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Friday 26 November 2021

The Skipping Girl: Children's Book & Companion Album From Jaded Hearts Club Member Nic Cester Is Out Now

Nic Cester is renowned for his debut solo album Sugar Rush as well as being part of the all-star rock n' roll collective The Jaded Hearts Club and for his huge breakthrough success with Jet. 

But now the singer-songwriter reveals a very different side to his creativity as releases his debut children's book and companion album Skipping Girl.
Multiple factors influenced Nic's desire to write a children's book. 

As a father stuck in lockdown, he had the responsibility of finding ever more imaginative ways to keep his daughter Matilda entertained at their home in Milan, Italy. 

His own storytelling was inspired by the tales his own father would conjure back when Nic was a child, using sights from their home city of Melbourne as the launchpad for his fervent imagination. 

On a subconscious level, it also gave Nic a fresh connection with the place he grew up - a city that he has been unable to return to for several years now. 
It was the famous Skipping Girl sign that sits gracefully above Victoria Street, Melbourne, that triggered Nic's creative process. 

And so commenced a story in which the Skipping Girl embraces life and all of its riches. 
"I was looking at it during a pivotal moment in my life," he recalls. 

"For the first time I saw it as a metaphor. On the surface it's very beautiful and colourful and lights up the skyline, but there's also a deep sadness to it. 

"For me, it's always been very melancholic because it"s a child who is trapped in this eternal loop that"s not going anywhere. 

"And for me that was a really powerful metaphor for someone who is trapped in a repetitive loop of any kind: it could be alcoholism, an unhappy relationship, or a job that you're dissatisfied with." 

Nic had originally planned to collaborate with an author for the book, but his own supposedly rough draft of the text attracted the attention of a publisher. 

The idea had lurked in the back of his mind for some time and suddenly it was taking shape, with Richolly Rosazza coming on board for its childlike but also intricately detailed illustrations. 
The companion album works on two levels. On one hand, they offer chapters of where the Skipping Girl's future adventures may have taken her. 

But they also allow the adult emotions behind the story, which are too nuanced to be conveyed in a children's book, to come to life. 
Nic adds: 

"The songs are a mix of vignettes of stories from my own life, with stories from my own childhood, and ideas I'd like to impart upon my daughter. 

"Hopefully when she grows up, she can listen to the songs and explore those ideas a little deeper." 
Skipping Girl is available in English and Italian (Uno Giorno Una Ragazza') editions, and physical formats via THIS LINK.

by: Mike Cobley


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