Home base: New York, N.Y.
Musical beginnings: “I began tapping on my desk with pencils in third grade. My parents enrolled me in band in middle school, and I played snare drum for three years. My dad got me my first guitar on my 13th birthday. Around the same time, I fell in love with ’90s grunge while playing bass guitar in my church’s gospel choir. In high school, I wrote my first batch of love songs for a girlfriend. No one will ever hear those songs. My compositional chops got a little better once I entered college and learned things like key signatures.”
The idea behind the song: “I feel that the track is appropriate to my college experience because it was this long, drawn-out introduction. I started to learn some things, gradually … and then … hello! I’m done. I’m a college graduate.
“I was afraid of lots of things for most of college. It was a big deal for me to go to functions and if I didn’t have the opportunity to play music in college and meet people that way, I might not have made it through. Basically, for me, college was like a very long version of summer camp. Meaning, you apply to go to this place to become a better person or craftsman or what have you. You get in. You show up to some seminars, take some classes and make some friends. All the while, you’re changing at a rate which you’re not quite accustomed to, and the rate of change you’re experiencing you can’t really chart on a daily basis. It’s a four-year process of a random assortment of knowledge that you’re receiving in and out of the classroom.
“So, you grow up. You graduate (hopefully!). You move on. You get a job or two. You have your friends and family. They almost know better than you would how much you’ve changed because they’ve seen it from the outside – from the perspective of someone caring for you (hoping that you’ll do well). The best that you can do is try to succeed so that you can better serve those people, not just yourself.
“‘Gloria Knows This’ is dedicated to my mother, Gloria Jenkins, who lives in Walterboro, S.C.”
College musical influence: “I studied music performance with a concentration in jazz drum kit with the very wise and talented Quentin Baxter ’98.”
Musical highlights: “In no particular order: playing many amazing performances with Asphalt Orchestra from 2009 to the present; playing at the Lincoln Center three years in a row; curating my own silent discos for more than 30 people in S.C. and N.Y.; meeting/recording with David Byrne and Annie Clark last year; sharing my Bandcamp page; working on Run Dan Run’s future studio album release; having a friend say that
my music was inspirational; graduating from the College’s music program; living/working with many fine musicians in Charleston from 2005 to 2010; last year’s silent disco at Hope & Union Coffee Company. The list goes on. It has all been very grand.”
Listen to more music by Nick Jenkins.
Listen to all of the songs on The Soundtrack.
– Photos by Sully Sullivan