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About Nicole McKenna…
With the release of her album “Stay Awhile,” Nicole McKenna solidified her position as one of the finest singer/songwriters to emerge from the New York scene.
A child of New York City, New York, Nicole’s musical roots run deep. She grew up in a family of musicians: her mother singing TV commercial jingles; her father a percussionist. Even at an early age Nicole was writing and recording tunes to four-track tape in her basement. You can hear those roots running through Nicole’s music. It’s in her flair for the pop hook, the ease with which she has her way with a song. Her command of the medium is epitomized in her pure, sultry sweet voice: it embodies the spirit of a true artist.
After writing and performing through high school and college, Nicole ventured to Nashville, where her prodigious talent afforded ample opportunities to travel the worn path of the ‘traditional’ record business. Instinctively, she veered off the beaten path, foregoing the Nashville scene to pursue a more self-directed approach.
Back in NYC, Nicole honed her songwriting and live performance skills as a regular headliner at The Living Room, the legendary CBGB’s and The Bitter End. Critics raved, calling her one of the city’s “best kept secrets.” The secret is out. Nicole single handedly cultivated a flowering underground scene of her own. Through ingenious networking and word of mouth, Nicole’s sexy, breathy vocal mystique and natural gift for melody got heads turning fast. In 2001, she released her debut eponymous CD, produced by Saul Zonana (Adrian Belew, Ace Frehley, Blue Oyster Cult). Performing Songwriter magazine chose Nicole’s song “You Can’t” as one of the top 12 independent releases to appear on their Editor’s Choice Compilation CD, Volume 8 in 2001, alongside artists such as Alice Peacock (Aware/Columbia) and Will Hoge (Atlantic).
With her second album “Stay Awhile” (20/20 Music / Redeye Distribution), Nicole’s song craft has reached new levels of maturity — a fresh, honest, diverse set of songs packed with emotional realism and an irrepressible optimism that shuns the dark and trendy cynicism found in many singer/songwriters of her generation. Produced by Saul Zonana and recorded at 20/20 Music and Acme Studios, “Stay Awhile” showcases Nicole’s stunning voice in the context of finely-polished, compact guitar driven pop. The response to “Stay Awhile” has been fantastic, judging by the enthusiasm of those who pack the many shows to hear Nicole perform the songs live. With the first single “Take Me Over” generating regular airplay on commercial radio in the Northeast, and many tour dates to support the release, sales of “Stay Awhile” have reached into the thousands. Award-winning German artist ATB sought out Nicole’s single “Take Me Over” and included his re-mixed version of it on his 2005 release entitled Seven Years. The song garnered praise and topped European dance charts in 2005.
The accolades for Nicole’s artistry continue to pile up. Nicole has participated in and played the Atlantis Music Conference, Nashville New Music Conference, NEMO Boston and North by Northeast in Toronto. Songs from Stay Awhile release have been placed, and continue to be placed, in various television and film projects including Men In Trees, Shark (James Wood), Dirt (Courtney Cox), Crazy Love (Meatloaf), Beautiful People (ABC Family), and Wonderful World (set for theatrical release spring 2009 starring Matthew Broderick). The future is bright for Nicole.
“Stay Awhile” confirms Nicole McKenna as one of the most impressive independent recording artists on the scene today. A woman with a clear, independent pop vision, and the ability to make it sing true.