Being the son of Steven Heller and Louise Fili, it comes as no surprise that Nico Heller, more famously known as New York Nico, inherited his parents’ artistic eye and talents.
This American documentary film director is making noise around the big apple as the city’s favorite native talent scout.
But even though the apple doesn’t fall from the three, Nico’s the kind who keeps on rolling away from his tree to create his mark on the world- most especially in New York.
Nico Heller started as a music video director for new artists. Carrying his DSLR camera and editing skills, he first directed and shot low-budget rap videos. According to him, he still carries this skill set up to this day as an American documentary film director.
How does Nico scout New York talents
Nico Heller, better known on social media as New York Nico or @newyorknico, is the kind of creator whose content goes beyond the boundaries of the social media influencers industry.
Through his content, New Yorkers and the world are able to experience New York life virtually with his authentic content starring actual New Yorkers. His posts do not contain him promoting someone or advocating for a brand or artists.
New York Nico is the bridge between New York Culture and New Yorkers.
His scouting talents are rooted in his love for meeting people and walking around New York. From buskers to strangers he walked past in the streets of New York, talents are found and shared by Nico.
“You’re kinda free to express yourself however you want in New York.”
My biggest motivation is loving what I do and Loving New York.”Nico Heller, Topps
His creative process
Basing everything on what he grew up into, Nico has high respect for what his fellow New Yorkers love. That’s why when he recreates classic tokens and memorabilia he was hesitant at first to go all out and far from the original’s content and artistic details.
Nico also learned that in capturing the nostalgic emotions of New Yorkers, hiding easter eggs is one of the easy ways to go. Adding his process of conducting research to actually walking around New York to meet the artistic and chaotic character of his city.
Growing up with artistic parents gave him the skill to see what ordinary people cannot, and its the art and talent of the weirdest and coolest strangers you meet.
His big role as New York Nico
One of the many reasons he is considered a favorite talent scout for NYC is because of his eye for the value of the city’s hidden gems.
This became more evident when the pandemic struck New York and locked its colorful people in their homes.
Nico widened his lenses to local businesses and specialty shops around New York.
From sharing about the daily lives of the people of New York, Nico started #MOMNPOPDROP. This has become his free ad space for local businesses around the city that were on the brink of their closures.
Nico did not only want to introduce the culture of his people but also to the small stores and specialty shops New Yorkers tend to walk past pre-pandemic.
His most viral in #MOMNPOPDROP was Henry Yao’s @armynavybags which received 50,000 dollars in its GoFundMe account just a couple of days after being posted.
This made Nico realize the potential of his platform in uniting New Yorkers to save every local business they can. Nico’s artistic eyes were able to see how these small businesses had their own specialties that contributed in their own ways to the culture he grew up into.
“I know for a fact that once they close for good, that’s when people are gonna start crying and posting. So I really just want to get the word out so people can still support these businesses while they’re still around.”Nico Heller, New York Live TV
In 2021, Nico partnered with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City in a collaboration of bringing new voices and new meaning to New York City’s subway and bus announcements.
Bringing together various famous artists such as Akwafina, The Kid Mero, Eric Andre, Bob the Drag Queen, Whoopi Goldberg, and many other New Yorker icons, Nico connects New Yorkers in the most fun and iconic way possible.
“The city’s subways and buses–and the range of characters who ride them–have always been central to my work and I’m so grateful that I could help bring some of the most recognizable voices of iconic New Yorkers to the system.”New York Nico, MTA
With scripts written by MTA, Nico, and the guest artists themselves, every New Yorker’s commuting experience becomes the epic ride each one of them deserves.
More stories to share
Last May Nico signed with Hollywood agency United Talent Agency (UTA). Last month, his directorial debut film also premiered worldwide at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.
Titled ‘Out of Order’, this chaotic film shows the irony of the existing scarcity of restrooms in the big city of New York and how a 30-year-old man, on the way to his date, tries to survive through this crisis before his date.
With little and huge doses of content, New York Nico hasn’t failed yet in touching the hearts of his fellow New Yorkers. His documentary films and social media content give the world a glimpse of the realities of New York life.
New York Nico’s stories are not about how he fell in love with New York but about why he and his fellow New Yorkers love living and being one.
And we just can’t get enough of it.