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#MusicExchange: You don't choose music, music chooses you

In new arrival Nicole Bacher's case, the music bug bit after getting married, raising children and running a thriving psychology practice.
Image supplied: Nicole Bacher
Image supplied: Nicole Bacher

16 years later, Nicole closed her business to focus on and finish her studies. With that, gaps appeared in her usually jam-packed diary to feed her creative curiosity.

She filled it all, spending time with the celebrated, multi-award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, vocal coach and Change the World hit-maker, RJ Benjamin.

After a chance meeting on a campaign for post-natal depression, Nicole asked him to explore songwriting with her.

Nicole couldn’t play an instrument without prior knowledge of music theory, but it had always been on her bucket list, so the two conspired to make a hit together.

Under Benjamin’s carefully crafted mentorship, within two weeks, a song began to take shape, which would later release as the chart-contender, You Hold My Soul - a classic ballad exploring themes of gratitude and dedication towards her husband for their journey together.

I spoke to Nicole last week…

What is your job description?

Bewildered psychologist who, in my 40s, has discovered how exhilarating and life-changing song-writing and recording are.

What does music mean to you?

Music has accompanied me through almost every experience in my life, often mirroring what I was feeling or helping me escape. Music has now become a vehicle of expression and that blows my mind a little.

My music is about…

Key experiences in my life.

What is your motto?

Be brave

Fame is about…

The last thing that interests me. I’m much more interested in cultivating real relationships and doing the things I love.

Retirement will happen when…

I am hoping to be busy with work and interesting pursuits for as long as I have the health to do so.

I don't do…


I would love to co-write with…

James Bay. He’s so talented and I love his style of music and how authentic his songs are.

Where do you go for inspiration to create?

This is a challenging question. I’m really only at the start of my journey but so far it feels as if my songs have kind of spilt out of me, needing to be expressed.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

I’ve loved the process of learning how to write songs. I’ve also loved refining my vocal technique and discovering I could push some boundaries that had seemed impossible before.

The song you must do during every show?

I can’t see myself ever doing live performances.

My heroes are…

Mothers…especially those who persist in loving and prioritising their children in difficult circumstances.

My style icon is…

No one has ever accused me of having style icons :)

Which living person do you admire most and why?

Hard to narrow it down to one person but I admire people who aren’t afraid to have hard, honest conversations.

What is your most treasured possession?

My engagement ring

It's your round; what are you drinking?

I’m not much of a drinker, but if I’m letting loose, a bit it’s definitely tequila.

Dream gig to do?

TV special at the Grammy’s

What makes you stand out?

The fact that I only discovered I could write songs in my 40s.

If you were not a musician, what would you do?

I’ve been a psychologist for 16 years, so right now I’m just getting comfortable with the idea of being a musician.

Pick five words to describe yourself?

Authentic, driven, intuitive, loyal, fun

What are you streaming?

Apple Music has an easy-listening playlist that I’m addicted to.

Greatest movie ever made?

Shawshank Redemption

What book are you reading?

I’m currently finishing my studies so my reading is either psychological journal articles or to give my mind a rest – silly romances. (Probably shouldn’t admit that!)

What song changed your life?

Eva Cassidy, Fields of Gold

Who do you love?

My husband and my kids

What is your favourite word?

My daughter likes to make up words…. My current favourite is ‘confuzzled’. (Much more interesting than ‘confused’)

Top of your bucket list?

Taking a road trip through Ireland with my husband.

Your greatest achievement?

My successful marriage of 15 years.

What do you complain about most often?

The excessive use of screens in my house.

What is your biggest fear?

Losing my sanity in my old age

Happiness is…

A night out at the cinemas with an enormous box of popcorn and whispers chocolates.

The best life lesson you have learned?

Not to be frightened to take risks and try new things

What has been your favourite journey so far?

Learning to write and record my music - hands down.

Do you do charity work, and if you do – what do you do?

I have worked with moms and babies in community clinics and hospitals. I’m not currently doing charity work.

Wishes and dreams?

I would love to continue writing, recording and exploring this musical part of myself

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About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse

Let's do Biz