From Me to You
So while things are tremendously busy with work, school and the wedding 6 months away things have been a little unorganized. I have uploaded a new tack on the website, as I need to finish some things before completing the album. I have just recently configured the entire studio here in Italy to cooperate with the digital configuration that being said, things should have a steady momentum now. I noticed the last update was in May! Time is flying by and I am having trouble understanding whether or not that is a good thing.
I eagerly anticipate a return stateside. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like that is going to happen in the near future. I wish you all well and hope to update more. I seem to say that often, let’s see how we can manage this time. I was asked by a friend to right a piece on life experience trying to express and promote the importance of patriotism and the possibilities of life as an American. I haven’t heard anything so maybe I will publish that here.I am back from my second trip to Afghanistan and I am working hard for Tomorrow, which for what the new tracked is titled.
I am a 24 year old aspiring musician from New Jersey. I am a Sergeant in the United States Army stationed in Naples, Italy, and have never been more proud to call myself an American. This is my story.
It was September 11, 2001. The day the world will never forget. I was 17 years old. My father is a foreign exchange broker in New York and years before he was working at Canter Fitzgerald at the top of the trade center. Being from northern New Jersey you could see the skyline of NY with the towers standing strong. It was when I watched them fall that I knew my life would change forever. I left for the army as soon as I graduated from high school.
I lived in Savannah GA, for a while about 20 min outside of Ft. Stewart where I was stationed and as a musician I couldn’t have been in a better town. It was there that my hobby turned into a passion. In the Army our mornings are early, so two or three nights a week I would go straight to work from playing downtown. I kept this up for about a year; all I wanted to do was learn, play and express myself through music. It was then; I was informed of my yearlong “vacation” to Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division.
I wasted no time packing up every piece of musical equipment I owned and brought it with me to Iraq. I was 20 at the time, and after settling in with my daily operations, I had plenty of time to write and record my music. It took me six months to finally put something together and I thought it would make for a great gift to my family back home. It was a group of songs I had written that I had made up to look like real CDs. I sent it to my family and some friends that were in Iraq with me. I was on cloud nine. I was able to perform my duties as a soldier, compile a CD and formed a website nickperez.com that gained support and attention throughout the nation. I never felt so proud. As I updated the website responses kept coming in and the support has not stopped to this day.
After Iraq, I decided to stay in the army for a few more years to finish my degree. So I re-enlisted and was sent to a NATO unit in Naples, Italy. It is here in my NATO assignment that my patriotism grew. I see why America is the home of the brave and the land of the free.
With my day-to-day interaction with men and women from across the globe, I have learned patience, diplomacy, and the capability to appreciate parts of the world I may not have seen with out my current profession. More importantly, I have learned that I am from the greatest Nation on earth, a place that was founded on free thought and speech. A place that gave the rest of the world hope when they had none left and it is my job to protect and preserve the memory of what once was, and the idea of what will be. To honor the men and women before me who made it possible for me to accomplish all of my goals before my 25th birthday.
If you spoke to me 7 years ago this would have been a different story, but it is because of America that I have lived a full life at such a young age. I have seen things that I would never want to forget, and things I would never want to remember. It was my right to join the Army, but it is my privilege to be an American.
30 May 2008 23:09
While here in Afghanistan for the second time. I have seen and been experienced many different elements of life. Much like Iraq I am beginning to realize the importance of individualism while maintaining conformity. There is much to be said about the experiences that I have been subject to with the time since I have last been able to record some new material. I am excited to see the interpretation of all this. While I remain eager to record some new songs and release the new album, I am also reluctant for reasons unexplainable to even myself. While “ Letters Home” was a raw draft of what I would someday Like to become, to me it lacked the musicianship I would like to portray in future releases.
This is still a whole new world to me and I embrace the acceptance of all who are in support of what I aspire to be, in the big picture it is all a little overwhelming. I still lack the companionship of other musicians, in my current profession I am limited to what I can and can not do within the context of creativity. This of course is due to the fact that when something inspires me to such a degree in which I want to compose and can not. But no regrets that’s what is important, all will be well and for this I am certain. Since my last post many things in my life have changed, I am now engaged to a beautiful intelligent woman named Iolanda. My life has taken a course in which I had never expected and I look forward to the happiness and challenges presented in front of me.
Life in Italy has not changed much since my last entry, although my time away from there has been in good quantity, for now it is my home, and no matter where you are home is where the heart is. I have a lot of things on my mind and a lot of things I would like to translate into music. I hope that the opportunity is presented to me to make this translation, otherwise I will have to make the opportunity. It seems as If I never have the time, but I will be sure to change that.
Although that has been said before, it is within my soon return to Italy that I can assure you a new release within the next 6 months (subject to change)….. just kidding.
I will do everything I can to ensure this release in a rapid fashion. I can not tell you the amount of appreciation I have for the support in which you have shown me. It is truly a blessing that you have all remained in contact and are just as eager as I for the next project to be released. My inbox remains full with letters of support ,encouragement, and anticipation for more music to be uploaded and shared throughout the musical community. I also thank you for spreading the word about this website that seems to never be updated. I have to again apologize for that but I am not in a position to update on a regular basis.
The bottom line… my life is constantly changing, and although there are low points which seem to consume my being, but the truth is I am doing fairly well, and am a happier person than before. I have learned a great deal about dealing with the present and living for tomorrow. That maybe refuted by some, but in my position I have to. The cliché of live for today does not exist in a combat environment, I assure you live for tomorrow is a better idea for all of us. With that being said it is late…and I need to get to sleep. It is my pleasure to still be a part of this, and I will be sre to keep you updated until next time, take care…..You will hear from me soon.
All the best…. Nick Perez
October 5th 2007
Well……. What is there to say the site has been a bit idle the past 6 months…I have since returned from Afghanistan, visited Paris, London, Milan, Venice and Lago di Guarda. I have played in a few bar around Naples, and my long awaiting studio is soon to arrive. I am going to school in GA for a little while…..and when I come back my studio should be a little spread out. Some pieces with me in hand and other awaiting my arrival, Hopefully before Christmas there should be some music updates. With long awaited announcement of the new album to come shortly after the New Year I am looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say about some of the new music I will be uploading.
For those of you curious as to life in Italy, perhaps I can shine some light on your theories or fantasies of living abroad. I think there is an equal balance of things that are fantastic and things that could make you wish you were back Home. The ability to travel virtually anywhere in Europe with a time of 4 hours or less is Great. It provides an opportunity to see the world, and when all is said and done and all you have is memories of the life you lived you can recall some pretty amazing things. The people here are great..(If you know each other) I could understand the fear of society here if you are unable to communicate and express yourself in a way that people can understand that you are not a threat. Some of the food you find here is tremendous… but I encourage you to see Italy for the geographical beauty… don’t make the trip exclusively for the food…
There are many things I could list here that are great, life here is definitely different than back in the United States. I could equally list negative things about Italy but I won’t in light that this is a public website and I would hate to show up on some network News show for social profiling or being Politically Incorrect. Although I will list one and this is a negative for Us Americans all over Europe……have you guessed it yet!? Yup….. the Euro to the Dollar conversion. We lose big time…and that doesn’t look like it is going change any time soon. You can definitely see the impact that American culture has had the rest of the world though…The majority of the music played on almost every Italian radio is American. Speaking about the music played on the Italian radio it is very common to hear things here that we don’t have the opportunity of listening to in the United States. I know he may have a household name now but 8 or 9 months ago I heard a song on the radio that I loved…and I couldn’t figure out who it was turns out his name was James Morrison and now he opens for the likes of John Mayer. It is very common for musicians to start getting popular in Europe…before making there big debut in America….dating back to Jimmy Hendrix.
So I am taking in a lot of Data while I am here and am Hoping to translate that into music in the upcoming months. I am hoping to be home around the Thanksgiving time frame… It has been 5 years since I have had the pleasure of spending a holiday with the whole family, and I am looking forward to it this year. I hope that this journal update finds you well… and that you are living the dream you knew you always would…With so much going on in the world is it not a priority to be happy? To many times do we see people agitated or stressed out for problems that pass before the days end…. While important decisions need to be made virtually everyday…don’t allow it to shorten your time here…enjoy what you can. Looking forward to updating soon…… take care…..
February 2nd 2007 5:41 pm.
So, again I must apologize for not updating the journal in a while… It has been a bit crazy since touching down in Italy. Believe it or not I am no longer in Italy… I have been put in Afghanistan for a while…don’t worry it’s not nearly as long as Baghdad, To be honest I am a bit busier here, or at least trying to be so that the short stay here will go by with ease. I have not had the opportunity to update the page although I want to very much. As far as the music is concerned, I have been putting down some rough drafts on the computer back in Italy… the studio has yet to arrive in Italy, but hopefully when it does I will be ready to record and produce some more tracks for the site.
I am amazed at the amount of e-mails I have been getting about the new album. I hope that the follow up to letters home will be a surprise to everyone as far as quality and message. I have had much time to tweak and perfect a sound and timing that soon I hope I can call my own. It’s amazing as an aspiring singer song writer how everything you listen to, influences you regardless if you want it to or not. I hope in the few months following my return to have the album ready for release. I also am hoping to have it somewhat professionally recorded, the home studio is great but there is nothing like a real studio environment.
I am trying to release an album I can listen back on and say … “yea that is exactly what I was trying to say”. It is not something every artist can say when they overview some of their work. And I can only imagine with the fuzzy blur of the music industry how message can get distorted at times. My time online is short here. So let me say that this is yet another chapter in my military life and there is nothing I would change, more material for the guitar and the microphone. Hopefully I will have some more music uploaded when I get back….. Thank you for all the support, even if it takes me a while to update the page, your support is my motivation, and inspiration….. talk to you soon…
November 8th 1:17 pm 2006
So here we are, November 8th, I have been in Italy for almost a month now, and I have to say that it has been quite a journey. I have found a great apartment in a city called Pozuoli hopefully I will be moved in there soon, and have some pictures of Pozzuoli studios. Naples is a great city, as far as I am concerned there is nothing that needs to be changed, but lets wait until the next journal instalment and see what happens. I am staying in temporary lodging right now, which is driving me out of my mind. I have barley any Internet accessibility and that is quite difficult when I am currently trying to take 3 courses online!
Almost a month has gone by, and I have no guitar with me, plenty of music is ready for the studio, but that also needs to get here. I am hoping that as soon as I am settled, I will have the time to put down the new material. Unfortunately I have to run, although this is a small journal entrée, at least it’s not two months after the last one. Internet time limits are no good in my eyes, it seems like everyday I sign on it’s time to get off. I should have some a good internet connection with the apartment which should be before Thanksgiving, so until then……Ciao!
October 2nd 1:14pm
So I know the updating of the page has been pretty lame the past couple of months, and although I am still transitioning to Italy, it is hard t sit down and update the journal or the pictures. So let’s give it a shot. I finally cleared out of Ft. Stewart, and that my friends was no easy task. I said my good byes to my friends in Savannah, and hit the road to Washington D.C. where I was to spend the weekend. An hour on the road….. my tire blows. And to make a long story short.. I didn’t have the key for the lug nuts. So I was on the side of the road in a remote location on I95 for 5 hours before I could get some help. I spent the weekend in D.C. and flew out of Baltimore to Mexico to visit my grandfather. I had a great time just relaxing in Mexico and soon came back to my house in NJ. A few days of reorganizing the attic, and now there is a pretty nice studio set up …up there.
Thinking about the journal entries, I am still pretty upset that my complete logs from Baghdad were lost. You would think after 8 months I would have let it go. But I am sure 10 years from now I would have enjoyed reading them. Well.. in ten years I will listen to “Letters Home” and hopefully it will bring back the same memories. So Italy is just around the corner and the time is moving pretty quickly. I am in the process of recording the next release, and so far so good. You will notice some differences in the style and production of the music. Although I test record on my equipment from Iraq, I have been doing my recording on my 17” Powerbook. And to be honest the sound quality is much better. but since I can’t get any musicians together I do a lot of work with the bass and keyboards, as well as the drum parts and anything else I might want to bring into the mix. But hey …. As much work as it is.. it is a lot of fun.
So among the many artist I listen to I went to see one in particular this weekend …. Twice.! Yes it was that good! And here is the story of how I found him… In Baghdad my ipod was on shuffle one day, the 40 gig full on shuffle plays an array of music. High and Dry played but not the original radiohead version….it was a jazz interpretation with incredible vocal lines. And so I became a fan.. Jamie Cullum. Was his name and I had the entire album on the ipod. It was in rotation for a while. Well as I new I would be in the NY area, I searched around to see who would be playing while I was home. And there it was Jamie Cullum at the Roseland Ballroom in NY on 52nd. Jamie is from London so I have not seen him since I learned of his talent. Well the show blew me away.. it was great. His performance , his interaction with the audience. I was with a friend of mine who ironically had tickets to his show in Connecticut. Well after the Roseland there was no way I was going to pass the opportunity to see him again. It was a smaller venue, and the show was totally different from NY, equally entertaining of course. SO if you have not heard of him I strongly suggest that you check him out. You will not be disappointed.
Now here I am in NJ, preparing for my move to Italy next Sunday. I am going to take some picture of the studio up in the attic, I will have those uploaded soon. Also I would like to have some more music recorded before I leave. Anyway , that’s it from me….. my promise to you is once a month…. Once a month I will update the journal definitely. Hopefully some updates in between. I am on my way to take those pictures now, and start recording Hope your not too upset about the lack of updating on the page…. Today is a new day, and tomorrow isn’t here yet.. I can’t figure it out either.. but I like it. Talk to you later…
July 20, 2006
Well, I know it has been a while since I last updated this journal entry so I hope to make this one count. As many of you know I am in transition to a new location with the Army. That being said the transition process has barley begun and already I can feel its wrath. I am also in the process of ending two college classes I have been taking, and work amongst all things has become a little more than overwhelming. I guess the point of this ranting, and that is what it is not complaining, is that there is a lot to do and there is very little time to do it in.
Now as far as Music, you will see there are a few new uploads to the site wide music player, the first you will here is an adaptation from an Army Cadence that I love, and although this version was just a test run for a concept I had, I am under deliberation with myself whether or not to record an entire collection for release.(My army friends although enjoy the song, make fun pretty hard, I can understand singing this in the Army for a couple years and then hearing this! But if you need a good laugh at them go to the pictures page!!) The second is another demo of Jaded which I like very much, the music is in contrast to what a sad song it is, which kind of allows me to feel the sadness as well as express the vocals in a way that I feel more comfortable. The third song on the player, is one of my favorites, the only problem is I didn’t write it, it was written as I have said before by Matt, We took this solo guitar vocal piece and created this alternate version of Shoebox. Matt has taught me a lot about the singer songwriter world, and although I will always be aspiring for that next level, He has given me the confidence needed to continue fulfilling my greatest dream. Although our styles conflicted greatly I consider him to be a vital key in the way I write and attack a certain aspect of music. He would have recorded shoebox a totally different way, and although I liked them both this is by far my preferred. Although those are just the differences in each individual person, and I think there is a lot to be said for that collaboration.
I am working on my singing technique, and although not where I would like it to be my voice has improved 100% since I first started in Iraq. I am extremely happy with the progression of my vocal capabilities and confidence. I am working now on a special project for a good friend of mine, and his family, so my primary focus is on that particular project, and so far I am running into some difficulty I am confident the outcome will be just where I had seen it at the start. There are many song concepts I am working on right now, I hope to release the 2nd CD sometime after I get to Italy, I want this time around to have the substance I intended for Letters Home, although Letters Home has my heart in it, I have the tools and the drive here to record the album I always wanted to……..just not the time!!!!
I am hoping on my short vacation before I leave for Italy, I will be able to sit down and put together some of these pieces I have and complete a few more songs. I hope everyone is well, and hopefully I can get to update this page more frequently, I would be upset too if I came back to the page after a month and nothing had been updated. Thank you for your great comments and your support, and Hey who knew there would be two celebrities leaving messages on my page only an hour apart! ( I know.. I know…. it’s a joke) Well I have to run so it was nice chatting, I hope I filled you into what’s going on around here, soo stay well… I’ll talk to you soon…………
June 6th 2006
So I know it has been a while, but things are really busy here. I uploaded Shoebox to the Player, and a New Version of Jaded you might enjoy. I just got promoted to Sergeant, and with that require more responsibility. That being said, I am attending a class tomorrow that instills basic and advanced leadership qualities to the newly and soon to be promoted soldiers. My dad came down for the promotion ceremony, and I can tell you we had a great time in Savannah while he was here.
I have a couple tracks I am still trying to finish, its just that I find myself running out of time at the end of everyday. I am taking two online college classes, and on top of being in the Army full time, and trying to be a musician it is not easy. This two-week leadership course puts me back a little. I had to turn in the assignments I would be missing while I was gone, also I am not able to go out and play in Savannah. Something you all know to be one of my favorite things of all time!
It’s Getting late and I have to be up at 3 am to leave for this school, so I bid you fair well. It has been so long since my last post, I didn’t want anyone to think I neglected the site, or the people I value so much that come to visit from time to time. I hope you enjoy the new tracks loaded up, and that new Jaded is on the player, just look for it! I think a few more times recording this song I may have a finished product! I am looking to release the new album from Italy. It should be in the final stages upon my arrival. I gotta run…. Talk to you later!!
April 24th 2006
Mid April already! It seems as if time is just flying by. I cannot believe it has been four months already. Things are pretty busy, and everything seems to be in disarray. And I don’t think I forgot how to manage time, I think that time, has now begun to manage me! I am getting a little fed up with that. So now I have started making more time for music, and it feels good to jump back into it. The past few weeks I have been going back out to Savannah and sitting in with some tremendous musicians. I have linked a few of their sites on the links page, it’s a sub-page under the contact page. But if your ever in the area, and you get a chance to see either of these shows….it’s a must!! I have known these guys a few years now, and am really learning a lot from them, I am very lucky to have such friends.
So Savannah is as always a great place, and whenever I am there, I just forget about everything and play, and that is how it is supposed to be. I find myself sometimes questioning my priorities, and more frequently do I question their placement. Writing has become harder, because of time, and exhaustion. Although I am being persistent and have a few tracks done, I am reluctant to release them. Not that I don’t want to, they just need some work to bear with me. I have to run, but I hope to put some new stuff on here before the next journal entry. Stay Well…. I’ll talk to you later,
March 26th 2006
I know it has been a while, as I promised to keep the page updated more frequently. I apologize for not doing so. Things have been pretty hectic since I have been back, with readjustment, my work schedule, and trying to write some new material. I hope that soon it will all calm down, and I will have a chance to sit down and get into some new stuff. We have just started to get our equipment back, so we have started to clean and recover all our gear. I also just got my recording equipment back from Baghdad, and as I go through all the music on there, I think that I can use a lot of the Ideas I had recorded for this purpose.
Sometimes I sit here, and wish that I could go back to Iraq. Although the risk is high, there is more room to “breathe”. In observation of life back here these past few months, I have seen that no one cares about each other; everyone has their own agenda. If it doesn’t benefit their needs, they don’t want to help you. I’m not talking about the military, although that happens here as well, I’m talking about everyday life in society. Now I am also aware that not everyone acts this way, and in no way am I generalizing things. But for the majority of the time I have been home, this has been my observation.
Although it might be hard to understand, but there is less complication in Baghdad. Anyway, enough of that I just need to get that off my chest. Hopefully in the coming weeks I will be posting new music on the site, and let me reiterate to people posting on the message board, that if you have something you want to say, put it in an e-mail and send it through the contact Nick page. Everyone who visits the page does not need to see some of the things that are being posted. I have a busy couple months a head of me, and although I am eager to play again, give me some time to post new music. Thank you so much for everything, and I am Happy to be back….. let’s make some music….
Feb 22nd 2005
So here I am back in NJ, While I have been on leave, I have gotten some new recording equipment, And already I am starting to lay down some new stuff. So soon it should be up on the web page. I go back to Savannah on the 26th, a few days to set everything up and I should be recording in no time. I can tell you that it took some time to get used to being home, but that time has passed. I have been doing a lot of thinking since I have been back, and hopfuly it can be displayed to you in audio format. I don’t really know what else to tell you, other than that It’s great to be back, and I am eager to start playing again. This time has been taken just to relax and adjust. I will no doubt be back to work on the 27th ,downloading equipment that has been brought back from Baghdad. On top of going to school. So it looks pretty busy, but there is always time for music so keep chacking back.
Oh…..One thing I might not have told you, is that I have made the decision to stay in the Army, I know….. but In the long run.. this is the way to go. For two years of the 5 I chose to stay in, will be in Naples , Italy with an option to extend for a third. So I am hoping that won’t be too bad. Just something you should know….Talk to you soon,
January 19, 2006
You can imagine the level of excitement I intend this journal entry to express. After a whole year of blandness, in the “black and white world” , I step off the plane into nothing but color, just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Wednesday 11:30 pm I walked on the field at Ft Stewart with my head held high, in reunion with friends who got back before I did, and with the land I have missed so much.
I got to Kuwait, and the whole Company was ready to fly. As excited as we all were, there was a catch, 11 of us were on a different flight to Kuwait, and in turn were not on the flight back home with the rest of our peers.
We didn’t find out until the very last minuet. But all that did was build a stronger relationships between the 11 of us who stayed. Funny story to tell….Brandon and Chris decided to play a little “joke” on me while welcoming myself and our good friend Z back. They were mocking me because I did not Thank them on the CD, for those of you who have the CD I thank “All my friends” so they made this huge sign that I saw when I got off the Bus…..and it said .” WELCOME HOME ..Z……….and to all my friends” ..funny right?
So I couldn’t have come back at a better time, they give you two days to recover as soon as you get back, my two days coincided with MLK weekend!!!! Lucky me the first thing I did was buy a plane ticket to NJ, picked up my car hung out with the family, and drove back to Ft Stewart. So here I am in my room in GA…adjusting to life back Home. And so far so good my friends. I will be sure to keep up on the website, as I should have more time……..more songs on the way…it is soo good to be back.!!! Thank you for everything, all the support and all the love……When we come back like this, it reminds us of why we fight……and Fight proudly we forever will for this land and it’s people! …..Stay Tuned!!......take care