CN: My birth name is Cameron, and I've always identified with its gender duality, but I loathed the plainness of [my last name]; in general, I loathe plainness. So when I was seventeen, I rechristened my last name to Nico (not just a "drag" name, but my name in all aspects of life)--it's homage to the singer, but more so to Warhol and the great many self-realized superstars of that time. They are my muses: I identify with their self-invention, rebirth, and celebration of individuality and iconography. The power of being truly authentic in being visually unauthentic.
PB: What do you do?
CN: By trade, I'm an actor--I just graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Drama. But truest to my being an artistic identity is contemporary popular music--I'm a vocalist, lyricist, drum programmer, and producer. I posses a naturally feminine and versatile alto singing voice, with a range of around four octaves. The drag is a visual progression and extension of the music and of my own identity of fluidity.
PB: Your current projects; short and long term goals?
CN: My bandmate and I are in the middle of completing our debut release, actually. So short term, this record consumes my life, it's my baby. She's universally fresh rock 'n' roll--heavy electric guitars and ultra-low bass mixed with ample amounts of layered analog synths, hard drumming, soulful vocals and linearly uninclined lyrics, all grounded by an 808 beat! I'm very excited to be sharing it with everyone very, very soon.
Long term, I am continually inspired to spread a particular message of self-love--that we are not ourselves, the externalities that we think complete or define us. What we are does not define who we are, and who we are is not what we are. Our truth is beyond the skin, beyond the visual, which is what drag is really all about. It is a message of love. Love is the drug, is it not?
PB: Indeed... Where does one find Cameron Nico?
CN: At Pearl Lounge on Thursday night, July 15th of course! I am a bit of a recluse these days--I never indulged in the drinking and drugging that came along with nightlife, but I did go out to parties six nights a week for several years, so it all became rather stale to me before I even reached twenty-one. I was the teenage drag queen on the scene! It's all about going to the right party--not every party.
PB: Why New York?
CN: I've had a love affair with New York since the age of eight. So naturally, I did everything in my power to get here and really fought for it. I came here to turn my life into a work of art and my art into life, and to share that artwork and life with others--I was fortunate to discover the message early on and I just knew I had to reflect it back into the universe.
PB: And what is the means to your end(s)?
CN: It's all about choices--and hard, hard work. I will continue to work even harder, and that combined with my ambition, luck (if you will) and faith has gotten me everywhere! It never fails. I strive for happiness, not hedonism and materialistic possessions, but ultimately a life of truth and truthful elegance. I love elegance. As Diana Vreeland once said: The only real elegance is in the mind; if you've got that, the rest really comes from it.