We had the good fortune of connecting with Nick Hailey aka N. Hail and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nick, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
First of all, thanks so much for including me in the Shoutout series. Risk, to me, is absolutely essential to and inextricable from success. In order to get something no one else has, you have to do something no one else would do. In order to experience love, we must be vulnerable. In order to deliver a truly powerful performance, an artist must risk making mistakes. On a philosophical level, risk is what gives live value. Risk is the currency of our life force. If we lived forever, there would be no opportunity cost to our time. Because time is fleeting, we pay for success with risk, or we pay the interest of our mistakes. Since we cannot predict the future, we make plans and by following through or not, we are betting on ourselves (or not) in every decision we make, risking all the other opportunities we could have pursued. So belief and willpower are the driver and the fuel, and risk is the vehicle. One of the most life-changing realizations for me was finally understanding that even “playing it safe” can be a risk, because to play it safe you have to give up your dreams, if you have them to begin with. To have that security, you risk success. So these values are all relative to each other. Applying this to my life and career, for me it meant that I had to really know my values. I had to ask myself, “What is success to me?” I had to know the cost of that success: time, attention, opportunity, energy, service. I had to believe in myself enough to practice and pursue my goals even when tempted to think I might not be good enough. I’ve had to have the willpower to power through the not-so-pleasant parts of the process. Amazingly this requires both self-worth and humility. One of the bigger changes in my mindset lately has been self-acceptance, knowing my ability and seeing the value in it when it can be so easy as a perfectionist to say “I’ll release when I’m a little bit better.” Sometimes we owe it to those around us to be open and vulnerable and share our experience, and “giving it all you’ve got” almost always means taking a risk.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is really an expression of me. I’ve always been passionate about music. It’s a way for me to tell my truth without hiding behind a mask of personal identity because, through art, we free ourselves from our identity; we realize that others can relate to our innermost thoughts. I’m proud and excited to say I have just released my first music video titled “Dime,” so if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out on YouTube. It definitely has not been an easy journey, but the trials and obstacles are nothing compared to the joyful moments, the triumphant moments, the moments of certainty. Some of them we work for, and some are truly blessings. If the mindset is right, the challenges and the rewards will both nudge us in the right direction. My hope is that my story and music will inspire the next person to chase their dreams as well, or at least bring them some joy and help them push through their own trials. I want my listeners to know that there is someone out there like them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d have to take them to Earth Plant Based Cuisine, my favorite spot for some tacos and an horchata. I’d take them to a Relentless Beats event or the Van Buren to get our dance on. Other than that we might hang out at the skate park or make some music at my home studio, the best spot in Phoenix!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to thank Allie Jay Photography, my friend Page at Lux Lunae Designs, Suzie Rangel for photographing my shows and helping film my video, John Raless Videography, Alec from SnapNews, and Eric Daily from Brunch Collect for putting me on from the beginning.
Allie Jay Photography John Raless