A Scottish war veteran who swapped his assault rifle for a guitar released his first solo single.
Former Royal Marine Nicky Aiken from Aberdeen drew on his gritty experiences in war-torn Afghanistan and gruelling commando training when writing I’m on Fire.
The track is all about not giving up and pushing through barriers to get you where you need to be.
Nicky, 40, said: “I wrote ‘I’m on Fire’ after leaving my last band and this is now my first single after becoming a solo artist again.”
He doesn’t like to pigeon-hole his music but if pressed Nicky said his new single is somewhere between blues and modern rock.
“I’ve had my share of hard knocks but commando training is all about pushing beyond what you think your limits are, staying focused and staying positive no matter what you’re going through,” he said.
“This song tumbled out of me with such energy and forcefulness I knew it was right immediately.”
Nicky is convinced that his military training taught him to focus his talents and energies to overcome life’s challenges and to achieve his goals.
“You grow up quickly in the military and while other people my age were out partying I spent my 21st birthday on an Afghan mountain.”
“The training teaches you how to get on with things no matter how hard or uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful,” he said.
Being prepared to spring into action at a moment’s notice paid off in November 2021 when he was called up to open for Marti Pellow at the Music Hall in Aberdeen, just one day before the show.
Nicky said: “I might have faced the Taliban but opening up for Marti Pellow in front an Aberdeen audience was terrifying.
“When I got on stage I was told to say ‘my name’s Nicky and I’m from Aberdeen,’ but I forgot and blurted out ‘fit like’ and started playing.
“I don’t think they were expecting a toonser and it went down a storm and the audience was even singing along by the end of my set.”
Nicky is currently crafting a kit bag full of songs and is planning a tour in the summer.