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Young & Sick adds music to visual artistry

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Nick Van Hofwegen, aka Young & Sick, really doesn't need to have a career in music.

The Dutch-born artist is a prolific music visual artist, with credits that include Maroon5, Robin Thicke, Foster the People and many others. But Van Hofwegen says he's "always been doing both" since a young age, and he acknowledges that the visual projects certainly helped grease the skids for him to star making his own music -- starting with the 2012 single "House of Spirits" and this year's self-titled debut album.

"They kind of all helped each other, of course," says Van Hofwegen, 27, who's based in Los Angeles and New York. "If you're doing two things and one lifts you up a bit, the other will go with you. I made a lot of contacts through doing art for people and had been making music for along time. I wasn't sharing it too much, but at some point I decided my (visual) stuff was in front of enough eyes to get things moving.

"So I just started to put out a few songs and get people believing in the idea. That led us to start talking with labels, but even then we weren't thinking about putting something out, officially. We kept a lot of them waiting for along time 'til we met with all of them and realized what was going to work out. It felt really natural."

Though he started out playing in a punk band, Van Hofwegen's style in Young & Sick is a soulful blend he says was influenced by Steely Dan and D'Angelo, among others. But after touring with a live band he expects things to change the next time he gets back in the studio.

"I see the guitar making its way back into my music, a lot, 'cause it has been lately, live," Van Hofwegen says. "I did the record on my own in Brooklyn, but after playing with the band I'm touring with, I'm getting closer to them and I think they're going to their way in and future productions will be more of a band thing. That's a natural progression, and I'm looking forward to it."

Young & Sick performs Wednesday, June 11, at the Pike Room in the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 day of show. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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