the coronavirus takeover.
"Once we had like 21 songs recorded, which we did in about 15 days, we looked at it all and realized we had something very special."
And just like that, Greer welcomed another new birth.
Introducing... Saint Nick.
He explained that "Saint" represents everyone's attempt to be perfect and "Nick" is a reminder that we are just human.
"We put a team together that consists of some extremely thoughtful artists who have elevated the entire project from just Saint Nick, an alter ego I developed about 10 years ago but was never brave enough to embrace, to this super beast of material that's going to start getting unleashed in the coming months," says Greer.
New musik from Nick Greer!
*does running man*
"It's going to be a lot of sex, violence, sociopathy, integrity, family values and I've got a song about drowning a dog," says Greer, "People should expect to get pulled in a lot of different directions the same way your mind works or how you might feel when watching one of those violent scenes in a Martin Scorsese film with a Rolling Stones song playing in the background. It shouldn't make sense, but it does."
YAHTZEE! It shouldn't make sense but it does, just like the uncomfortable times we've had to navigate through this year.
Greer's best advice: "Don't hesitate to ask for help, connect with the people you care about, they want to hear from you. Be as easy on yourself as you possibly can. You are allowed to feel alone, frustrated, angry and depressed. Nothing is normal about this moment in time, don't judge yourself for not being or feeling 100%."
Greer's words helped me hone in on the importance of life outside the glitz and glam, recognizing that slowing down to make sure you're okay is the first step in getting back to the things you truly love.
Greer's newfound solace from recovery led him to the fresh sounds of Saint Nick. The healing power of musik meets a true musik healer.
"I've never been more excited about anything else I've ever worked on."
And that makes me the most excited I've been to follow Nick Greer's journey ahead.
Video by Narciso Palma + Ky Meyer
Musik by Mookie the Wizard