Gillian Nicola is more than another up-and-coming singer/songwriter from Hamilton, Ontario. With a blend of folk, rock, and soul influences, Gillian creates a sound that honours her diverse taste honourably. With a voice that is often likened to Janis Joplin, Gillian brings authenticity and vulnerability to her music. With her band, Gillian Nicola & The Radio Interference, they combine the honesty of folk music with the power of rock and soul to create a sound both unique to them and one that offers something for everyone.
Gillian started off 2015 with a bang, with a performance at the JUNO Concert Series: The Love Song Edition at Hamilton’s Mills’ Hardware alongside many legendary Hamilton musicians. Soon after, Gillian was declared a Regional Finalist in the CBC Searchlight Competition and was selected for the CIRAA Mentorship Program, where she received one-on-one mentorship with Livy Jeanne (Black Box Records, Universal Music) over the summer of 2015. These successes are timely as Gillian embarks on her newest EP, which will be released in early 2016, but Barber Shop Podcast viewers get a sneak peek as she plays some of them live tonight with her brother Ben.
While her roots are certainly still in folk music, new influences have inspired Gillian to write with different sounds in mind. The music on this new recording is inspired by musicians such as Kathleen Edwards, Neko Case and the aforementioned Joni Mitchell, and features a contrast of light and dark sounds and a much more ambient sound than she has used in the past.
A classically trained vocalist from a young age, Gillian’s love of music began as a child. After completing studies at the University of Toronto, Gillian stormed onto the Hamilton and Toronto music scenes in 2012 with her first acoustic EP, Afterburn. She followed this soon after with 2013’s Chasing the Wind, a six-song EP, which Gillian followed up with her first Ontario tour. The album was not only a personal success: Chasing the Wind was nominated for two Hamilton Music Awards and the Toronto Independent Music Awards.
All in all, a very sweet treat to have visit on a mild December Wednesday, a very sweet treat indeed.