Episode #37: The Strokes’ Nikolai Fraiture on Buddhism, music and collaboration

(Photo above by Raphael Dias / Getty Images)

Today we’re talking about music and creativity with special guest Nikolai Fraiture, who is best known for being the bassist of The Strokes.

He also created a new theme song for Buddhability, which we’re so excited for you to hear!

Nikolai started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which is the core practice of SGI Nichiren Buddhism, just a few years ago. Today he shares how he has seen his Buddhist practice impact his life and his work.

Plus, this year, which is the 20th anniversary of their breakout album, Is This It, The Strokes won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album for their newest album titled The New Abnormal. Nikolai discusses his experience recording the album, as well as his journey with the band from the age of 19.

(You can also listen to Buddhability on AppleSpotify, or wherever you get podcasts.)

Cheat Sheet

0:35 Buddhability’s new theme song by Nikolai Fraiture

2:13 How Nikolai started practicing Buddhism

5:03 How chanting first felt to him

6:49 The changes he noticed in himself

10:33 How Nikolai got into music as a teenager

15:02 The first two years of being The Strokes

18:38 What the hardest part of the creative process is

22:35 How he dealt with his health challenges

30:03 How Buddhism helped him change preconceived notions and judgments

33:47 When his bandmates noticed he 37:21 The evolution of his creative process as a musician

43:12 How Buddhism resonates with what he learned from one of his first bass teachers

48:25 What went into recording The New Abnormal

52:20 Key concepts from Buddhism and basketball

56:36 Advice for aspiring young musicians

59:30 How Nikolai’s relationship with his brother changed due to Buddhism

1:07:28 Where to check out Arts Elektra

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