Nick Waterhouse Talks Tour, Shares Why His New Single is 'Good Luck'

Andrew Mishko
Nick Waterhouse

Soul musician Nick Waterhouse considers the third single off his new album to be "good luck." Placed on his fourth studio album due out on Friday (March 8), “I Feel an Urge Coming On” is a cover of Jo Armstead’s 1967 tune.

“It is like waving to a friend,” says Waterhouse of covering at least one song from a friend on every album. “It is for good luck, for good will.”

Like the majority of songs off Waterhouse’s self-titled coming out on Friday, “I Feel an Urge Coming On” is a track worth swaying to with a surf city swing to it.

“I am aware of how money flows and that licensing is one of the only ways that artists make money anymore,” Waterhouse tells Billboard. “I know that my songs, for whatever reason, are more palatable to licensing people and I have already jumped on that grenade of not really caring about being perceived as selling out.”

Waterhouse adds, “If I can make a friend a little more money, then I’ll do that.”

Backed by a heavy brass section, a standout bass, keys and sultry backup vocals, Nick Waterhouse is a confident album befit for the artist’s name.

"Self-titled records are typically supposed to be introductory. My first album wasn’t really intended to be an album," says Waterhouse, whose debut Time’s All Gone was more of a collection of singles produced over four sessions. "The first three records feel like a trilogy to me. They feel like the same momentum from my very first song to the last track on (third album) Never Twice."

Prior to getting into the studio to create his latest, Waterhouse found himself out of a three-record contract and wondering if creating music was where his life had naturally taken him.

"I was 31/32 and I had been doing nothing but making records and touring and working on other people’s records for seven years straight without actively deciding that that was what I was going to do,” says Waterhouse. "So I was like 'Okay, maybe I will do this. This is what I do. This is what I know how to do.' I really believed in it so I figured I put my name on it finally."

The album, which Waterhouse has described as the closest to having a conversation with him, was produced by Paul Butler and retains the 1950/1960s influences felt previously throughout his work. While the lyrics can take a serious turn in songs like “Black Glass” and the bass-driven “Which Was Writ,” they never lose the ability to dance to them.

“The record has to want to make you boogie no matter what you’re saying,” Waterhouse explains. “You speak with an accent from where you grew up. I guess that’s what my accent is. Those were the records I really loved and learned everything from.”

That accent translates across the globe as Waterhouse is set to hit the road for an international tour later this month. Beginning on March 18, Waterhouse will travel to the U.K., France, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and Greece before returning stateside for a cross country trek.

“It is almost like I am a different artist in every country. The way people engage is kind of a reflection of a broader sensibility,” says Waterhouse. “This is a small sample group of a population, but like the 2,000 people in France who seem to really love me are more into the lyrical side and the intellectual side and also the jazz influence.”

Waterhouse, who grew up in record stores, says he feels tied to sub-cultures around the world and taps into myths and narratives surrounding R&B, soul and rock’n’roll music.

“Greece really believes in the transformative power of art and rock’n’roll subculture. I have a theory that it is because they lived under the junta during the sixties and seventies, so they never got to have that. Youth culture actually was illegal there,” says Waterhouse, who has toured Greece several times in the past.

He adds: “They are one or two generations away from when if you had an Iggy Pop LP you could get arrested and put in jail for years. They’re really passionate and there’s this attitude of ‘we make it work.’ Everybody says that to me there.”

Waterhouse will return to the U.S. in April for a tour that hits his hometown of Los Angles before branching out to Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, Austin, Salt Lake City, Detroit and more.

“I really love any chance I get to go to Toronto and Chicago and Austin. All those audiences are really my people,” Waterhouse tells Billboard. “Maybe in the consciousness of those areas people have the same accent as me where they grew up hearing records that were about movement."

Nick Waterhouse is out Friday (March 8) on Innovative Leisure and is available for pre-order here.

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