Master of Fun
By Bridgette Cyr
Nick Simmons has never been one to play by the rules.
The son of two teachers, Simmons grew up in Elizabeth City, where music became an escape from small town life. “We would skip school and just go find somewhere to jam,” he said while sitting in his recording studio. “We listened to a lot of ‘80s rock. Skid Row, Poison and Def Leppard. Slash was the main reason I picked up the guitar.”
He became disengaged with school and dropped out of 9th grade while he became increasingly dedicated to music. “I didn’t hate school. It was just more fun to go out and do other things.”
After earning his GED and enrolling in college, Simmons emerged from school with degrees in music and education. He married his college sweetheart, and together they started a family in Raleigh.
When his mother was diagnosed with brain cancer, the family moved back to his childhood hometown where he said he decided, “Okay, it’s time to get real.” He began teaching music at Grandy Primary School and continued to grow as a musician.
His passion for sharing music with a younger generation comes through in his work inside and out of the classroom. “The thing that gets me the most excited is when I get a new idea for a new song or come across a new riff. It’s the best feeling ever. When I’m on stage it’s like a rush. It’s like I’m 10 years old up there.”