August 11, 2010 - Country singer Erica Nicole has roots in Blairsville, Georgia
With a new CD just released on July 1st, over a million profile hits last month on MySpace, a new website at www.EricaNicoleMusic.com, and a road tour underway, Erica Nicole is on her way to stardom.
Erica Nicole, focused on a commitment she made years ago, is determined to give her singing career a hundred and ten percent. When asked about a boyfriend, she answers with a smile, "I can't predict when I'll fall in love, but right now I am just enjoying my life."
She says, "Mom and Dad (Betty and Eric Leathers) are my biggest fans. They told me if I still wanted to sing after I finished college, they would support my career one hundred percent." Erica Nicole heeded their advice, got her Bachelors Degree in Business at Western Carolina , and then set out to follow her dream.
Erica Nicole has been singing her whole life. She explains, "My grandmother, Norine Odom, bought an accordion at a yard sale. I would play that old thing and dance around thinking I was really making music. My grandmother lived right across from the North Georgia News office here in Blairsville. I spent a lot of my summers with her and those were some of the happiest times of my childhood. Things were so carefree in the mountains - I loved walking down to Foodland with my friends."
Erica Nicole began writing songs in high school and auditioned for the Young Singers of Callanwolde in 1990. She was accepted into the nationally recognized program and sang with them for three years.
After graduation, Erica Nicole developed a plan and stuck with it. In August of 2006, she moved to Los Angeles where she took a job in the insurance industry. "I didn't know anyone! First thing I did was start asking for advice from people in the music business."
Six weeks after arriving in Los Angeles , Erica Nicole got an appointment with vocal instructor Canter Nathan Lam (who has worked with many famous singers including Rod Stewart, Ringo Starr, and Dolly Parton). Erica Nicole says, "Nate agreed to work with me even though he wasn't taking any more vocal students at the time. When Nate Lam says 'I'd love to work with you' you know it is the start of something good. I knew I had a chance in the music business."
In 2007, Erica Nicole met legendary musical director and record producer Michael Lloyd (who, among other accomplishments, directed the original Dirty Dancing soundtrack) and he became her manager. Erica Nicole was soon inside the recording studio!
Her first single, "Somebody Like Me" has recently been included on the soundtrack of two movies, "Too Late to Say Goodbye" starring Rob Lowe, and "Small Town Saturday Night" with Chris Pine.
Her 1st album, titled, "Erica Nicole", was released on July 1, 2010. She says, "Even though I was recording in Los Angeles , I wanted good old southern boys on my album. We got Eddie Bayers, Jr. (named one of the top 10 session drummers of all time by Drum Magazine), Paul Liem (multiple winner of the Nashville Music Award), and other great musicians out of Nashville ."
Songs on the album include "Where's Johnny Now", "Shave", "I Ain't Your Baby", "Rebel in a Short Skirt", and "Hungry Eyes". Anyone that liked "Hungry Eyes" from Dirty Dancing will love Erica Nicole's country version!
Erica Nicole has recently been promoting her album. She has performed at Atlanta Brave's games, Relay for Life Atlanta, Gilley's in Dallas , Texas , the SXSW Music Festival in Austin , Texas , and various venues in California and Atlanta . Many more concert dates are scheduled during the upcoming months. She says, "I am just now starting a hard push to get my name and music out there." Fans may purchase Erica Nicole's CD online at iTunes, CD Baby, Rhapsody, and Amazon.
Erica Nicole is also planning to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2011 with Armed Forces Entertainment to perform for the troops. Tract number 7, "What could I do different tonight" (written by Senator Orin Hatch from Utah ) is dedicated to fallen soldiers as well as active men and women here and abroad.
Erica Nicole wraps up the interview with these words. "I have deep roots in Union County and the North Georgia Mountains are in my heart and soul. I want the kids here to know that they can do anything. Country girls are strong - just stay clean (no drugs) and believe in yourself!"