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Artist Spotlight - Nia Nicholls

Hi, my names Nia and I'm an 18 year old singer/songwriter. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a performer. I was 8 when I decided on what genre of music I wanted to be in, my mum bought me a Dolly Parton CD and when I listened to her song Applejack, I knew I wanted to be a country singer.

I began playing the guitar when I was 10, I had been begging my mum to let me take lessons two years prior, but my hands were so small they couldn't fit around the neck. I then began writing my own songs. Every Friday night I would go into the lounge and play a new song to my parents, I actually still carry on that tradition now! I then had a new obsession...Nashville! I begged and begged and begged my parents to take me there for 3 years before we finally went when I was 13. I've been going back almost every year since, I've spent the past two years recording over there. We also tend to drive down to Memphis, where I perform at local songwriter venues and open mic nights. Nashville and Memphis are so different to one another, but I feel just as at home in each city. Although I play a lot acoustically, I have recently started to form a band in the hope that we will be able to perform at some festivals in the summer of 2019.

I have just released my newest single, "Nervous" which was actually filmed in Memphis! So far it's had a bit of airplay on US and UK stations - including BBC Introducing. Keep an eye out for my next single, which was filmed on the Mississippi!

QUESTION: If you could choose a guest singer for your band or a singer to duet with out of anyone in the world alive or dead, who would you choose?

ANSWER: Steven Tyler from Aerosmith!!

QUESTION: Please tell us some memories of your first ever gig.

ANSWER: The first time I played my own song in public was when I was 11, I played it at my Secondary school talent show, after I got through to the finals. The song was called Country Crowds and it was about how I really wanted to be a country singer and to have people sing my songs back to me. Although that year I didn't win the talent show, I did win it two years later with another original called The Last Laugh.

QUESTION: How big were the largest & smallest crowds you have played too?

ANSWER: The biggest audience I've played to was probably my school talent show. They had around 250 people there. The smallest audience would be my mum. There were times where I would be playing a gig at a pub and my mum would be the only person there to clap, I never let that get to me because it's important to learn from those experiences. It's funny to think that's how it was at one point!

QUESTION: Tell us the most unusual gig you've played, be it the venue or the situation you found yourselves in.

ANSWER: Well, for the past two years I've been performing in America, specifically Nashville and Memphis, and it's really interesting to see how different the atmosphere is compared to performing in the UK, so one of my most unusual places to perform would have to be Earnestine & Hazels in Memphis. My dad found out about it's reputation for live music through a tourist magazine we had, so we thought we'd go along. It turns out Earnestine's is a dive bar! However, given the unusual circumstances that I had never been in before, it was a gig that changed everything for me. I met fellow songwriters there and booked in a gig for a few days later at South Main Sounds. Every time we're in Memphis, I make sure to perform at Earnestine's again!

QUESTION: What age were you when first started playing/singing?

ANSWER: My mum tells me I started writing at 6, although then I couldn't play an instrument, I would get her to sit at the piano and write down my melody on manuscript. However, it was around 10 I really got into writing because that's when I first picked up a guitar. Shortly after, I wrote my first song on guitar called Do What You Do. I don't think I ever performed it in public, but the first time I did play in public was in my primary school and I played Applejack by Dolly Parton.

New Single Honestly I tried is out now.

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