Kristina Nichol is a mom of three, loyal friend, devoted wife of 17 years, a woman of faith, and has some serious musical talent (or, as one of her best friends says : "Her voice...is creamy dreamy...it seriously melts me. Every time.")
Kristina's friends describe her as a visionary, driven, passionate, talented, beautiful and brave.
"Kristina is the rare type of person who is good at everything she tries, but she has the work ethic and drive to back all of that natural talent...
What makes her special is that behind all of that natural talent and drive, she's got a big, beautiful, soft heart."
Soft-spoken, yet full of light, there's just something about Kristina that draws you in. Without knowing her, you trust her. It could be the raw emotions in her music, the soft, kindness in her eyes, or maybe it's the sense of ease you get while in her presence, but one thing I know is that Kristina Nichol is one of a kind.
Kristina has been playing piano since she was 8 years old and writing music since she was 15- music has been an integral part of her life, and the dream to make it a career remained as just that for many years.
"For years, I didn't think my dream was ever going to pan out, so I never even tried...I underestimated my drive and my resilience. The truth is, I have no idea what the final destination is, but doing something is so much better than doing nothing."
These past two years have been a turning point for Kristina's career. Saying "it's now or never" and finally realizing that she was ready to push forward and stop dreaming :
"Turning 34 was a hard birthday for me. I remember feeling like my dream was suddenly slipping away from me (as if age could take away a dream). For so many years, I had been sitting on these gifts and wasn’t really using them to my full potential. I think I always felt like it was too late and the longer I waited, the harder it was to talk myself into it. But then I had this epiphany! I didn’t want to waste another year, so that night I contacted my producer and told him it was time to get to work."
At our photo shoot with Kristina, we got to experience the kind of magic that happens when you're witnessing someone utilizing their God-given gifts and passions. I don't know if there's a way to truly describe it, but when Kristina sat down at her piano and began to play, everything went still and calm. The air grew thick, our hearts and our thoughts were hushed, and we all just sat and soaked in not only the beautiful music, but the sacred space that develops when someone is quietly & humbly sharing their heart with you. Whether you get to experience it in person, are watching on social media, or listening on Spotify or iTunes, you can't help but to hang on to every word and get transported by every note in Kristina's music.
While I don't know Kristina well, I do know that she is so much more than her music and she really lets you into her world and her life. You can tell that she adores her three children and husband and time spent with family is truly cherished and they have so much fun together exploring the outdoors. Kristina's faith is paramount in her life and is at the forefront of what she does, and why she does it. She has a solid group of friends that cheers one another on, laughs together, and feeds into one another's lives. She admits that she can't "do it all" and relies on others to help when she feels overwhelmed.
So yes, Kristina is an incredible musician and creates magic with words, music and emotion. But she's just like you and me- an everyday woman that is pushing towards her goals and dreams, all while trying to keep the other balls up in the air (with some help, from time to time).
How would you describe yourself and your style?
Introverted, creative, passionate, emotional, loyal, and driven.
As for my style, I am definitely a tomboy but I enjoy dressing up like a rock star if I’m going out. I grew up in a strict religious home where I was expected to wear skirts and dresses all the time. I also never cut my hair until grade 10, so I think that’s why I’m so expressive with my hair now and like trying new things.
What outfit do you have that makes you feel incredible and confident?
All black with leather. It’s bad ass.
Kristina is wearing the Noa Ear Climbers, the Essential Chain Necklace layered with the Artisan Tapestry Necklace, the Honey Bangle, and her favorite Glimmer Stacking Rings
What is one the biggest hurdles you've had to overcome?
This is not so much a hurdle as it is an unfortunate circumstance, but 8 years ago, my Mother (who I was really close with) joined a cult group and cut off all communication with her family and friends. I had a 3-year-old and 1 year old at the time and was completely heartbroken. I had so many questions that still to this day have not been answered.
What lesson did that hardship teach you?
The one thing that shifted things for me was hearing someone say the words “in everything, give thanks”. Not “for everything” but “in everything”. Even on my hardest, darkest days, I had to force myself to be thankful for the little things. Even though time has passed, I still miss her very much but I am so much stronger than I was back then. I wouldn’t actually change anything about that experience because it has made me a better mother, wife, friend, and even songwriter. And sometimes we have to walk through tough things to grow. I am thankful for the growth and the ability to connect to others on a deeper level.
How are you currently trying to grow or better yourself?
Saying no to the things I don’t want to do, and yes to the things that I should be doing. I spent so many years trying to please people at the expense of my own family and personal dreams. I’m finally in a position where I can choose what is worth my time, and what isn’t.
One of Kristina's friends said this : "I admire Kristina for saying no. She says no to things in a very healthy and respectful way when she needs to, and I wish I was more like that."
How do you reset? Or Get ready for something big?
My faith is the most important thing to me. I pray. All the time. It calms me down to release my thoughts, fears, and insecurities. It also reminds me that I’m not alone in this and don’t need to try to do it in my own strength.
Why is your work important to you?
I’ve always believed that music has healing power. Power to make people smile, dance, cry, feel release and comfort. That belief has intensified since COVID because everyone is experiencing this differently. Music is a way for people to find hope and distract them from the things they can’t control. I get to be that person that puts a smile on their face or makes them feel like they can get through anything. It’s an incredible feeling!
What do you love the most about song writing and recording?
I love the escape of being in the studio. I put on my headphones and suddenly I am transported somewhere else. I’ve cried many tears over the piano and it has been so healing for me to have this outlet. There’s also an incredible rush when you see something begin as nothing and grow into something that I can be proud of. Sharing that with others is the cherry on top.
Where do you find inspiration for writing your songs?
I pull a lot of inspiration from my history with my mom. It was definitely a defining moment in my life and one that a lot of others can relate to when it comes to loss. Whenever I’m feeling restless or have writers block, I’ll watch an episode of Nashville or Grey’s Anatomy and that always makes me want to write a song. Something about the music and how it can add so much emotion and depth to a scene. Sometimes I’ll even ask my followers to submit ideas because it challenges me to write outside of my own experiences. This is how I wrote my upcoming single, “Feeling it out loud”.
Your newest single, Feeling It Out Loud, is about heartache and really taps into an emotional side. What is the core message of this song that you want people to know?
“Feeling it out loud” was inspired by a close friend’s journey through divorce. When I wrote it in January, I was taking a song writing workshop and the assignment was to collaborate with another artist or writer to help tell their story. I immediately contacted my friend, Jess, who has walked through divorce. Her story is so inspiring! She graciously agreed to share it all with me so I could somehow put it all into words. I knew it would be challenging, but I don’t think I fully realized just how challenging it would be. I wrote the song 3 different ways before writing this one.
Sometimes you’ve got to dig deeper and allow yourself the time and space to feel the emotions and be uncomfortable. Once I had a rough arrangement, I sent it to her and the tears started flowing. It allowed her to heal and grieve. That’s when I knew I had to produce it and release it into the world. Even though I wrote this song with Jess in mind, I truly believe there are so many women (and men) who need to hear these words. Music has healing power! It's such an honor to be a storyteller.
To listen to Kristina's newest single, Feeling it out loud, click here :
Spotify : Feeling It out Loud · Kristina Nichol (spotify.com)
iTunes : Feeling It out Loud - Single by Kristina Nichol on Apple Music
What are your goals for the upcoming year?
My goal this year is to step outside my comfort zone even more. To write songs with people I barely know. To perform my own songs in front of an audience offline. To push myself creatively always.
When do you feel strong and confident?
When I’m able to teach and pass along wisdom. I get empowered by being a leader that people can trust and look up to.
What is one local business that you love, and why do you admire them?
My dear friends, Jamie and Karina Hiller from Primrose. I have known them since before they started Primrose and watched them build their business from the ground up. They have walked through many hardships to get to where they are but I’ve always admired their resilience, vulnerability, and determination to keep going. They inspire me to push for my dreams and always expect more.
What are you currently learning?
To stay in your lane. There will always be someone better than you or someone pursuing a similar dream, but the moment you allow yourself to focus on what they are doing and how they’re doing it, you lose sight of your reach and impact. We all have the potential to make a difference and we weren’t all designed to do it the same way.
What advice would you give to us?
You are braver than you think. The things that scare us are usually the things we are meant to be doing. Just let that fear guide you in a positive way.
I love what Kristina said there in her advice to share- it's simple, yet powerful.
I'm going to write it below, and I want you to read it slowly, then read it again and allow it to sink in. Whether you are 20 years old, or 70 years old, this is something we all need to hear and believe :
To listen to Kristina's full single list, you can find her on Spotify or iTunes by clicking the links below, or simply searching her name : Kristina Nichol.
Kristina Nichol on Apple Music
Feeling It out Loud · Kristina Nichol (spotify.com)
This second series of the YYC Local Love stories was accomplished by such an incredible team of other incredible local women working behind the scenes. While we're telling the stories of the four women in front of the camera, I got the honor and pleasure of working alongside more women that I'm inspired by on a regular basis:
Shoot Organizer & Co-Planner : Chelsea from Coco & Ash Weddings and Events
Photographer : Kaity Body Photography
Hair & Makeup : Priya from Beautymark Makeovers