“Even if you’re different, that’s what makes you who you are”
For nearly a decade, California native Nolan Gross has been a working actor, winning roles on shows like American Horror Story and CSI. But now, the 17-year-old is showcasing another passion: music. Nolan’s debut album, The Path to Forever, was released to rave reviews last month. One song in particular, “12 in the Neck,” is especially poignant and powerful as it sees Nolan opening up about living with Tourette’s Syndrome.
In this exclusive interview, Nolan tells us about discovering his passion for music, his decision to share his journey with Tourette’s, his biggest inspirations, and so much more. Check it out!
Q: How did you discover your love of music?
A: I was 3 years old when I went to my first concert. It’s always been a strong force in my life, and I’ve always been super connected to music, so getting to pursue that passion has been so amazing.
Q: When did it go from a passion to a professional career?
A: It’s the biggest passion of my life, so there wasn’t a big switch to a professional career because I still get to do what I love, but I would say when I released my album to the world and started rehearsing for live shows, it really hit me that all of this is actually happening.
Q: Who are you some of your biggest musical inspirations?
A: There have been so many people that have influenced me throughout the years and have made me so inspired. In the music realm, some of my biggest inspirations have been artists like LANY, Frank Ocean, The 1975, Tyler, The Creator, Kanye, and so many more. In a fashion sense, which also ties into the way that I carry myself in music, people like Steve Lacy & Virgil Abloh, to name a few.
Q: What’s next?
A: I am going to be playing live shows in the next few months, releasing a few new songs that I’ve been working on, and releasing a few more music videos in the weeks to come!
Q: Were you in regular school when you were diagnosed with Tourettes? What was that like?
A: Yes, I was attending school when I was diagnosed and nobody ever pointed it out that they noticed my tics, so I never got bullied for doing weird moments with my face, but it was hard because when things would get stressful at school, my tics would become a lot more intense and would be really draining to my body.
Q: What gave you the courage to open up about it on “12 in the Neck”?
A: “12 in the Neck” was the first song that I wrote, and I had never written a song before, so when I went into the room with some of my dad’s friends who are experienced musicians, they really showed me how to write and articulate what I had been going through for so long. I was never shy about sharing about Tourettes, but I didn’t feel like I had the right opportunity or time to share it. When I got to write about my experience, I knew I wanted to share every aspect of what I went through.
Q: Do you have advice for anyone who might feel different or alone in whatever they’re going through?
A: It’s really easy to feel like you’re different or alone, but in reality, you aren’t alone at all. Even if you’re different, that’s what makes you who you are, so if you start to embrace that and let go of trying to be like everyone else, that’s when you’re going to live your life to the fullest potential.
Check out Nolan’s music video for “12 in the Neck” below!