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Nura Selects — Workout Beats, Interview with the Curator

We spoke to musician and personal trainer Nick Milwright from Fitzroy Fitness Club, who curated this month's Nura Selects playlist. Featuring some of his best 'workout beats' we asked Nick to tell us a little but more about his unique relationship to music and fitness.

Nick's background in physical training is diverse - including Martial Arts & ADF military training, classical ballet, contemporary dance, pilates, and yoga. His unique style incorporates mindful movement with resistance training. Nick is also musician and part of Melbourne outfit, Blackchords, where he is on vocals, guitar and keys. We caught up with Nick at Prime Atheltica where he got to try the NuraLoop and show us a little bit of boxing. Read on for more about Nick, this month's playlist and all things fitness and music.

Tell us a little bit about how music and fitness fit into your life?

Music and fitness are literally my life…

I grew up studying martial arts, dance and classical guitar, my parents were into their music and would always play vinyls around the house, so since a young age I’ve been quite obsessed with moving and music.

I loved pushing myself in my training and at 17 I decided to join the army as a bit of an extra kick in the butt…. It was a fun challenge, though I soon realised how necessary creativity is in my life and in the military it's not the most incredibly creative space (strange, I know).  I also realised how much more discipline, drive and fitness there was in ballet and to me that was really inspiring. So, after one hot minute in the army I traded my camouflage for tights and went to study dance at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). I spent a number of years dancing. However a knee injury put me out of action.

Not sure what to do I decided to move to London and there I picked up my guitar again and began writing music. When I returned home I started a band, signed to an indie label and set off touring and playing around the world for the next eight years.

It wasn’t until I was 30 that I realised working in the music industry was not doing wonders for my body, and it was even impacting my music. So I decided to take a hiatus and study fitness with the aim to learn how to look after this thing more than I had been. I found that I absolutely loved this side step and dove in. Learning how to master my own biology and how to help others place the pieces of their own puzzle together.  

I’m now in this wonderful space of splitting my time between running my online fitness business Fitzroy Fitness Club and creating music every day.

What do you listen to when you work out?

When I train I like to listen to songs that I can sing along with or something a little funky that makes me want to move. I find it helps me focus on my breath and train with the least amount of tension. Generally I love songs that I sing really badly to, like ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince or maybe if you are really lucky and happen to be training near me I might even be singing terribly to ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ by The Darkness.

Do you have different playlists for different workouts?

If I’m doing some calisthenics bodyweight training I tend to listen to more Electro and French Electro Pop. Two of my favorite songs at the moment are ‘Moon’ by Kid Fancescoli and ‘Gimme Some’ by Weval.

You're a singer/songwriter/guitarist — does music motivate you in general?

Hell yes. From The Flaming Lips to help me get out of bed in the morning, to Dolly Parton to help inspire me to tidy my house and Teskey Brothers to chill out in the evening and everything in between. Music is everywhere.  

Tell us a little bit about your band Blackchords: how did you come together?

Blackchords is a post rock group. It started off a little bit more on the down beat acoustic side but now heads more into the cinematic and electro spectrum.

We came to meet across various places like the VCA, Band Forums and well… Damian who is one of the guitarists and founding members… we still haven’t ever really figured out how we met… It was a very long time ago in another life I think.

Describe your musical style for our audience?

As mentioned before we call ourselves Post Rock, guitars, electro and cinematic lushness. I’d say we have been influenced by the likes of Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, LCD Soundsystem, Massive Attack, The Beatles and so you could probably draw comparisons and find parts of their DNA in our sound. As much as the sound of these bands have inspired us so too has the fact that they worked to evolve, push the boundaries and are really unique. That is something we want to always strive towards.

Give us a little overview of why you chose the songs you did for the Nura Selects — Workout Beats playlist.

It’s an eclectic mix of some of my favourite new and old tracks to move, train and sing along with.  I wanted to make something that was like an elastic back.  Slowing stretching the elastic back and getting us moving with INXS & Tame Impala during the warm up, then finding the drive and tension of Foals and the Strokes during strength work and then finally letting fly with those late 80’s early 90’s drum machines for our higher intensity section of the workout before gliding through some core work with The Doors and Weval and then coming down for the stretch and cool down with Kid Francescoli and Elder Island.  

Listen to Nick's Nura Selects playlist here:

If you liked this article, you may also enjoy our piece on Music & Movement.

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