“It’s not something I can stop doing,” Nick Cardilino says of his singing and songwriting. “Music is one of the main ways I look at the world. My brain just thinks in meloldies. If people wouldn’t think I was crazy for breaking into song, I would be just like those characters in Broadway musicals who sing their conversations and their inner thoughts.”
Nick’s four CDs–The Birthday of Love, Discover the Way, More, and The Workings of Grace are shining examples of that way of thinking, and expose Nick’s wide and various musical influences. His lyrics also demonstrate wide diversity, creativity, and craftsmanship. Some songs tell traditional Christian stories in new ways like “Discover the Way,” “Nothing in the Eyes of the World,” and “Dancin’ on the Water.” Others are classic love ballads like “More” and “(Loving You is) A Prayer.” Still others take the listener into the heads of interesting characters like the ones in “The Christmas Machine,” “You Can’t Take It With You” and “Mini-van Man.”
Although Nick has been involved in music since childhood, he only started writing seriously in college, when he co-wrote two musicals that were produced at his church. Since then he has had songs featured on three songwriter compilation albums and had songs cut on albums by recording artists Sean Clive, Teresa Smith, Amplify, and Alisha Lynn. He has also won a number of songwriting competitions including being part of two teams that won the Tunesmith competition in Nashville in 2005 and 2006, winning first place in the Christian category in the Songdoor International Song Contest in 2010, and winning Channel 22 and 45’s “It’s Where You Live” theme song contest.
His biggest success to date is having two songs he co-wrote to be the theme songs of the 2007 and 2011 National Catholic Youth Conference. The 2007 theme song “Discover the Way” is now published by OCP/spiritandsong.com. The 2011 theme song is called “Called to Glory.”
By day, Nick is a Catholic campus minister at the University of Dayton. “A lot of the inspiration for the songs I write comes from the experiences of the college students I work with,” he says. He also works part time as a music minister at the Church of the Holy Angels in Dayton and plays occasional church and coffeehouse gigs and wedding ceremonies. He also volunteers as one of the co-coordinators of the Dayton regional chapter of NSAI (aka the Songwriters Workshop).
Nick and his wife Anne Marie have been blessed with three children they are very proud of: Christopher, Mary Joy and Anne Marie. “My family is a great inspiration for many of my songs,” Nick says. “More importantly, they understand when my head is in songwriting mode.”
“Although it would be nice if something I wrote made me a lot of money, fame, and recognition, what really matters to me is when people tell me that something I wrote touched them very deeply,” Nick says. “If God uses this gift to help someone shed a healing tear or reminds someone to tell a friend, ‘I love you,’ or encourages someone to see a new aspect of our limitless Creator, then I think I’ve fulfilled my call.”