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…
Bewildered psychologist who, in my 40s, has discovered how exhilarating and life-changing song-writing and recording are.
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.
Key experiences in my life.
The last thing that interests me. I’m much more interested in cultivating real relationships and doing the things I love.
I am hoping to be busy with work and interesting pursuits for as long as I have the health to do so.
James Bay. He’s so talented and I love his style of music and how authentic his songs are.
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.
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.
I can’t see myself ever doing live performances.
Mothers…especially those who persist in loving and prioritising their children in difficult circumstances.
No one has ever accused me of having style icons :)
Hard to narrow it down to one person but I admire people who aren’t afraid to have hard, honest conversations.
My engagement ring
I’m not much of a drinker, but if I’m letting loose, a bit it’s definitely tequila.
TV special at the Grammy’s
The fact that I only discovered I could write songs in my 40s.
I’ve been a psychologist for 16 years, so right now I’m just getting comfortable with the idea of being a musician.
Authentic, driven, intuitive, loyal, fun
Apple Music has an easy-listening playlist that I’m addicted to.
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!)
Eva Cassidy, Fields of Gold
My husband and my kids
My daughter likes to make up words…. My current favourite is ‘confuzzled’. (Much more interesting than ‘confused’)
Taking a road trip through Ireland with my husband.
My successful marriage of 15 years.
The excessive use of screens in my house.
Losing my sanity in my old age
A night out at the cinemas with an enormous box of popcorn and whispers chocolates.
Not to be frightened to take risks and try new things
Learning to write and record my music - hands down.
I have worked with moms and babies in community clinics and hospitals. I’m not currently doing charity work.
I would love to continue writing, recording and exploring this musical part of myself