Kyle McCarthy

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Kyle McCarthy in 2013
NIIC, Live at FA: United 2015.
NIIC, Live at Furpocalypse 2016.
NIIC, Live in Philadelphia, 2017.

Kyle McCarthy, better known by his stage name as NIIC the Singing Dog or just NIIC (pronounced "nice"; born May 24, 1990), is a musician, performer, and producer who lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Kyle McCarthy conceptualized NIIC the Singing Dog shortly after graduating in Music Composition from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moving up to New York City in 2013. Kyle currently operates NIIC the Singing Dog in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and tours as the Green, Singing Dog across the United States.

Kyle was a guest of honor at both FurryCon (New York) and FangCon in 2014 as well as Fur-Xoticon in 2016. He was also a guest of honor at Megaplex XVII in 2018.


Kyle's character, NIIC is an anthropomorphic dog through which he performs and produces original indie dance-pop music. The green dog is a public figure in Philadelphia and a musical icon at festivals, anime conventions, furry conventions, and gamer conventions across the country.

A big green akita inu, the Singing Dog was first conceptualized in February 2013 by McCarthy. NIIC was inspired by a dog from Kyle's early childhood - a relative's husky named Nicki whom Kyle briefly grew up with. The unconventional green color of the character was chosen to reflect his vibrantly energetic personality and was first mocked up by the anthropomorphic artist Casparr.[clarify] Kyle began the promotion of the green dog and its music within the furry fandom in March of 2013. In 2017, Kyle expanded NIIC the Singing Dog's performance audience across additional fandoms and quickly integrated him into the Philadelphia festival and music scene.

The Singing Dog is a revival of a previous anthropomorphic musical project Kyle had developed in Philadelphia, a web show puppet series called Sebastian the Singing Cockroach - a self-absorbed part-time artist and cockroach that worked at a city coffee chain and frequently lamented about being under-appreciated by the rest of society. Upon discovering the hardships of operating puppets, musical scoring, and video editing as a one-man team, Kyle revived the project in 2013 upon discovering the furry fandom and tweaking Sebastian to a live-acting musical performance, i.e. NIIC the Singing Dog.


NIIC the Singing Dog was first designed digitally by artist Casparr. The first consistent wardrobe of NIIC to appear in various pieces of artworks was conceptualized by the Canadian artist Vallhund, who was also responsible for creating NIIC's signature logo (the headphone paw prints frequently displayed with NIIC).[citation needed] The first mascot costume modeled after NIIC's final design was constructed by New York crafters Blix Fox (head) and Faris Batwan (arms, paws, and tail). NIIC's most current costume was crafted by Grimmkitty Productions (head) and Sassypup Creations (arms, paws, and tail).


NIIC’s music style has evolved a lot over the years; his early work, Unleashed and NIIC the EP, the latter being released in 2013 and the former in 2014, mostly consist of a fusion of electro-pop and dance-pop, with catchy hooks and energetic vocals. The lyrics often focused on themes of romance and desire, hedonism, embracing your inner freak, partying, and living life to the fullest. After the release of his second album, Instinct, in late 2014, NIIC’s style changed considerably, even down to the voice, sounding deeper and more natural instead of NIIC’s previous more high-pitched and androgynous vocals seen in Unleashed and NIIC the EP. The lyrics shifted toward a grounded portrayal of everyday struggles, utilizing metaphorical storytelling that mirrored the complexities of life. Some tracks delved into introspective and abstract territory, offering listeners a glimpse into NIIC's contemplative side. That being said, some songs still remained more upbeat party-centric style of the Unleashed era. This dichotomy set the stage for Beast, NIIC’s third album, which builds upon the foundation laid by Instinct. The album doubles down on exploring profound metaphors and an overarching story, with a central theme revolving around escape, self-discovery, and the pursuit of self-worthiness. Musically, Beast takes on a more pronounced rock sound, interwoven with tribal influences.

NIIC's vocals are typically accompanied by energized and syncopated synthetic backing tracks, dispersed with live instrumentation. Kyle produces all songs within Pro Tools and mixes them through an Apogee Quartet console. His microphone of choice is the dynamic Shure SM7b, and incorporates virtual instrumentation software into his tracks, such as Kontakt, EastWest, Superior Drummer, Trilian, and Stylus RMX.


On April 11th, 2013, Kyle released several "rough drafts" of songs that would appear in future albums, such as NIIC the EP and Unleashed. It was originally entitled Paws to the Walls but was never formally published as an official album. Two songs that were uploaded to SoFurry and FurAffinity around that time were never officially released in any capacity, those being "Bah Dee Oop! Thank you!" and "Thanks for Watching Me on F.A.!", both of which are now only available on SoFurry as NIIC's FurAffinity account has since been deactivated in early 2020.

It was not until July 2013 that Kyle released NIIC's first album (NIIC the EP), during the opening of Anthrocon 2013. NIIC the Singing Dog's first full-length album was released on Valentine's Day of 2014, titled Unleashed. NIIC's second album, Instinct, was debuted at Fangcon 2014. In 2016, "Beast" was released and toured throughout the United States. In 2017, NIIC released his first Christmas-themed album "Deck the Dogs", which included remakes of earlier Christmas singles "All I Want For Christmas Is a Boy" and "The List".

In addition, NIIC has also released cover tracks and song commissions that are not yet compiled into albums, but appear piecemeal on various media websites such as SoundCloud, YouTube, BandCamp and formerly HypedSound and Grooveshark. He also has his website NIICMusic and accepts commissions here.

In July 2018, he announced in a Q&A on YouTube, that his next album, Escape the Humans, was set for a late 2018 release, eventually being delayed. Despite frustration over delays and sporadic updates, NIIC promised more transparency in an update posted in January 2020. After a two-year absence, NIIC resurfaced in 2022 and resumed work on the album, providing Kickstarter updates and conducting backer-exclusive streams showcasing album progress. The album has yet to be released as of 2023.


  1. T.B.U.Y.G.F.U. (Wanna Break Up? Version) (2013)
  2. Paws to the Walls (Fursona Version) (2013)
  3. Paws Up! (feat. Hixbi Fox) (2013)
  4. All I Want for Christmas Is a Boy (2013)
  5. The List (2014)
  6. I Don't Need Love (2015)
  7. Fall is Fallsome (2015)
  8. Broke On Christmas (2018)
  9. I Want You To Unwrap (2020)
  10. Thirst (2021)
  11. Something In My Teeth [MEEN's Theme] (2022)
  12. Sheptember (2022)

NIIC the EP (2013)[edit]

  1. Oh Yeah, Baby!
  2. In Love With the DJ
  3. Make Me Your Beat
  4. Never Catch Me
  5. Arcade Desire

Unleashed (2014)[edit]

  1. Introduction: My Name is NIIC
  2. The Singing Dog
  3. Whatever U Want Me 2 Be
  4. Paws to the Walls (Album Version)
  5. The Bass Drop
  6. Freaks
  7. Do What Feels Good
  8. T.B.U.Y.G.F.U.
  9. Knock, Knock
  10. All We Need is Distance
  11. There's No Good in a Goodbye
  12. Take Me Higher
  13. Unleashed

Instinct (2014)[edit]

  1. Introduction: Breaking News with Julia Meisgeier
  2. Instinct
  3. It's How We Do
  4. We're Taking Back the Night
  5. This Land is Ours
  6. Not Going Home Tonight
  7. Brush Yourself Off
  8. The Best Thing That Happened
  9. Incoherent (Bee Sae Bai)
  10. My Friends
  11. Jack of Hearts
  12. Our March
  13. 'Til the Music Stops

Beast (2016)[edit]

  1. Introduction: I Am
  2. Beast
  3. Howl At The Moon
  4. The Next Horizon
  5. PhD In Mixology
  6. Could You Ever
  7. Heart In Me
  8. The Watchmaker
  9. We Are Lovers (Of The Light)
  10. The Dog House
  11. Thank You (For Being There)
  12. President Of The United States Of Dance
  13. Our Time Will Come

Deck the Dogs (2017)[edit]

  1. My Wish
  2. The List (Remastered)
  3. All I Want for Christmas (All I Want for Christmas Is a Boy Remastered)
  4. Once Upon a Holiday
  5. Brand New Year

External links[edit]

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