MNYS – AKA Nick Cozine – made his name over a decade working on other artists’ projects – most recently ‘Thought It Was’, written for Iann Dior featuring Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker. Now, he’s pushing out alone with a brand new EP. We asked him to run us through it, front to back.
I think it’s important to know that I’m originally from Paterson, NJ but now live in Los Angeles, CA.
Growing up, I had the most supportive parents and family – but we really struggled financially. I’ll spare all the details, but I remember going to a friend’s house for a sleepover, and it would put into perspective just how little my family had.
I was always surrounded completely by love – but I knew that I needed to get out of my small town and chase something bigger; while in pursuit of that – I’ve lost friends and a piece of myself.
I moved to LA in 2019 and quickly realised that everyone is just trying to impress other people with stuff that doesn’t even matter. I find myself able to afford a cup of coffee whenever I want, yet surrounded by people who don’t care about anything other than their status.
‘Garden Statement’ is about navigating these different personalities throughout my life, reminiscing about how New Jersey carries some of the best memories in my heart.
While I’ve been fortunate enough to move across the country and chase a dream, I never expected how it would affect my relationships with friends. A lot of them were once musicians or creatives and have since given up the dream. I’ve worked countless jobs – from coffee shops to the corporate world – all while pursuing music. I would work all day and then run to any session I could get my hands on to make sure I was still putting in the work. There are obstacles that you have to overcome if you pursue anything in this industry, especially the illusion that one song or connection is going to change your life. Maybe that happens for some, but the reality lies in the hundreds of songs and numerous hours of talking to people you don’t even know that you get to see even a little progress. “Backseat” was written once I understood how it all worked – I gained confidence and now just ignore the noise.
Sometimes I feel like I’m falling without a parachute. Spiralling out of control – it’s really overwhelming.
Oddly, I didn’t have my first panic attack until music became my full-time job. I’ve worked full-time since graduating college and made decent money producing/writing for other artists. When I signed my first publishing & record deal – it was all I ever dreamt of to consider myself “successful.” But the extra sense of pressure began to creep in – “People are investing in you, Nick; you have to deliver!” I’ve realised it’s very much a luxurious problem to have, but it’s a problem that I continue to struggle with. ‘Panic Again’ is about the only person in the world who can help me stop from falling: my fiancé.
Nostalgia – it’s a funny thing. When something reminds you of someone or a memory, feelings can go either way. Especially if that person is no longer a part of your life. I wrote “Everything’s Fine” about loss – how sometimes that random memory can ignite certain unwanted emotions. Grief can invade you; it’s uninvited and out of your control – but after a few moments, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and continue moving forward. As cliche as it is, I find truth behind the phrase, “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened!”
I went to Nashville for the first time in August of last year, and ‘Grey’ was one of the first songs I wrote. It’s about the gloomy feeling someone can leave you with when you no longer talk to them, growing apart and not really ever understanding why. There’s no ill-will, just distance. I’ve learned people grow apart from each other, and that is okay.
This music journey has been a rollercoaster, and I hope these songs do something for whoever is listening; I know it did for me.
Taken from the July issue of Upset. MNYS’ new EP ‘… Before The Internet’ is out 17th June.