Published Sunday, May 27, 2012 | 1:36 p.m.
Updated Sunday, May 27, 2012 | 1:36 p.m.
This kid has so much game, it’s scary.
As Nick Hissom walked the white carpet at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards last Sunday, he sported Tommy Hilfiger attire. He looked pretty snappy and smart in a gray jacket, a white shirt striped thickly in bold colors and Brandies blue pants. His smile flashed, and so did his battery-powered sneakers, which pulsated in a neon-styled strobe effect designed by Hissom himself.
As a model hired by the company, the dashing young Hissom, 19, is aggressively supported by Hilfiger. For real, too. The actual Tommy Hilfiger was standing less than 10 feet from Hissom as he posed for photos. Hissom also is making his debut as a recording artist at a club in a resort owned by Steve Wynn, and the person making that known was … the actual Steve Wynn.
“Nick is a very talented guy, a very smart guy -- he’s going to Penn, just like I did -- and is a budding star,” Wynn said. “He’s got a lot of talent.”
Hissom is entering his junior year at Penn. He is a history major, studying international cultures, himself already a man of the world who is off to Paris Fashion Week in June sporting the latest Hilfiger designs.
And more relevantly, Hissom’s mother is Andrea Wynn, formerly Andrea Hissom, and thus is the stepson of Steve Wynn. The importance and value of that familial connection to the resort magnate can’t be disputed. Wynn is the owner of such nightclubs as Tryst at Wynn Las Vegas, where Hissom appears tonight at midnight with the electronic dance music DJ duo Manufactured Superstars to debut the single “Killin’ Tonight,” on which Hissom sings lead vocals.
It is the first appearance in a series of club dates in the U.S. and Europe for the recently formed music partnership. The new song is good enough that Berry Gordy Jr. liked it. This is the same Gordy who founded Motown Records, for whom Wynn played the song in a limo on the way to the Billboard Music Awards.
The song’s viability is bolstered by the support of master producer, director and choreographer Kenny Ortega, who has choreographed the appearance by Hissom tonight at Tryst. Thus, there will be a high measure of organized dancing in this evening’s performance. But Hissom isn’t giving away too many details.
“That’s a bit of a secret,” Hissom says, adding that high-caliber dancer/choreographer Christopher Scott also has a hand in the production of tonight’s showcase. Hissom allows that there will be “a lot of dancing, a lot of movement, some very fun, lively, young dancing and a futuristic vibe.
How Hissom came to know Ortega is yet another stroke of good fortune. Steve Wynn introduced the two at the Wynn-Hissom nuptials at Wynn Las Vegas in April 2011.
Clearly, Hissom is keenly fortunate, or blessed, born under the luckiest of stars. Pick any term, but it is clear that he enjoys the advantage of born-with aptitude and incidental relationships that seems a can’t-miss prospect. But enjoying genuine, long-standing fame and success is a bit more complicated than just knowing Kenny Ortega or Berry Gordy Jr. because your stepdad and mother happen to be friends with such powerful individuals.
“It’s always an honor to be around legends in all industries, but I also do feel that just being around them is not enough,” Hissom says. “You really have to impress them in your own right. They are also the harshest critics in the world. If you don’t reach their standard, they are less likely to work with you ever again.”
He continues: “That’s why it’s a shock and honor when an industry professional of their level works with you, invites you into what they are producing. Even Steve, he wouldn’t allow it if it wasn’t a good product.”
Because Hissom is not yet 21, he will be escorted into and out of Tryst for his performance of the 5-minute club version of the song. “Nobody is above the law,” he says, laughing. “But I have been in there when it’s closed.”
Hissom’s music inspirations are drawn from such electronic/pop collaborations as Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez (who partnered on the tireless club hit “Dance Again”) and similar crossover partnerships. Manufactured Superstars and he also are set for an appearance at the 2012 Electric Daisy Carnival on the opening day/night of the June 8-10 music glut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Hissom isn’t yet sure what time his performance is set to go off.
“To be honest, I don’t even have tickets myself yet,” he says.
Somehow, for Nick Hissom, that seems a problem easily remedied.