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Nick the Native releases new music

Nick Zepeda (Photo Dennis Elliott)

Nick Zepeda, aka Nick the Native, has been writing songs since he was a child, when he would find a quiet space in his garage and write beats on his mother’s laptop computer.

Since then, Zepeda, a Seminole who lives in Naples, has released two EP (extended play) albums and is about to release a third called “What Have We” in April.

“I write about the way everything around me is going,” said Zepeda, 24. “The songs are the story of my outlook on life, society and other things, written in a unique way.”

During the pandemic, Zepeda started writing songs every day. The result was “Eleven Over the Bridge,” a seven song love story about how he met his wife. Zepeda connected with Nashville producer Joel Setien on the album. The EP was released in 2021 to online streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora and others.

“Joel played every instrument and brought my vision to life,” Zepeda said.

For his second EP, “Neaure,” Zepeda brought in his longtime friend David Bonilla as a cowriter and to help with Zoom sessions with Setien. Zepeda describes the album as the story of love entering a new era and getting a fresh, new start.

Zepeda reached out to entertainment manager Michael Luna who was so impressed with the songs, he was able to get the debut of “Neaure” on the front page of Apple Music when it was released in July 2022.
For his latest project – “What Have We” – Zepeda used California-based producer David D. Perez. Zepeda traveled to the West Coast for the production sessions.

“We met in college at Southeastern University in Lakeland,” Zepeda said. “It was the first time we worked together. It was a great atmosphere and it couldn’t have gone any better.”

Over the years, Zepeda’s music has evolved from pop/indy (“Eleven Over the Bridge”) to pop with alternative influences (“Neaure”) to alternative with moments of pop (“What Have We”).

Zepeda doesn’t play any instruments, but comes up with melodies and sings them into a recorder. Then he finds tracks online and adapts them to his songs. By the time the songs are produced, they are unique to his vision.

“The tracks are a starting point to get my gears turning,” he said. “They are more of an inspiration.”

Before he begins a new project, Zepeda knows exactly how he wants it to sound.

“I love being able to tell my story or whatever I’m feeling,” he said. “It’s fun to express myself and give something out to the world that you know people will enjoy. I want to do something fresh and expand the listeners’ minds a little bit. Being Seminole, I also represent Native Americans. It’s cool to show what Natives can do.”

“What Have We” will be promoted on social media including on Zepeda’s Instagram page “Nick the Native,” YouTube and on streaming services in mid-April.

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at