Stefan Gandhi Presents: New City Kings

New City Kings is made up of Mark Kovic (lead vocalist/guitarist), his brother Ben Kovic (lead guitarist/vocalist), and Ben Nyari (drummer/vocalist). Formed in 2013, NCK are an Essex based alternative rock band that have created quite a buzz since the release of their debut single ‘Swords & Cannonballs’.

The track was played on a number of widely listened radio stations including Radio 2, Absolute Radio as well as the popular BBC Introducing platform. Their stadium sound has steadily turned heads on both sides of the Atlantic, and in a short time they have managed to secure slots at various prestigious UK and international festivals: Bestival, Download Festival, SXSW, and Indie Week Festival. It doesn’t stop there though, because NCK have even played a sold out headline show at the Borderline – a legendary music venue based in Soho, London.

The band has recently played the main support slot in March and April for McBusted on their 2015 UK arena tour, performing every night to thousands of music fans. On top of this, NCK have also previously opened for The Cribs, Marilyn Manson and London Grammar.

Mark Kovic describes NCK as a “British grass roots band with a lot of American influences”, and with that combination of musical cultures, the innovative young rock band have developed a unique brand sound for their original material that is becoming increasingly noticeable to the eye of the media.

Having self-released the debut EP ‘Change’ in 2014 via their independent label BAM Records, the band would like to break through all boundaries and use this mind-set to prevent any limits on their future creativity.

Despite all of the success that has followed since 2013, NCK has gone through some tough times too. This phase in their career involved having fought through the difficulties of sustaining a living for themselves full-time within the music industry. This is understandable, because as talented as an artist can be these days, the music business is unfortunately killing off artists that just can’t afford to financially support themselves in the long-term. NCK’s latest single ‘Giving Up’ was written about this near demise of the band.

Mark K commented that “Everyone has moments when they can’t face the day and they just want to ‘throw in the towel’. For us, ‘Giving Up’ was a song facing that day and exercising the emotion of it, knowing that it was never an option.”

This track is an expressive rock ballad that definitely reflects the darker moments that NCK went through at the time, and has a message that is clear on the surface to interpret.

The smooth guitar progression in the opening draws the listener in with its warm tone, and this greatly compliments the core of the track that comes in the form of moving lyrics that are passionately sung by Mark. The drum patterns are simple but effective, with the addition of a cool snare reverb hit for emphasis on their stadium rock sound during the verses. The distant vocal harmonies are used well in the mix to further give the impression of a big room feeling throughout the track. This calm vibe in the verse is replaced when the energy lifts in the chorus. With a soaring lead guitar line that has an arena-like tone, there is definitely nothing amateur about the way this chorus has been created. Everything in this track is there for a reason. With interesting instrumentation choices including the use of a piano alongside the band’s set-up, this track has taken things to a whole new level for the band in regard to approaching the mainstream market of the music industry.

“It’s clear that New City Kings have become much bigger than the three of us. It’s a community of people now, and there’s a lot that we owe to making sure that we deliver.” – Mark K.

Future: With plans for another set of releases later in the year, NCK are set to collaborate in August with renowned producer Julian Emery (Lissie, Nothing But Thieves, McFly). They have also just been confirmed for Isle Of Wight Festival, as well as signing to The Agency Group, so 2015 should prove to be an exciting year for the Essex trio!

If you’d like to learn more about the band, you can check them out on Clowdy, SoundCloud, Twitter and Facebook. You can buy their latest single ‘Giving Up’ via iTunes.


Stefan Gandhi

Stefan Gandhi

As a music graduate from Leeds Metropolitan University, I'm passionate about all things music-related, especially undiscovered music!

I currently work in music PR, but also have previous experience as a producer, composer, musician and writer.

I'm always looking for upcoming talent to write about, which is why I use Clowdy as my tool for discovering new music!