Composer/multi-media artist Micah Nelson has a remarkable output that spans the creative spectrum unlike few others. The Los-Angeles based visionary, who produces art under the moniker Particle Kid, finds no boundaries in his creativity.
His path started with creating animations and videos at 11 years old. Teaching himself iMovie, Particle Kid picked up a hi-8 camcorder and made home-movies starring his family, friends, dog, action figures, and whatever else was around. He was also inspired by animators including Ray Harryhausen, Tim Burton, Jan Svankmajer, and Bruce Bickford, and began making flip-books out of stacks of post-it notes he found at home and school. “The limitations were great for creativity and accidentally making something unique and cool. I also realized the power of music in combination with images and how profoundly different music could transform an otherwise cheap looking homemade film into something with a real captivating emotional weight to it. I fell in love with the alchemy of sound and vision.”
After a short stay in animation school, he met David Wexler aka Strangeloop (Erykah Badu, Skrillex, Flying Lotus). Through their friendship and collaboration, Particle Kid experienced a creative freedom in animation and filmmaking. “I feel in my element when it comes to video production, animation, and getting original content made.” For nearly a decade, through his production company (which also includes his wife Alex Dascalu Nelson aka Sisterlu), Spitball Pictures, he has created music videos and films for his own music projects as well as for other artists. His most recent productions include music videos for Edie Brickell & New Bohemians (“Tripwire” and “My Power”), Promise of the Real’s Anthony LoGerfo (“Love Commando”), folk-punk musician Sunny War (“Age of a Man“), GRAMMY award-winning Tinariwen (“Wartilla, Dan Caret Dub”), and ukulele and guitar duo Folk Uke (“Small One”). Watch a collection of his work on this playlist He is currently working with Neil Young on an animated short film adaptation of Young’s 1982 dystopian sci-fi concept album, TRANS.
Particle Kid has also released five albums of his original music, including his March 2020 live concert recording, Live! Underground. His fourth Particle Kid studio album, Window Rock, was released July 2019 and contains nine original songs. His previous albums – self-titled debut Particle Kid, Everything Is Bullshit, Particle War – are just part of the catalog of work Nelson has amassed with other artists and musicians. He is an active member of his brother’s band, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, as well as part of Neil Young’s band, touring and recording with Young as well as part of his full-length film Paradox. For Record Store Day in 2018, he released Lucky Wheel, a split 12” vinyl collaboration with punk legend and X co-founder John Doe. He created the cover art on his father Willie Nelson’s latest studio album First Rose of Spring. (Willie coined Micah “Particle Kid,” when he misspoke a “prodigal son” greeting.) On tour year round, Particle Kid has headlined shows around the world as well as opened for The Flaming Lips, Tinariwen, Margo Price, and Sheryl Crow, and been part of the line up for Luck Reunion, UTOPiAfest, and the Outlaw Music Festival.
As an industrial hemp activist, Particle Kid has served on the National Hemp Association’s Board of Directors, participates in Farm Aid events and their annual music festival, and combined the missions of both organizations by spearheaded a Change.org petition championing the Industrial Hemp Farming Act which became law in December 2018. Rolling Stone magazine hailed him as one of their “New Classics” – “The creative visionaries celebrated here come from the worlds of music, acting, comedy, sports and more. …they share a refusal to be contained by the rules of the past as they define the territory of the future.”