What’s up Evenant! This week, we had the pleasure of hanging out with composer Nicolas Felix! Nicolas is a trailer music composer who has worked with many well-known publishers, including Brand X Music, Dos Brains, C21FX , and is currently working at Chroma Studios.
Nicolas has landed several major blockbuster placements, including SOLO: A Star Wars Story, Netflix Extinction, Succession, 12 Strong, BRIGHT, Geostorm, Spider-Man Homecoming and many more!
Thank you for being with us today Nick! So, tell us a little about how you got started with music, and how your journey was like becoming a trailer music composer.
I started music when I was 7 years old, my parents pushed me into playing violin, which I learned for 6 years.. But nowadays, I can’t sound anywhere good except for horror dissonant music haha!
After 6 years, I stopped playing the violin mainly because it was too “formal” and that’s not what I was looking for. I wanted to play film scores and my teacher wasn’t so much into that.
That’s when I started the piano leading to my first compositions. My first ideas started there. It was amazing to be able to finally create but I needed something with more grit and dirtiness (ohhh yeah!). You guessed it! ROCK N ROLL BABY! I was so into it, started my first AC/DC and Metallica guitars lessons. Then a few bands: Rock, Metal, Punk/Rock, Metalcore, Hardcore. I had great time playing in front of people but managing people and their different characters wasn’t for me. Classical guitar had the same issue for me that the violin had, too “formal”. I felt like my creativity was behind bars.
Then I discovered the world of DAWs: Cubase/ Pro Tools and redirected my career to be a mixing engineer. That sounded great, I wanted to do that but somehow I missed music a lot…
I would have never imagined that one day I would be able to do music as my full time job.
Well… I was wrong!
At the end of my Bachelor Degree, I searched for a Film Scoring Master Degree. I found one in Lyon, France where I did 2 years there and 1 year in Montreal, Canada.
IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!
At that moment, I started to realize I was so much into film music! I found sometimes I really loved! And that’s when trailer music came in.
After this year in Canada, I came back to France and met my new business partner Salva over SoundCloud, which whom I would start Hybrid Chronicles later. Our first trailer track was for “ Skybound ” a music catalog that wanted to expand to trailer music.
For 3 years we worked for different trailer music publishers Really Slow Motion, Dos Brains, Colossal Trailer Music, Skybound, Brand X Music, Theta Sound, Glory Oath + Blood, End Of Silence, Imagine Music, C21FX, Cezame, Wrong Planet and finally CHROMA!
1 year ago CHROMA asked us to be their exclusive composers. And that one of them should move to LA to be in-house. I had no children and wife in France so it was easier for me to take that jump! (Lucky me I guess?)
Since I arrived I’ve been doing solo albums, trailer music, ads and orchestral arrangements for other people!
Can’t be better here, and LA is fantastic! (They have bubble tea and tacos!!!)
What is your creative process like? What is your typical experience starting a track, “from idea to finished recording”?
I always start listening to all the references the publisher sent me. Never listen to just one, if not, you are going to replicate that particular track. This way I get the general vision of what is needed.
I start sketching on a piano or on a full string patch, either spiccato or sustains. And when I get a good idea, I build around it with more elements. Sometimes just a sound can inspire me, or a chord progression. The intro, the orchestration and all the drop/risers always come at the end. If time would allow, I leave the track aside for a few days and come back to it hoping it’s still good.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
I love Thomas Bergersen (who doesn’t?) because he’s really versatile and musical! Punchy, orchestral, interesting themes and well produced. I wish we could have more of this type of music in big trailers nowadays but that’s not w