When I met Nick Nittoli he was about 7 or 8 years old. I was a kid myself, only a teenager, so I really can’t even recall the exact year it was. His mom was dating my older brother at the time and they brought over Nick and his older brother to meet our family. Eventually, his mom and my older brother got married and so they all became a part of our family. Then Nick’s little sister, my niece (and she’s my Goddaughter too) was born.
Nick was always a sweet, rambunctious, mischievous, hilarious, and charismatic kid. He always made us laugh and even though his sense of humor could verge on the side of inappropriate at times, it didn’t matter to us. You had to love him because when it really came down to it Nick always had a good heart and he definitely had a sensitive side to him as well.
Yet even with all this, Nick did have the tendency to get into a lot of trouble as a kid too. I used to kind of feel bad for him when he was little though because I didn’t want him to be pegged as just that, “A trouble-maker.”
Now when I think about all the challenges Nick has faced in his life, I truly believe his music has been a saving grace for him in many ways.
Nick Nittoli picked up his first guitar when he was a little boy and he idolized Michael Jackson as a child too, “Off the Wall” was the first album he owned. Nick is basically the Rock Band version of Michael Jackson. It was very obvious from early on that he had a natural passion and born talent for music.
I recall once singing in my room, I was rehearsing a musical theatre song and Nick was playing with my little brother (who is only a year older than him), right outside my door. Nick stopped playing with him, came into my room, and then told me something along the lines of how I had such a pretty voice and he said I sounded like The Little Mermaid. As an adult now, Nick may not like me sharing this story, perhaps he would think it shows too soft of a side of him that doesn’t exactly match the image of him we all see now (but he was just a little boy during this time).
However, this has always been a sweet memory I have kept of Nick, even if he doesn’t remember it himself because he was so young. The point of me sharing this story though, is to demonstrate the sincere appreciation Nick had for my voice on the musicality level, much like a songwriter or producer would. Bottom line is that even as a child Nick always had a love for music.
Unfortunately, Nick’s mom and my brother divorced after about 5 years of marriage. Nick was on the cusp of his teen years. I was living in Las Vegas at the time where I was contracted to sing and before I knew it years went by before I ever saw Nick again.
I know Nick faced a lot of personal demons during those years and that he went through a lot of challenging and difficult times. However, I’m not here to speak on his behalf about that, only he can tell his own story. I’m sure a lot of it will come out as part of his back story on the show and if it does it will be one of the most compelling ones you will hear. I can only continue to share the story about the Nick Nittoli that I know.
My parents and I would often ask my brother if he knew how Nick and his older brother were doing. My family and I still cared about them, obviously they had become part of our family. Of course we saw my niece all the time, but we only saw the boys once in a while.
About 4 years ago we got great news from my older brother. He was going to be bringing my niece, along with Nick and their oldest brother over for Thanksgiving dinner. We hadn’t spent a holiday together with them in years so it was a lot of fun. That day Nick brought over a demo he had made, so after dinner we sat in my car with my husband and listened to it. My husband and I were completely blown away. I told Nick that his song sounded ready for mainstream radio play! I truly meant it too, the song screamed Top 40 Platinum Hit! I told Nick he had to stick to doing his music, I just knew that it would be crazy if his talent wasn’t eventually discovered.
About a year ago Nick was working as a telemarketer, but was continuing on with his songwriting. His mom put together a music showcase for him and invited us all to attend. He was phenomenal . His songs were catchy, they all had a fierce hook to them. His stage presence was natural, like he had been performing on stage his whole life, and basically that night it was apparent that Nick was a shining star that the rest of the world just didn’t know about yet……But soon would.
Not long after, Nick auditioned for ‘Platinum Hit,’ and he almost missed the audition too. He had been out partying the night before until 5:30am and he only slept for two-in-a-half hours before getting into his car at 8:15am to make the audition. Nick got a call back, so obviously, the producers could see what we already all knew about Nick, he is a stand out talent. In addition to this though, he’s made for television. He’s good looking and controversial, a perfect mix for a reality TV competition. Let’s just say Nick’s in it to win it.
If you couldn’t tell already from the promos on Bravo, Nick has obviously brought in a certain amount of cockiness into the ‘Platinum Hit’ competition. Nick was even quoted on the show as saying, ” At the end of this competition no one should like me cause I’m gonna be #1.” In the Hollywood Reporter one of Nick’s cast-mate’s was also quoted too saying, “Nick can definitely be a douche, but at the same time, I really enjoyed that song.” So basically, I think Nick’s cast-mate’s quote says a lot there because Nick may come off in this competition as a cocky fighter ready to take all and win all, but he obviously has the goods to back it all up.
However, don’t think that by the promos and season premiere that you have Nick Nittoli all figured out. He’s not just some transparent, 23 year old, Alternative Rock/Pop Artist who is the bad boy of the group smashing his guitar. He’s not that predictable. I mean this is the guy who agreed to play his guitar and sing for his little sister’s 13th birthday party last year, simply because that’s what she wanted from him on her special day. This wasn’t a typical gig for Nick, but like I said he does have a sensitive side to him and his family does mean a lot to him too.
Nick Nittoli has a lot of depth to him. He has had his obstacles in life, like we all do, but this has only made him a better storyteller and basically a stronger songwriter and competitor. Nick is a true artist, never a sell-out, what you see is what you get.
Nick Nittoli on his winning song: ‘My City’
You can follow Nick on Twitter @nicknittoli .
Special Thanks to The Nittoli Family.
Photos Courtesy of Andrea Nittoli.