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The Songs of Our Streets: Nicholas Cangiano

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

Nicholas performing at Notre-Dame this summer, picture by Anne Paule.

By Mariana Chajon

Nicholas Cangiano is a regular performer at Notre-Dame; originally from North Bay Ontario, he’s decided to settle in Montreal due to the vibrant busking scene.

He came to Montreal in the summer of 2018 and played his music in the metro. He recollects there were a few challenges that summer, from being alone in the city and the indifference of people to the vulnerability of exposing your music to such a variety of people. He went back to North Bay for the winter.

When asked about his beginnings in music, he recalls a household that encouraged him to try different outlets to express himself and being drawn to the violin and the cello. He says,

“I was definitely the type to run around with hair brushes […] definitely the performer type”.

He later grew more inclined to the piano and the guitar; even if he’s more experienced in piano, the style of music he wants to achieve, looping build-ups, is tied to the guitar. In this particular style, his inspiration is Tash Sultana, an Australian musician; in life in general, his inspiration is his dad. “He’s an avid music lover, been to thousands of concerts […] all the bands you’d want to see back in the 70s”, he tells us.

Even if his household and friends are incredibly supportive of his musical career, Nicholas says North Bay’s music scene is not ideal, which is why he decided to move to a bigger city, where he could seize more opportunities. Yes, there was Toronto as an option, but Nicholas prefers Montreal for its energy and because of his previous busking experience in 2018. This summer nonetheless, after moving in with a friend and two other musicians, he got a busking permit to play outside the metro, on the streets; a new format of performance.

The feedback he got this summer from his performances was extremely satisfying, even if, as all artists, he doesn’t feel like his music is “quite there yet”. For Nicholas, performing at Notre-Dame can be sometimes overwhelming, sometimes laid-back, but he admits he likes it better than most regular venues; it is raw. However, the cold months are approaching, and for this fall and winter season, he’s looking forward to playing at bars and to see what opportunities and challenges will come his way.

You can follow Nicholas’s musical journey on his Instagram: @nicholascangiano and Youtube page: Nicholas Cangiano; as for listening to his music, his latest release, Off the Wall is on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp and Soundcloud.



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