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NICKTHEREAL documents Taipei Arena concert with REALIVE book & EP [GALLERY]

LiFTED goes behind the scenes with photographer Ainsley Myles for the scoop

LiFTED | Marcus Aurelius | 10 Feb 2023

On November 19, 2022, NICKTHEREAL had his first show at the Taipei Arena. 20,000 fans packed the place to see NICK’s R&B and Hip Hop experience, and everyone came away breathless. The concert went over so well that Nick’s team decided to document the show with a photography book with 100 of the best shots from the show and release an EP with a few extra songs on it.

LiFTED caught up with one of the photographers that night, Ainsley Myles, and asked him a few questions about the show, NICK’s mother making an appearance, and the photos that he shot for this once-in-a-lifetime show.

How did you end up working with NICKTHEREAL?

I started working with NICKTHEREAL in November for the REALIVE concert at Taipei Arena. It all came about organically. I had been shooting within the Taiwanese music scene for just over a year and gradually through friends of friends built up a strong connection with lots of artists up and down the country. I happened to be on a music video shoot in Taipei and connected with another photographer on a shoot when he noticed that I was shooting 35mm film on set. Since that day, we connected, became friends, and he asked me to come and partner up with him for the concert and shoot some film. After the unforgettable REALIVE experience, me and Nick connected and said that we would love to work together more in the future and here we are. It all happened very naturally and it was just through putting my name out there as a photographer and connecting with other like-minded creatives.

Tell LiFTED about your creative relationship.

Our creative relationship came to life after the REALIVE show. We stayed in contact and shared photos, videos, and ideas for the future - with one of them being the photobook. Me and Yasashi [the friend I met at the video shoot as a photographer] tend to envision my work printed as it brings out a completely different perspective and mood rather than just being viewed on an Instagram feed. But as creatives, we are always trying to push boundaries and work on our craft as much as we can - the work never stops. After proposing the idea, we both went ahead and did our parts to ensure that this was something that we both believe could work. As with any creative endeavor, it took us a while to really understand what we want to get out of making this book, and we came to a decision that the intention of this book was to be a visual experience for everybody involved and to almost immortalize the concert and experience it in a physical form. To put it bluntly, I could say honestly that we are both workaholics in our respective fields and we want to create meaningful work, that is true to ourselves and to put out into the world. Our creative collaborations have been great thus far and I look forward to seeing where else we can push the boundaries of music and visuals in the future.

How was the concert at the Taipei Dome from your experience?

As for the REALIVE show at Taipei Arena, I can honestly say it was one of - if not THE best concert that I have ever experienced. From start to finish, it was an experience that will stay with me forever. I struggle to call it a concert because it was more than that. It was a unique experience, from the catwalk at the start of the show, the incredible dance choreography throughout, the lighting, moving stages, the fans, and the stage presence of NICKTHEREAL was breathtaking.

The entire crew of photographers worked so hard together to capture the moment as authentically as we could. The most touching part for me was the speech he gave after bringing his mother Billie on stage. She thanked Nick for bringing her out on stage at Taipei Arena to perform with her son and that it was the first time she has ever played at the Arena.

How has it been working on this book?

Working on the book was quite intense, to be honest. Not because of the workload, but it happened to get confirmed just as I was leaving Taiwan to go to Thailand for work, then to Switzerland, and then back to the UK to see my family for the first time in four years. So, I was trying to meet deadlines, across different time zones while jet-lagged and trying to get myself back home for Christmas. The whole process was an enjoyable one though, like any piece of work, there are always stressful periods and times where you hit a dead end - but we all came together and finished it, and for that, I am extremely happy with the end product and the experience as a whole. Now I look forward to seeing the reception of its release!

Check out NICKTHEREAL's REALIVE book and CD here, and listen to the new EP below.