Nico Casal

Nico Casal

At his home studio in Hackney, London. U.K.

Nico is originally from Galicia, and has a serene presence. There is something about him that intrigues me right away, as he talks calmly about what it involved to become a music composer. He mostly works on film projects, as constantly strives to develop musical ideas to adapt to the scenes and pace of a narrative. He has talent and enthusiasm, qualities that come in very handy when working in the burgeoning film industry in London, where many movies are currently being made, and where he also lives part time.

But in our conversation on this English summer morning, he recalls always having wanted to be an architect. He started playing on an electric piano as a hobby, and at 18 he saw the possibility of making piano playing his chief craft, so he went on to enroll in music in Vigo to acquire his Bachelor of Music.

At 21, Nico started teaching, and by 2009 he had finished the 'Superior Degree' in music. Subsequently he got involved in local film shoots, and thus started his journey of making music for moving images. He could see a creative outlet finally emerging from his years of practice and study, but which didn’t necessarily have to involve performing as a career path. He went with it, and worked on several short film subjects, and when things got too comfortable and settled in Galicia, he got thirsty for adventure, and decided to move to London.

Nico spent some time in search of scholarships that would allow him to travel to London and study for a masters degree. When settled there, he kept composing for various projects until one particular TV commercial changed his life. Suddenly he found he was pitching to production companies, contacting everyone he could, and asking people to look at his work. Interest in his portfolio started to build, and he is happy to confirm that things have been growing exponentially since that time.

He plays a few pieces for me, and then we walk around his neighborhood in East London. As we stroll through an attractive park with its brick underpasses, I listen to his good-natured chatter, and it is fascinating to hear about his projects. His musical contribution - along with those of the cast and crew of Stutterer - won the talented team an Oscar for Best Short Film at the Academy Awards last year.

Next time we see each other, he has come for meetings in Los Angeles, the very hub of the film industry itself. He is clearly happy and full of anticipation, as he has receives good feedback while on his Hollywood trip. Nico is enjoying an inspiring career and, to see someone so humble and kind achieving his lifetime goals, is invigorating.