Nicholas Lofton Hexum (born April 12, 1970) is an American musician and songwriter, currently the vocalist and guitarist for the multi-platinum alternative rock band 311 and for The Nick Hexum Quintet.
Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Hexum went to Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. There he played in the school's concert jazz band, and played in several local bands like "The Extras","The Ed's," "The Right Profile," and "Unity." In the late 1980s Nick moved to Los Angeles to pursue music, but he found his opportunity back home in Omaha just a couple of years later. His friend and future band mate, Chad Sexton, convinced him to move back to Omaha to start a band with other friends Aaron Wills and Jim Watson; this is the band that would eventually take the name 311.
311 began playing together in 1988. In 1990 Nick realized the only way for 311 to gain notoriety was to release albums, so Nick started his own record company called "What Have You Records" and used it to begin releasing 311 titles. The band released three albums, Dammit!, Unity, and Hydroponic, as well as one EP, Downstairs EP, before signing to Capricorn Records in 1992.
311 has sold over 9 million albums/DVD's in the US. They have had 7 albums in the Top 10 on Billboard's US Top 200 Sales Chart. They have had 9 singles in the Top 10 on Billboard's US Alternative Chart (including three #1 singles). 311 has headlined amphitheaters in the US for the past 11 consecutive summers.
Personal life and other projects:
Hexum produced the Gold-selling soundtrack to the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore film 50 First Dates - including songs for Seal, Jason Mraz, etc.
Hexum appeared on the Joe Strummer track "It's A Rockin' World", from Chef Aid: The South Park Album alongside Flea and Tom Morello. Hexum contributed vocals for the track "Age of Consent" on the Neverending White Lights CD in 2006. Neverending White Lights is fronted by Daniel Victor and features various notable artists mainly from Canada and the United States.
Hexum collaborated with The Urge on "Jump Right In" on the Urge's Masters of Styles album, was featured on "Stay On" from Sugar Ray's 2001 self-titled album and has done reggae/hip-hop remixes for Lenny Kravitz, and No Doubt. Throughout 2010, Nick had several different solo performances outside of 311.
Nick Hexum bought a private island vacation rental off the coast of Florida, and has renamed the island from Money Key to Melody Key. Melody Key was available to be purchased for $4,900,000 and can also be rented. Nick announced he sold the island on March 17, 2011 because his priorities had changed and was not able to get to the island as much as he wanted.
Hexum also created a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting various environmental causes called Liberal Hexum, which focuses on global warming. Nick completed the Los Angeles Marathon as his first charity event; accepting per mile pledges to be donated to his PAC.
"Ginsing Clothing" (presumably a musical-reference spelling variant of "ginseng") is a clothing line owned and operated by Nick, started in the late 1990s.
During the 2004 presidential election, Nick hit the road with his brother, Zack Hexum, who is also a musician in support of John Kerry. They covered some of their favorites from bands like The Clash, XTC, Bob Marley, The Beatles, Coldplay, Radiohead, and others as well as playing some of their own songs. Despite Kerry's loss, the Hexum brothers stayed positive and continued on with their individual endeavors.
Nick still uses his label, What Have You Records, to produce other artists such as Pepper, The Matches, and Zack Hexum, his younger brother. Nick met Nicole Scherzinger, of the Pussycat Dolls, backstage at a Days of the New concert in 2000 or 2001. They dated and later became engaged, but broke it off sometime in 2004.
Nick married Nikki, a writer/painter who had worked with Val Kilmer and Robert Evans for years, on New Year's Eve 2008. Their daughter, Echo Love Hexum, was born in a home birth on August 29, 2009. Their second daughter, Maxine, was born May 1, 2011 - also Nikki's birthday. Due to the absence of his family's midwife, Nick performed the delivery.
In August 2013, Hexum announced The Nick Hexum Quintet - a side-project featuring Nick Hexum, Zack Hexum, Gary Novak, Luke Miller & Andres Rebellon. The debut album from The Nick Hexum Quintet, titled "My Shadow Pages" is due October 1, 2013 on What Have You Records via a partnership with INgrooves/Fontana. The album was produced, recorded & mixed by Jim Scott (Wilco, Jason Mraz, Tom Petty, Sting). Stylistically the album is a bit of a departure from Hexum's work with 311; mixing elements of funk, jazz, pop, rock, soul, reggae and blues. In a press release for the album, Hexum said "311 is and always will be my main priority. We just launched our annual summer tour and we'll have a new 311 album coming in 2014. But The Nick Hexum Quintet album is something I've wanted to do for a long time. It's a passion project that allows me to spread my wings as a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist. I'm really excited for people to hear it."