Check out our interview with Nicole Nelson of Dwight & Nicole!
1) Hey Nicole! Thanks for interviewing with Indie Witches. How did Dwight & Nicole come to be?
It’s my pleasure to talk with you :) Dwight & I first met in Boston, Massachusetts. We were both just out of our teens, fronting our own bands and playing a ton of shows locally. We sort of grew up in that scene, and we really loved each other’s voices. Eventually we started calling each other up onstage to sing together and our chemistry onstage was literally its own entity. It was tangible! So we followed that energy - started a side project “Dwight & Nicole” for fun. The next thing we knew - our shows were selling out, offers started coming in, and we were writing an album together. Things evolved quickly after that, (and romantically as soon as we were both single at the same time lol) Then it all just sort of burst into reality.
2) Being a powerhouse vocalist, how do you combine the technicalities of singing with the emotional delivery of a song?
For me, the emotional aspect of singing is everything. My favorite singers deliver a feeling - and I don’t really care as much if they are technically so great. I’m more impressed with the mastery of the communication of feelings through a song. That’s what makes music so incredible - when that little bridge forms between people having a timeless, shared experience.
3) What attracts you most to the indie soul genre?
I think it’s where I naturally find myself sort of fitting. I am a true independent artist. “Indie” meaning I do not not work under a larger entity that directs my career, or dictates my music, or my look. The “Soul” part is more about my approach as a vocalist. I am a very passionate singer.
4) What is your music making process like?
I follow my muse as much as possible. Meaning that spontaneity rules. I rarely “schedule” time to write, etc. I am so immersed in music in my everyday life. We have a drum kit in our living room & instruments all over our house. So we can easily run with creative moments whenever they strike. When a song comes to me, it usually comes in pretty compete in my mind already. Like a download. Or maybe it’s more like a birth. Maybe it’s both.
5) Who has been your greatest inspiration in life?
As an artist, my biggest inspirations probably lie somewhere between Roberta Flack & Mavis Staples. As a human, I think my older brother inspired me the most. He passed away suddenly when we were teenagers and I completely adored him. Loosing him felt like my world was ending, and a large aspect of it was. Through that devastation, I learned that music can literally help to repair a broken spirit. I also learned that I was very strong. And it was through knowing him in this life that I learned to embrace every moment, and to love fully and completely above all else.
6) Favorite book and why?
If I have to pick one favorite book, like a desert island book... I think I would go with “Zen Mind, Beginners Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki. That book literally rocked my world.
7) How was working with Joel Hamilton and what was the recording process like?
Working with Joel is so special. It’s actually not easy for me to put it into words - and that’s saying something because I LOVE WORDS ! Making a record with Joel changed my entire perspective on how it could be and should be done. He is a master. Also, I have never felt more at home in a creative space (that is not my actual home) as I do at Studio G.
8) Being a woman in music can be difficult. Do you have any advice for other young girls and women in the industry?
Yes! I would say that when it comes to making major decisions - like the signing of contracts, and making major choices about the trajectory of your career - know that the final decision is 100% yours. Put your trust not in the things that people tell you, but in the way that they make you FEEL inside. Tap into that, and follow your inner guidance and intelligence above all else! Trust this: You are crafting your own life, and you are calling experiences to you that are very personal and custom to what you need to learn on your individual path. Do not let anyone else’s dreams for you interfere with what you know to be true within yourself. When your own inner guidance seems far away- then you know it is time to unplug for a while and go seeking within. ALSO- leave all comparison behind. Look instead for ways to celebrate those who you admire. Lift yourself up and lift each other up!
9) We hear you have some exciting new music coming next year! Anything you can tell us about that?
Well, it is by far the most personal music of my life. This collection of songs were born as part of a path to healing. We had no idea that they would be any good until we started listening back in the studio. We were kind of taken aback. It’s like that spark that lights up when you see children start to grow into these beings that you couldn’t have ever fathomed. They have a life of their own, and it’s more beautiful and original than what you were capable of imagining beforehand.
10) Any upcoming shows/tours? Where is the best place for fans to follow you?
We are currently hopping around the Northeast doing one off shows while we finish making this new album. Later in the year we’ll be touring all across the US in support of it - we’ll be announcing dates pretty soon. I think the best way to follow us is on Instagram - we post there a lot @dwightandnicole You can also check our website www.dwightandnicole.com for news updates & links to everything (twitter, FB, YouTube) + our tour dates.