Days after her 18th birthday in 2011, Megan Nicole’s profession seemed able to take off. She’d racked up thousands and thousands of views on a Rihanna cowl with nation singer Tyler Ward, that went viral. Her personal YouTube following was escalating to the million-subscriber mark. And, after P. Diddy reached out to her personally and flew her to his Miami mansion, Nicole was signed because the first-ever pop act for Diddy’s infamous hip-hop-rap label, Bad Boy, and its new collaboration with Interscope Records. She was properly on her strategy to making the uncommon and coveted transition from web sensation to business hit-maker—when, after an unexpected bump within the street, Nicole was pressured to pivot into a unique path to success.
Now, Nicole, whose first album as an unbiased artist, “My Kind of Party,” is due this fall, is reintroducing herself to the general public. With 4 million YouTube subscribers and 500,000 extra on Instagram, Nicole is set to make it large—with or with out Diddy’s assist. “‘My Kind of Party’ is like, ‘Hey. This is my form of occasion. This is me and that is what I’m about,’” says Nicole. “It ties everything together nicely. All the songs are a reflection of who I am and my story.”
Born in a suburb of Houston, Texas, Nicole, whose father is Mexican and mom is German (amongst different races) grew up in a loving Mexican-American family the place the events had been boisterous, and her childhood was spent molding masa into home made tortillas along with her grandmother. Still, being blended race, Nicole usually discovered herself on the receiving finish of criticism for not being “Latina enough,” particularly as a result of she doesn’t converse Spanish.
This is my form of occasion. This is me and that is what I’m about.
“There were moments where it was frustrating,” Nicole says. “These people who are saying this, they don’t know me, my family, or my situation. So when they make comments like, ‘You’re not Latina enough. You’re not Mexican enough,’ it’s like, ‘What does that even mean?’ It’s still in my blood. It’s still who I am.”
The belittling continued at school, the place Nicole was body-shamed for having small breasts. She recalled a second when she sat down at a desk and the women round her advised her to depart as a result of she wasn’t part of their “Pretty Committee.” She additionally remembers the primary time she was body-shamed by 2 boys on her strategy to class.
“To their face, I just rolled my eyes and looked the other way. But of course when they walked away, I was holding in tears,” Nicole says. “I remember walking to my next class and feeling so hurt and angry that people would think that it’s OK to make comments about your body, the body God gave you.”
I bear in mind feeling so harm and indignant that individuals would assume that it’s OK to make feedback about your physique, the physique God gave you.
Nicole discovered solace in songwriting, a craft she picked up at 15 after studying to play the guitar. From a younger age, whereas singing Michelle Branch and Christina Aguilera on her household karaoke machine, Nicole knew she was fascinated with music. But it wasn’t till she picked up a guitar that she noticed it as a possible profession. “The second I learned four basic chords, I began to write my own songs,” Nicole says. “That’s when things really clicked for me with music. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”
After a suggestion from her dad, Nicole arrange a camcorder in her sport room, recorded an acoustic cowl of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody,” and made her YouTube debut at 16 years outdated. Slowly, views started trickling in. “It was such a surreal thing,” Nicole says. “At that time, it wasn’t even a thing to be a YouTuber. That wasn’t even a word. That wasn’t even the intention when I posted that video. It was just, ‘Hey, here’s another place to share my music.’”
Nicole’s following actually exploded a yr later, in 2010, when she was touring in Colorado for a youth group occasion. During the journey, Nicole was invited to an impromptu jam session with fellow YouTuber Tyler Ward, who requested her to duet on a canopy of Rihanna and Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie.” Not considering a lot of it, Nicole went for it with Ward after which flew dwelling—solely to seek out that the video had hit one million views and her following had reached 100,000 subscribers. “That’s when it became like, ‘Wow. OK. This is a job,’” Nicole says. “I have 100,000 people who took their time to press ‘subscribe,’ so I need to make content for them.”
At that point, it wasn’t even a factor to be a YouTuber. That wasn’t even a phrase.
From there, Nicole’s profession soared: She left public college in the midst of her junior yr to go on tour with pop-rock band Boyce Avenue. Her first authentic tune, “B-e-a-utiful,” amassed one million views in simply 2 days. That’s when—days after turning 18—Nicole acquired a message from Bad Boy’s president, Harve Pierre, asking her to fly out to Miami and carry out for P. Diddy at his home. “We had to take our shoes off and put slippers on,” Nicole recollects. “I walked through the front door of his house and they were playing my cover music on the loudspeakers. It was such a surreal thing.”
In entrance of Diddy and his entourage, Nicole carried out 2 songs, an authentic and a canopy of OneRepublic’s “Secret.” A month later, she was signed as Bad Boy’s first-ever pop artist in collaboration with Interscope Records, a well known pop label that has represented such singers as Selena Gomez and Lady Gaga. “Those guys taking their time to meet with this 18-year-old girl from Texas who is just freshly into music, that spoke to me more than words,” Nicole says.
However, being signed to a serious label wasn’t all the pieces Nicole anticipated it to be. After years of slow-to-release music and ready followers questioning when new materials would come, Nicole felt stunted. In 2015, 3 years after she was signed, Bad Boy and Interscope disbanded, leaving Nicole with a alternative: She might both watch for Bad Boy to associate with one other pop label or go away and attempt to make it on her personal. “I decided to begin a new journey,” Nicole says. “At that point, I wasn’t really releasing any music and I wanted to write and put music out. That was the most important thing for me. I decided to take that journey on my own.”
I all the time attempt to preserve placing positivity on the market, as a result of the world wants extra of it.
And although Nicole was disillusioned within the fallout, she has no unhealthy phrases for Diddy. Instead, she channeled that power into self-producing her personal music, together with a handful of one-off singles and an EP titled “Escape” in 2014. Now, Nicole is able to absolutely reintroduce herself as an unbiased artist along with her first-ever album, “My Kind of Party.” “The icing on the cake is where we’re at right now,” Nicole says. “The album is very much me when it comes to fun and empowering songs. It’s cool to see how my music has matured as I’ve gotten older.”
The album, which incorporates eight tracks and can be offered on iTunes and in bodily copy, continues Nicole’s theme of positivity, a musical through-line she developed after overcoming her childhood bullies. “In the beginning, it wasn’t a conscious thing. It was more like, ‘These are the songs I was writing,’” Nicole says. “I was realizing more and more that they had a similar message that brought them all together. At the end of the day, I want to leave an impact on people’s lives where they can listen to my music and feel empowered or have fun.”
At the top of the day, I need to go away an influence on individuals’s lives the place they’ll hearken to my music and really feel empowered.
Nicole’s ardour for feminine empowerment is probably going what caught the eye of Michelle Obama and Google, who invited Nicole to interview the First Lady for Let Girls Learn, Obama’s initiative to assist women all all over the world pursue an schooling. And whereas Nicole realized so much from merely being in Obama’s presence, she admits that her most memorable takeaway was educating the First Lady learn how to do a duck face. “Before she came into the room, they told us we couldn’t ask for selfies. So I thought it was hilarious when Mrs. Obama was the one who suggested we take selfies,” Nicole says. “I automatically went to my duck face pose and she was like, ‘What is that? I always see my girls doing that. The little duck face.’ I was like, ‘Yeah! Let’s do one together.’ And so we took a duck face selfie together.”
And although Nicole has come a good distance from the lady who shot acoustic covers on a camcorder in her upstairs sport room, she hasn’t taken her YouTube beginnings without any consideration. Along with making an attempt to add extra, Nicole understands the influence she has on followers who see her as a job mannequin, particularly on social media. “Those are the people that believed in me from the beginning,” Nicole says. “I always try to be an encouragement to them, and to keep putting positivity out there, because the world needs more of it.”