Craig Robert Nicholls, (born 31 August 1977 in Sydney, Australia) is the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of the alternative rock group The Vines
He is second youngest of four, having two sisters and a brother. He spent his childhood listening to The Beatles and painting. He attended Marist College Penshurst. Nicholls dropped out of school during his tenth grade year of high school. As Nicholls was interested in painting, he chose to enroll in an art school to study painting. He supported his vocation with money earned at a food service job (at a McDonald's restaurant in South Hurstville, Sydney). There he met future bandmates, Patrick Matthews (who left the band in 2004) and David Oliffe (former drummer). To form a quartet, Nicholls invited his school-mate Ryan Griffiths to join in the band. Nicholls said in an interview that he had kept the band's name as Rishikesh pertaining to the place in India where his favourite band The Beatles had gone. During their gig days, the newspapers would misprint their band name as 'Rishi Chasms', so Nicholls decided to change the name to The Vines, a reference to his father's frontman role in the 1960s band The Vynes. His father taught him to play guitar when he was a child.
Nicholls had never written songs until they started playing gigs. He stated in an interview that once he started writing songs, he started loving it and continued to write more and more songs. Moreover, he stated that writing was a good outlet for him. At the APRA Awards of 2003 he won the 'Breakthrough Songwriter Award'.
With gigs that included playing for backyard parties, and a regular spot on a local radio station, they gathered a following in Sydney and eventually reached the notice of Capitol Records. Several of Nicholls' paintings were used as the covers for The Vines' albums Highly Evolved, Winning Days (self portrait only), and singles Highly Evolved, and Outtathaway!.