Written by Ella Audrey Rae
Photography by Greg DeStefano
Three years ago, I interviewed Megan Nicole when she released her hit single ‘Mascara’. Around that time she had also just gotten off of her ‘Escape’ tour and was still getting over the fact that she was chosen to interview Michelle Obama. She was only 22 years old. It is now the summer of 2018 and Megan is married with a new album out. In this updated interview Nicole talks her new album, marriage, being bullied and what’s next. She independently released her EP ‘Escape’ in 2014. “I think I was waiting for the perfect moment, but there never really is one. I released some singles in between the two projects and was just writing for a bit without really a plan to release them. That is, until a group of songs really stuck out to me.”
On February 9th 2018 Megan finally released her long awaited album ‘My Kind Of Party’ as an independent artist. The album comes with six tracks and already has 100,000+ views on the official video. “I was just so excited to get music out there again. It had been so long and I was ready for anyone besides my family and friends to hear what I’ve been working on.” The name of the album came after she wrote the title track in the summer of 2017. “Nothing” was a song I had first recorded back when I was with my label, so it was pretty spread out. “My Kind of Party,” funny enough, was the last of the songs I wrote, and it was some time in the Summer of 2017. It kind of tied it all in together. It’s a look into my world or a welcome to my party.”
One event that inspired this new mini album was her relationship with now husband Cooper Green whom Nicole married in the summer of 2017. “I was introduced to Cooper through one of his old roommates who was in a music video of mine. It was funny though, because I was never told we were being set up. I would hang out with their group of friends and Austin (his roommate who set it up) knew me and Cooper would connect. We were definitely drawn to each other from the start.” She continued ” Cooper knew me through a crazy season of my life. Knowing he has seen all sides of me and still loves me the way he does showed me we could go through anything together. He’s someone I want to grow with, who I want to go on adventures with, and who I want next to me when I wake up. He understands my schedule, he’s supportive of me, and we make a great team” Megan and Cooper planned their beautiful wedding in three months after he proposed in a short but sweet way. “I didn’t want to drag things out when it came to planning. We somehow managed to plan everything in 3 months which is insane, but it all came together. One of the producers I was working with on “My Kind of Party” was getting married a couple months before us, so it was fun talking about the craziness of wedding planning in between recording.
“I think it’s easy to get caught up in trends, but finding things that work for you and reflect what you want is so much more important.” Megan Nicole
According to Megan she wasn’t a bridezilla but very laid back and sometimes too laid back while planning her wedding ” I think I was one of the most laid back brides. Probably too laid back at times because we didn’t even try our caterer, just went off of reviews, but it worked out! If there was something I wish I had more time for it would be the dress, but I found one that I really loved and I understood that feeling so many brides have felt when they put on the dress they’ll say “yes” to.”
The best moment of her wedding? “I just loved having both of our worlds collide. I wish there were more moments where all of our family and friends could come together for a weekend. If I had to pinpoint one thing though, it was the end of the night when the last song was played and it was “When You Look Me in the Eyes” by the Jonas Brothers. I had thrown it in the list of songs to have played and there was something so fun about everyone singing it together to wrap up the night. In some way, my 14 year old dream came true because Nick Jonas was kind of (but not really) at my wedding.
Before they said I Do the newly weds took marriage counseling to ensure they both would understand each other and communicate better in this new journey. “I think it’s never a bad idea to seek counsel before getting married or even living with someone because that’s an adjustment. It helps to have a better understanding of where the other person is coming from. Too much surprise Cooper had no idea of who Megan Nicole was an artist before they got together but he ended up loving her music as much as she loved his “When we both learned that we did music, we were nervous about the other being good. He came to a show of mine before we had started dating and I had him play and sing me a song one night when we were hanging out. In a way we kind of both had to audition for each other. I think we we’re both relieved that the other was good at what they said they did. It would be hard to support your partners dreams of music if you couldn’t enjoy it!
Megan Nicole’s wedding was covered in the Spring 2018 of Inside Weddings. Amongst all of the music recording and wedding planning Megan was also able to launch her own fashion line with designer Julie Mollo. Jullie Mollo designed a lot of Megan’s attire over the years. “My partner, Julie Mollo, has been creating my stage wear and event looks for about 5 years. We’ve created so much together that I told her one day we should just start a line and she was already on the same page.” She continued “We actually discussed a lot over Skype because Julie is based in New York and I’m on the West Coast. We looked through fabrics and finalized things the moments we could while I was in New York. I had the title “Confetti Heart” for a potential song or album name, but it just fit so perfectly for our project. We both love confetti and hearts and everything colorful and fun.”
While we were on the topic of fashion, I thought I would ask Megan about some of her thoughts and experiences on the topic. What are your thoughts on today’s beauty standards? “I think it’s easy to get caught up in trends, but finding things that work for you and reflect what you want is so much more important.” In middle school Megan got teased about the size of her breast by students “It wasn’t just guys who had the jokes, but girls too, which still surprises me. It did hurt my feelings, but I either ignored them or would say “good for you” when guys said they had bigger boobs than me. Ha. I then asked her what she would say too that Megan Nicole if she could speak to her younger self in that situation. “It’s okay, you can buy bigger boobs one day if you r eally want to (lol), but love who you are and remember that doesn’t make you any less of a woman.”
Online she was teased for not having a more ‘Latina’ look. “Thankfully it was mostly online, so I never really had to confront anyone face to face. I know who I am and where my roots are. I know that no matter what other people say, it’s a part of me that no one can take away. ” She has advice for those dealing with the same issue both online and in real life. “Remember your roots, and also remember you don’t have to fit into other people’s boxes for you. Not fitting into other peoples’ standards of what being “latina” etc means, can’t change what’s in your blood.”
When Megan was 18 years old, she was signed to Bad Boy’s as their first-ever pop artist in collaboration with Interscope Records . “I learned a lot about interacting with different people in sessions and about what my boundaries were regarding what I would sing about or even want to sing about. I learned that even with a powerful team behind you, it can still be hard to move forward because there were moments when I wasn’t recording. Overall, it was an experience I wouldn’t take away. Even though I didn’t release much, I’m still thankful for that time. I grew up a lot over those couple years and learned a lot.
Even though being apart of a label has it perks, Megan says that in her experience her con would be not getting a say on when she got to release music, or sometimes which songs it will be. In 2015, three years after she was signed, Bad Boy and Interscope disbanded. Megan then decided to go independent instead of waiting for Bad Boy to partner with another pop label. “I feel like if the right partnership came along, I would be open to signing with a label again, but it is nice being able to create what I want and release it when I want. There is a nice freedom that goes along with it.” She continued on with advice for independent artist “Remember that even though you have more freedom, there are still challenges that go along with it. Like taking money from your own pocket to create and release the things you want. You are going to have to take more risks. Think of creative ways to share what you are doing, and also know once the music finds its way to other ears, it will speak for itself.”
Being independent has done Nicole much more justice then when she was signed even though it did allow her a bigger platform in the beginning. She now has 4.1 million YouTube subscribers, 2 million Facebook likes and 500k + twitter followers along with a massive collection of music that captures audiences around the world. What has the journey been like as a women in the music industry who plays by her own rules? “There have been moments where I’ve been expected to fit certain molds, but I’ve found a good groove of who I am as an artist and what I want to say. I know it’s not always the most popular thing, but I’m creating things that I enjoy and reflect who I am. I’m not trying to be “edgy” for the sake of being “edgy” or always dance because I’m a “pop star”.
“You don’t have to fit into other people’s boxes for you.” Megan Nicole
What made you take on the role model role as an artist? “It wasn’t something I thought a lot about at first, but then you remember people are paying attention and maybe even looking up to you. I am human, and making mistakes goes along with it, but my main goal is to always encourage and create a positive environment. I want young people to know they should chase after what they love and for girls to feel empowered. ”
Is it a lot or does it come naturally for you? “Of course it’s always easier over social media than the day to day, again because I’m human, but I do have a strong desire to create a positive place in my little corner of the Internet. There are moments when I want to be sassy with someone, but then I think, what’s the point? I’d rather spend that energy to encourage someone.”
Megan enjoys releasing ‘feel good’ music. The world can always use more of it. Music can be an escape, and I want to feel good when I listen to it. Of course, I have my share of sappy songs and Lord knows I’ve also enjoyed moments eating ice cream, in the bathtub, most likely crying listening to sad music, but those are select moments. Most of which happened during heart break.
To read the full interview view here and read the issue free.