An on screen talent, dancer and musician, Nile Bullock fits the mould of a true multi-talented artist. The multi-hyphenate has enjoyed a tremendous year thus far by scoring roles in two projects. Making an impression first in the second season of the Freeform hit series, Cruel Summer, Nile stars as Jeff, who has long harboured a crush on Sadie Stanley’s Megan. In the second season of the summer series, Jeff finally gets the opportunity to make his feelings clear, which bring a good amount of fun, drama and questions to the hit series.
In addition to that, he is also a part of the Disney+ film, Chang Can Dunk. In this coming of age tale, the sports film follows Chang played by Bloom Li who wagers a bet that he can learn how to dunk within a twelve week timeframe. In the film, Nile portrays Owen, a bully and one of Chang’s nemeses.
On top of his acting exploits, Nile also boasts music credentials. A talented musician, artist and writer, who goes by the name, ‘NBTALENTED’, Nile has worked with many artists such as LORDE, Kanye West and Bianca Bonnie. As an indie-artist, he has released a couple different songs, like “Press” & “Crash.” He was also featured on the song, “Soldier” with Akash that accumulated over 100K streams on social media platforms.
Capping off his list of talents is dance. A trained dancer in Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Tap and Contemporary, Nile was a Young Arts winner in 2018 in the Pop Vocalist category and earned Protege Status with the acclaimed dance convention, Pulse on Tour. In this interview with AugustMan, we speak to Nile Bullock to find out more about the roles he plays and his pursuits and passions in both music and dance.
Tell us about the character Jeff you play in Cruel Summer.
Jeff is a character with many layers which you’ll see during the show. He’s sort of the quiet calm and collective one out the bunch but he’s also a big film geek with a huge passion to be a director and make films of his own one day.
I thought the character Jeff was super unique when I first read the script and part of what drew me to the character so much is his trials and tribulations you’ll see him face were super relevant to what was going in my life at the time.
How did you approach this role and the development of the character?
Well, for one I binged watched the first season of the show to begin, and took account of the unique traits of each character as you’ll see in this season. I won’t lie as much as it may have been a challenge at times when it came to playing Jeff; it was actually relatively easy for the most part. I feel like that had a big thing to do with me finding so much relativity in the character itself. You see Jeff go through a lot of emotional changes in the show, which was really funny to experiment with.
What was it like working on Chang Can Dunk?
Chang Can Dunk was truly another crazy experience for me. Definitely a full Circle moment for me considering I always wanted to be in a Disney movie since I was a kid. I was super blessed to be a part of this project, especially because of the strong message it carried with the events we see in the world today when it comes to discrimination and culture in the Asian American community. The role of “Owen” was actually a little bit more on the challenging side for me because I had to play a straight bully, which is definitely not an accurate description of who I am as a person. But it was definitely a super fun character to bring to life.
What draws you to music?
Music has been in my life as long as I can remember, especially with both my parents being musicians. My mom is a singer/songwriter and my dad is a jazz bassist plus my little brother is an actor as well, so I think it’s safe to say I come from a family of artist. My folks grew up playing me a lot of Michael Jackson, Prince, James Brown, and Chris Brown and so on, and I instantly fell in love. Later down the line I started to fall in love with singing, rap and the new age melodic rap with artist such as the late XXXTentacion, Juice WRLD, Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar. This inspired me to start producing and releasing my own music under the name “NBTALENTED”.
Can you tell us more about NBTALENTED?
I came up with NBTALENTED relatively easily. It started off just being my Instagram handle for the longest as I was growing up and it’s seemed to be something that would stick with people. Friends would start to greet me like…“look its NBTALENTED”. When I officially made it my artist name, it just felt like it made sense with everything I’m trying to do in my career and who I am as an artist.
What appeals you most about dance?
Dance was my first passion before acting or anything else, which I trained in professionally for 18 years at Broadway Dance Center in NYC. Hip hop is my favourite style but I’m trained in tap, ballet, jazz, contemporary and a couple other styles. Dance to this day means the world to me; I find everything about it appealing. The culture, style, music and passion of dance has propelled me through every aspect of my career, I even taught dance to kids at a numerous amount of studios these last couple years.
Of all your passions and pursuits, which one is your favourite?
I get this question the most frequently, and since all of those things are a part of me I like to think of myself as one with all of them. But I guess if I had to choose, I’d say music and dance take the tie. Don’t get me wrong, I love acting as much as I love the rest but there can be a lot of time spent waiting around when I’m not working on a project. Music and dance is like breathing for me and I can literally do it at any time or any place when I feel the inspiration coming.
(Photos: Tarrice Love Photography)