top of page

From Blue Ridge to California: The Musical Journey of Nick Sabia

Erica Machen

Apr 24, 2024

Nick Sabia’s new release “Back East” is a peaceful trek through nature.

In the vast landscape of the music industry, it is refreshing to come across an artist with such a unique blend of talent, passion, and dedication that sets him apart from the rest. Nick Sabia is a musician and storyteller who invites listeners on a journey through his day-to-day reflections and cherished memories through the use of vivid stories and relatable lyrics.

With numerous releases since 2022, Nick has been steady creating new music, and his newest song, “Back East”, is out today on all streaming platforms. From his Blueridge Mountain adventuring roots to his current home in California, Nick Sabia's music reflects a reverence for nature and a longing for authenticity and simplicity in an ever-evolving and changing world. "Back East" was mixed by John Lousteau at the legendary Studio 606—the home studio of The Foo Fighters—and is a solid and enjoyable track with a deeply personal and introspective journey.

After our exclusive early listen to “Back East,” we were able to delve into the essence of Nick’s craft, exploring the intricacies of his songwriting process, his personal growth and transformation on his music, and valuable lessons learned from collaborating with industry legends.

Throughout his career, Nick has collaborated with luminaries such as Grammy winners Charlie Colin (Train) and Jeff Silbar (Fleetwood Mac, Alabama, Dolly Parton), Grammy nominee Ronnie King (Mariah Carey, Tupac, Snoop Dog), producer Lewis Richards (Dirty Heads), and iconic musicians like Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray) and Lap Steel Legend Gary Brandin. Drawing from these experiences, Nick has honed his craft and embraced a diverse range of influences, from folk-inspired melodies to darker tones reminiscent of Chris Stapleton.

We were able to chat with Nick recently about his latest release and much more, so check it out, and then go stream his new song, "Back East" on your favorite streaming platform.

MaM: You’ve been described as a musical artisan, weaving stories through your songs. How do you approach songwriting to create such emotive narratives?


NS: I think I shift through things like panning for gold. Some days you find things that aren't quite as potent. But it's more like the continual seeking of it. If I can make it daily, I can't always, but it's usually a daily adventure into myself or into how I'm feeling. And then half of the time, you come out the other side with something potent and really meaningful.

Photo provided by artist


MaM: You've mentioned embracing change and moving past the ghost of the past. How does your music help you navigate personal growth and transformation?


NS: It becomes a daily or pretty consistent thing, like a journal or therapy. It's better for everyone when you're creating, otherwise you feel a burden for not using your gifts. Going through consistency allows you to compartmentalize emotions. I'm pretty emotional, and without music, I'd probably not contain it well. Writing music is cathartic, a way to have catharsis. It's fun, realizing there's more to you than meets the eye. I'm still figuring stuff out at 29, but it's a journey, you know. It's just fun.


MaM: I love that. Look, it's okay, I'm 39 and I'm still figuring it out.


NS: We all are. No one really gets it. There’s nothing like the high of listening to a song that you just demoed and driving home. I don’t think anything I could ever do could really amp me up the way that amps me up. I live off that high.

Photo provided by artist

MaM: I noticed you have worked with some industry legends and at renowned studios. What have been some of the most valuable lessons you've learned and from whom?


NS: There was a period of time when I wrote with Jeff Car, the old-time cat who wrote "Wind Beneath My Wings." That guy has been writing for 60 years, while it's only been eight or ten for me. He would just sit there, be quiet, and listen to the wind for a second. I soaked in anything I could learn from him. He still takes it step-by-step with how he's feeling that day. Taking a walk was something big when you're stuffed up and need a break or need to figure out a line... He said, "Just go take a walk."


MaM: Hey, sometimes simple advice is the best advice.


NS: You know, it's like, go take a walk and you'll probably figure it out without overthinking. It becomes an extension of your arm or soul. I learned to let go of overthinking and crafting to fit a mold. Working with these free-flowy folks, they maintain a youthful spirit. Retaining that sense of youth and wonder is vital. Listen to each day, stay receptive, and observe life.

MaM: You're often inspired by nature, I've seen, and the places that you love - with "Chattanooga" and then your newest release "Back East". So, how does your connection to nature influence your songwriting process?


NS: Quite a bit. The root of it is that nature reminds me I'm a creationist. When I go out, I see creation and I'm just blown away by it. It humbles me and puts me in a still perspective. I feel as though, when I'm out there, that society and all these things are a funny distraction. For me, it's just a way to re-establish my feet on the ground and remind myself that I am significantly insignificant. It's easy to be cooped up in the studio all the time when all I am doing is recording and doing music stuff. It's [nature] just a way for me to really step outside my box and breathe. When I'm really in it, I don't want to hear music. I want to hear the birds. I really use it as a means to fill up my well of inspiration. Knowing I’m going to go back to the city, It's like soaking up the waterfall, the light and the birds.


MaM: Can you share a bit more about the real-life experiences and the actual places that inspired you and what you want the fans to take away from “Back East”?


NS: Since I was four, I've been going to north Georgia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, to visit my dad. We would go stream hunting, explore abandoned houses, and crawfish in rivers. It was really adventurous. It felt like that Disney type of vibe. California is beautiful in these "pockets." Kind of like Joni Mitchell says-- Tree museums and parks. I'm lucky and have a little slice of a fake country thing here, but I am actually next to the number one grossing mall in America.


It was really hectic on New Years Eve of last year, and I just thought "I'd rather wade in a river than wait in a line." I thought, that's a line, a pretty cool line!  I just want people to be understood. It's more like a longing for it that I am trying to capture. There's plenty of people out there that long for that, and I feel like it can be a song to remind them of what they love and where they are.

MaM: As an artist, and especially with you relocating to California, how do you stay true to your authenticity while also experimenting and evolving creatively?


NS: That's such a good question. I would say, a big thing is avoiding boxes. I'm very conscious about the typical thing of putting a person in a box. I get it, I have a beard, I wear this, I have long hair, I'm from the country, I play guitar, I can sing… So, therefore, I am that, you know? I just think that's a very elementary way to look at humans and art. It's really basic. So I try not to. It might be that branding is easier, but if that's my priority, then I'm not in the right mindset.


Some days I'm just feeling Mac Miller-ish, I'm in a good mood, and I'm like, "Yeah, let's bop, let's just pop our heads," and I go make a bop, you know? Or I came back from Vegas and make this dark, kind of Vegas-style song, because I was just in Vegas.

Credit: Artist website

MaM: I love it. It's like a commercialized restaurant versus privately owned and operated. You know, you don't have to limit your menu whenever you have control of that.


NS: You can change the menu every week. Some people love the fact that there's a real chef back there doing real artisanal things that's changing the menu every week. I'm definitely leaning into my roots more. Growing up, I watched CMT every day of my life. I definitely love the country, and it is still totally who I am. I just think that it's not all of who I am.

Photo provided by artist


MaM: Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals for your music career? And how do you envision your sound evolving in the future? Do you have a plan for that?


NS: I wouldn't say I have a literal plan, but I would say I definitely will branch out because of what we just talked about. I will not allow myself to be one thing. For the near future, for the next few months, it's gonna be the folk and more acoustic. I'm starting to view music more from a producer's lens and say "This studio is great for this flavor, and this studio is great for this flavor," you know, different. I really want to keep it kind of raw too. "Back East" was a raw demo that I made in about an hour, the day after I wrote it. Even if I did redo it, it probably wouldn't be as good, like capturing fireflies. It wouldn't be as honest as it was that day. I'm gonna keep it cohesive. It's gonna be a flow, but it'll amalgamate to some different things down the line.

Photo provided by artist

MaM: Is there anything you would like to tell us about coming next?


NS: In the next couple of songs after this [“Back East”] it's gonna be darker tones, more like Chris Stapleton tone of vocals. It's just a little more intense, and that's kind of fun.


Also, there's a remix my friend is doing of "Wearing Down." It's a song I already have out. It should come out about a week or so after “Back East.” It just shows what things could be, I suppose. I do like that it kind of throws people off for a second… Like, "What the heck?”

Nick Sabia is an extraordinary musician with a clear vision. With his unique sound and passionate storytelling, I have a feeling he'll be captivating audiences worldwide soon. It is clear that this leg of his musical journey is only the beginning, so keep an eye out for Nick, as he is poised to make a lasting impact on the music scene for many years to come.

*cover photo provided by artist

For more information on Nick Sabia and his music, visit:

Questions or comments? Reach out to

bottom of page