Bursting onto the Australian music scene in 2014 with Peking Duk for their smash hit High, electronic, indie pop singer-songwriter Nicole Millar has continued to soar. In 2016 she released her debut EP Tremble which was certified gold for selling over 35,000 copies and the self-titled track reached #53 on the ARIA Singles Chart. Since then, Nicole has toured nationally, played at major festivals like Splendour in the Grass and 2018 saw her release her debut album Excuse Me. If you think it stops there, as of today Nicole has released her brand new EP Are You Kidding Me?
This week we picked her brains on what inspired her to pursue a career in music and how she got to where she is today.
What inspired you to pursue music as a career?
Since I was little I would trap myself in my room and write songs as a way of dealing with my emotions. I didn’t know that music could be a career, but I kept putting my music out in the world and eventually music ended up being my career.
Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are?
I’ve always been a little hustler pestering people to listen to my music. I’m pretty sure I sent Justin Bieber’s manager an email when I was 15 haha. I studied acting for 4 years and did acting jobs here and there which definitely helped me get to where I am today.
How do you approach developing timelines for your career?
I like to write down my goals big and small every month and see what I can do weekly to achieve them. During COVID-19 I made a goal to write 8 lines a day and I think something as little as that helps achieve bigger things.
What will musicians discover from touring and how should they prepare for it?
For me touring helped shape my music. When I started doing festivals, I noticed the sudden urge in me to make more upbeat music that people could dance to. I think it’s very important to get out there and see what people resonate with and what they don’t to help with writing. I’m not sure if there is a way to prepare, I mean obviously rehearse but the main thing I think is to just get out there and do it. My first ever gig I created the event myself, I found the venue, supporting acts and organised everything. It ended up being so successful I landed the booking agent I still have today.
What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?
Learning to say no to things and industry burnout is definitely a thing. Also, I think it’s very important to be the leader of your team and control as much of your business as you can, when I first started out, I let my manager control my bank account and this ended up in a large amount of debt.
How should people educate themselves on current industry issues?
It’s definitely hard to keep 100% updated especially if you are like me and try not being on social media 24/7 as it elevates anxiety. But I think going to industry events when you can and reading articles helps.