“I’m trying to release a song every month and half,” says MY MYND’s Nick Costa.
Nick Costa became interested in guitar when he was ten years old. He noticed a friend that he admired playing one and thought he looked cool. Lessons commenced and he became skilled at the instrument at a young age. He concentrated on sports in high school but returned to the six-stringed fold while attending college at the University of California Santa Cruz.
“I took some music classes and got serious with the jazz ensemble,” Costa explained. “I really enjoyed the community of musicians there. I had a lot of fun intermingling with everybody and it just kind of attracted me. I really got into it and knew that I wanted to do something musically.”
He ended up minoring in music, and when he returned to his hometown he pursued a master’s in music from SDSU. It was at the tail end of his graduate studies when he started playing guitar in the Sure Fire Soul Ensemble and immersed himself in the San Diego funk scene. He ended up playing in the band for about six years. Like countless others throughout the history of bands, he left to pursue a solo project.
“I write a lot on my own, so I was just getting that itch to create some new, original music,” he said. “I like to write music, and not just play it. So, I developed the idea of MY MYND in 2018. I was looking for an outlet to be more creative and to be in control of everything I wanted to do, instead of doing what others want me to do.”
MY MYND is a noticeable departure from the funk and soul projects that Costa has been involved with since he returned to San Diego.
“I would say it’s more in that pop/alternative realm with some R&B flavor in there,” he explained. “That kind of always incorporates electronic instruments. Tame Impala is a favorite band of mine, so I think sometimes you hear more synthesized sounds like that with heavy guitar riffs and soloing. I’m trying to incorporate that, but I’m also thinking, ‘What’s a good sound that would work well in a place like The Observatory?’ [A sound] that can really get people moving and jumping but still has integrity in its compositional format.”
Over the past couple of years, Costa has taken MY MYND out to some of the local clubs as a duo with Max Putzolu backing him on drums. Costa handles guitars, vocals and triggers additional backing tracks with pedals. It is quite a shift from playing live in an ensemble where your mistakes can easily get drowned out by numerous bandmates.
“When I’m doing these MY MYND shows I’m more up front, but I think it’s good because I like to be in the front at times and I like to get people riled up. I acted when I was a kid, so I was part of that performance art. I like making people laugh and get off in some way,” he said.
He continued, “I love production value. I always have visions of more production values incorporated into my shows with lights and movement. I was really trying to get on that level this year, but then the pandemic hit. ‘Nope, you’re good. Just write songs in your bedroom for the next year.’”
If you have heard Costa’s MY MYND material and are hoping for a full-length album…well, you may be waiting for a while. He released an EP back in 2018, but the current plan is a march of singles. “When you put out an album it could definitely go untouched because it’s just in that little box — it’s an album,” he said. “Whereas when you put singles out you can kind of layer up what you are going for.”
He continued, “I’m trying to release a song every month and a half right now. I’m also just trying to take my time and have fun. With this pandemic, I’ll wake up sometimes and be like, ‘Good lord, what’s the state of affairs at this point?’ What’s killing me this time is the lack of connection with human beings. I’m a guy that will go up to you and give you a hug and kiss, slap your ass, and say, ‘I LOVE YA!’ Not everybody likes that, but most of my friends do. Right now, it’s so awkward. You have to be like “What’s up? Can I give you an elbow?’ That’s been messing with my psyche, because I’m such a people person.”