Nik is an independent artist who has released 7 albums. His 6th, “Songs From the 4th Floor” became the ﬁrst Australian CD to be released in mainland China through a Chinese Government record company. He has received Golden Guitar nominations from the Australian Country Music Association and significant radio and TV coverage as an alternative country music artist.
Nik began his career appearing regularly on a Brisbane TV music show called Saturday Juke Box on the Seven Network. During this time his ﬁrst single "Something About You", released by Festival Records, reached number 10 in the Queensland music charts. Shortly after, he moved to Los Angeles, where he recorded his ﬁrst album, Poetry and Beer, under the production skills of famous US producers the Robb Brothers at Cherokee Studios. This album has since become a cult classic among Nik fans. Whilst in the USA, he performed across the West Coast and at events such as the famed Santa Monica Pier as part of the Soccer World Cup celebrations.
His next album 'Four Poet Steps' was released through BMG and featured the single "Bleeding Valentine", a song described at the time by some critics as the year’s most Triple M radio friendly single. His other CDs include Six Pack (2001), Northern Rivers Child (2003), Songs From the Fourth Floor (2006) and Postcard (Chinese release 2007). Other songs which have shaped Nik's career include a string of “target songs” such as "Forever Queensland", the ofﬁcial Queensland anthem in the early 2000’s for Australia's biggest sporting event, the Rugby League State of Origin series. He also wrote and recorded an ofﬁcial song for Queensland's other leading sporting team, the Queensland Reds. Nik regularly performed at matches before crowds ranging from 25,000 to 56,000 people.
In 2001, while Australian troops where undertaking Peacekeeping duties in East Timor, Nik penned the song "Come Back Soon". This song was endorsed by the Queensland Premier Mr Peter Beattie and General Cosgove and was involved in projects which raised over AU$70, 000 for two East Timor orphanages. During this time Nik also devised and ran (in association with the radio station Triple M) the Adopt a Digger program, which provided support for troops and their families and raised funds for the Red Cross. During this period, Nik was the only independent artist to have 3 singles play listed on Triple M (Bleeding Valentine, Forever Qld, Come Back Soon).
In 2007 Nik received a Golden Guitar nomination at Australia's leading Country Music awards for the song "Not In This Life". His song "Postcard" was also nominated for a major award at the Mildura Independent Country Music Awards festival. Throughout his career, most of Nik's success has been as an independent artist, recording and ﬁnancing his own releases.
He is well respected by his peers. Nik travelled the country with his good friends James Blundell and the late Karl Broadie, as the Like Minded Felons. In 2017, Nik collaborated with other local personalities, Tuffy, Rusty Hammerstrom and Peter Cupples in a band called Act Your Age. As a live performer, Nik has few piers. His ability to perform over 250 shows a year saw him play before crowds ranging from the local hotel venues through to capacity football stadium events, and before over 70 million people on TV in China.
After the release of Songs From the 4th Floor, Nik sought advice on how to explore new markets. A 2007 opportunistic discussion with the then Premier of Queensland Peter Beattie, led to Nik performing (very unexpectedly) in China at some major festivals. This led to a very unique 10 year journey. In China, Nik Released his CD, retitled 'Postcard' through the Guangdong company Paciﬁc Audio and Video (a Chinese Government owned subsidiary of the Southern Media Group and Guangdong Radio) in Nov 2007.
He became the ﬁrst (only?) Australian artist to sign with a mainland Chinese record company. In June 2008, Nik wrote the song 'Hold Their Spirits High' for the people of Sichuan, after seeing the effects of the devastating earthquake that killed over 69 000 people and injured over 370 000. The duet was recorded in mandarin with Guangdong artist DJ Lam and released at a televised concert in Guangzhou, attended by the Qld Trade Commissioner Simon Lee, which helped raise over a million USD for the Chinese Red Cross. A ﬁlm clip, shot on the Sunshine Coast, received wide mass market coverage and promotion for the region in Southern China. https://youtu.be/jzBcrUjc7WA
This whole experience in Southern China showed Nik the power and inﬂuence that music held in the China market and a Chinese team developed around him, who assisted in expanding his music further. Operations were moved up to Beijing, the power centre of Chinese media. The song Reach Around the World (2011) was released through China’s largest pop music label and reached number 3 on the China National Radio Network Chart. https://youtu.be/4dAOvonu7o0
The song Five Star Red Flag saw Nik appearing on China’s largest TV Network. https://youtu.be/QFJbqzT3BCw
Says Nik, “My unexpected China decade has been at the same time, unique, insightful, exhilarating and also the most frustrating and challenging period of my life.
China had never been on my radar. Before going there, the thought of meeting Chinese Government officials, would have been terrifying. I knew absolutely nothing about the real China. Today I have some very senior Government people I count as good friends. I obtained access to the highest levels of Chinese media and music industry sectors. I have sat in “ﬁreside chats” with some of China’s biggest companies discussing their perceptions of doing business with Australia. I have been exposed to insights about the Chinese media, Government, culture, business and daily life, that very few people get the chance to experience.
Most importantly, I have had the chance of being exposed to how wonderful everyday Chinese people are. I hope a lot more Aussies get the chance to experience that.”
Sunshine State Of Mind
Having closed the door on his China journey a couple of years ago, Nik set his sights on exploring how his decades of experience could play a positive role in communities in his home state of Queensland.
“Whether through my live gigs, albums, songs for organisations or my work overseas, I have had a wealth for experience in seeing how music can bring people together, even across cultures and languages” says Nik.
“We are living in a time where we need to have really strong local communities. We need to be looking out for each other. I think music can play a powerful role”.
To this end Nik has set up the Sunshine State of Mind Project. https://sunshinestateofmindproject.com.au
In closing, let’s hand over to Nik’s good friend, legendary music journalist Glenn A Baker - “Simply put, Nik Phillips is one of Australia’s most impressive singer-songwriters".