Nick Begbie (Australia)
Nick Begbie grew up in a very musical family, with a tertiary vocal/cello graduate in his father and a tertiary piano graduate in his mother, and yet only really began his musical career when he was 17 - in an attempt to earn money for a trip to Japan. Teaching himself (with a piano chord dictionary and a good ear) to accompany his own singing, Nick found himself busy from the age of 19 as piano-man-child belting out pop covers several times a week around Canberra (Australia’s capital city) and the nearby snow fields (when there was snow).
He graduated from The Australian National University (ANU) in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies (Japanese/Linguistics) and has been singing professionally since 1990. Throughout his years of university study piano-bar gigging, he auditioned for and became lead tenor with the Canberra School of Music’s vocal jazz ensemble, toured with that group and was a featured soloist on their first CD. This experience cemented his love of vocal jazz.
Since his exploration into the world of performing began, Nick has been involved in an eclectic variety of musical groups - as a piano/vocalist, as a soloist and lead in musical theatre (roles include ‘Hero’ from Sondheim’s ‘A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum’, and Jesus in Lloyd-Weber’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’), lead singer and front-man of a pop/funk big band and numerous smaller jazz ensembles as well as a member of a wide range of a cappella vocal groups. One of these, a cabaret septet ‘The Singing Waiters’, and the 1997 Australian champion barbershop quartet ‘Four To The Bar’.
All of these were but mere sideline projects to what was to become his career, when in 1998 Nick professionalised (is that even a word?) the a cappella quartet he and three friends had founded in 1993 – The Idea of North. He ‘retired’ from all other groups and musical pursuits to explore his love of jazz and contemporary a cappella through the now multi ARIA award- winning ensemble he has led since its inception. The Idea of North has won 2 ARIA Awards (Australia’s Grammy Awards) and recorded 13 albums thus far, and are Australia’s best loved, most awarded and longest running contemporary vocal ensemble in Australia.
Nick lives in Sydney with his family, two toy poodles and a jungle carpet python (mostly in different spaces), is a keen cook and DIYer and spends his spare time improving the family home, one expertly-installed picture hook at a time.