Peace Community: Nick Peciak

Written By:
John Molina

Hi, my name is Nick Peciak and this is #MyCanada story. 

I'm Nick, I reside in Kitchener-Waterloo, born in 94' and currently one month away from my 22nd birthday - time flies. Music has always played a big part in my family and as I write this, I'm super glad that it was and still is. I got introduced to Eminem and Limp Bizkit at an early age, which may seem like a negative thing because of the lyrics that the artists are known for, but to be honest that's what turned the switch on for me. I started writing music in 10th grade, it developed out of poetry, which was something I got into because of the girls I developed crushes for. 

Music is life, music is everything. Like many people across this fabulous country of ours music is something that we need on a daily basis to feel alive; to feel energy; and most importantly, to keep us going in all depths of life.

Finding music was a revelation for me because sports were never an option. I was born with a physical disability and therefore, I was limited in numerous physical motions. Music was something that I knew I wanted to keep working on right out of the gate. It is hard to explain how important something can be if the reader is not living in my body and experiencing what I am experiencing. My confidence has shot out of the roof and I can finally say after so many years of dealing with self-doubt, that I'm comfortable in my own skin and appreciate life to the fullest.

I was never the one who wanted to be like someone else, I knew that I was different enough to write my own story; to mark my own path; and to do it not only for myself, but for those who want to be inspired. This story isn't about me boasting about all of my accomplishments, but rather, a story that exemplifies perseverance, guts, a vision, goals, values, and most importantly, change.

We all change throughout life, whether its your clothing style, personality, music choice, or who you hang around with on the weekends. My circle of friends have been the same since early high school, and I'm one week away from graduating at the University of Wilfrid Laurier (no, I'm not a business student). I have to give my support system most of the credit because they are the ones who reinforced the hope and passion within myself. They were the ones who told me my music was good when it was actually trash. That pushed me more than anything because at the end of the day, I was making music for not only myself, but for my peers to enjoy as well. By telling me I was doing well, it made me feel content with my content.

In the year of 2011, I released my first mixtape titled No Telescope, the title may seem a little odd and confusing, but it was an inside joke at the time. I recorded this collection of music at a friends house who had a mini studio in his basement. From the moment after I recorded the first track I fell in love with the process. It's one thing to perform a song to yourself in your bedroom, but it's another thing to hear your voice recorded and mixed. I remember recording four tracks during the first session and being so, so, so anxious to get the songs emailed to me after the mixing was done. The moment I got the songs back and played them through, I fell in love with my music, which was a great sign that I will never forget about. Feeling the love for something I had created at the beginning of my musical journey was so vital for my future success that I didn't recognize it until I got three mixtapes deep. After releasing the initial mixtape on the Internet and to schoolmates via hard CD copies, I knew I wanted to pursue this dream with everything I had in myself. I wasn't going to take a "no" for an answer. The vast amount of love I experienced from my entire high school was phenomenal. I performed at numerous coffee houses throughout the years and every time I performed, I brought with me a massive amount of people who were ecstatic to see me do my thing, with confidence. Music changed my life so much during high school that I literally had the confidence to wear my mothers fur coat to school, on multiple occasions. I honestly did not have a single fear of anything.

Skipping forward to 2014, I was working on my third mixtape, while enrolled in my first year of University. I had bought all of my own recording equipment and setup a studio in my basement cellar. The acoustics were terrible but that was the only place where I could record during the summer nights without waking my parents up. I would stay up until 4 in the morning, constantly writing new songs and recording them. My third mixtape was entitled The Blurry Image and it was the first mixtape I had released in University. I posted it in many Facebook groups hoping that people would click on the Datpiff link and give it a listen. Many did, but many also didn't. I received a handful of DMs from students who enjoyed it and thought it was neat I was partaking in such creativity. This was another example of the power of love and the power of people. Messages that arrived in my inbox were a constant reminder that I was doing something well and clearly on the right path. Performances decreased at this time, but that was okay with me because education at that time was something that I had to put more focus into. Nonetheless, I was catching myself writing songs when I actually should have been studying or working on assignments.

One very important distinction that came to me during a not so pleasant time in my life was the fact that I wasn't valuing my talent as much as I should have been, during times of hardship. Nowadays, reminding myself that I make dope music that people can vibe to is something I do every single day. When times are tough and I'm feeling down on myself, a reminder of my skill-set is something that pushes me in validating my personal worth.

In 2015, I went through a mini identity crisis that ended up altering a big part of the music I was creating. I knew who I was outside of music, but when it came to my identity as a musician, I didn't know if my image was the correct one. After talking to numerous people about possibly quitting music and moving onto something in life, I came to a realization that back when I started doing this music thing, I started it in hopes of reaching my goal, which was to make it big, and not just quit out of no where years down the line. I had put too much work and effort into creating my brand and fan base to just abandon everyone and leave without a legitimate reason. I went through a month-long hiatus and realized that music was always going to be a part of me no matter what. This mini identity crisis lead to a change in my stage name, from Kryptonick to Nicky Columbus. I felt that this was necessary because with a name like Nicky Columbus, it allowed for me to branch off into new musical genres without feeling like I was tied down to just rap and hip-hop. Nicky Columbus was a more broadened name that could fit and work with any genre of music, whereas Kryptonick sounded like a rap name.

This past New Years Eve was a very low-key night for me; all of my friends were out of town and I was left at home, chilling out with my parents. I decided not to force any plans with people who were asking around, and decided to work on the studio I was developing in my basement underneath the staircase. I was sipping on some Sleeman, jamming out to some instrumentals and enjoying the personal time with myself, working on something that could have the potential to make my musical sound even better than what it was at the time. After experiencing that night and reflecting back on the countless of years that I had been making music, I saw a progression in my drive, and that was also something I valued because if I were stay in the basement cellar, recording music in a space where the acoustics were awful, I would have not retuned my sound to make it sound better; I would have kept on pumping out "okay" sounding quality music. I finally wanted to experience that next level quality that I knew I had to achieve in order to make a name for myself.

It is now April 2016, and I'm currently in the works of making my 5th mixtape, which should be coming out in this upcoming summer, and hoping this one makes some noise beyond my city boarders. For the first time ever, I'm planning on diversifying my sound that will incorporate Hip-Hop/Pop/RNB. Ever since the studio under the basement staircase has been finished, I've been constantly grinding away and perfecting my talent. I've noticed numerous changes, for the better, in both my writing skills and how the music quality sounds. I am forever grateful that I found music, because it honestly changed my life so much, and it has me loving life for the first time ever. I have a passion for music, and boy, is it ever strong.

@peacecollective