Soft-spoken Mercedes Nicole has an intimate and alluring stage presence that reaches out beyond the limits of time and space. Her voice is haunting and arresting, wrapping itself like a comforter around the human experience, encouraging uplift, seeking not only triumph but healing. She is that exquisite mix of a Mezzo-Soprano & Contralto blend that permeates and interrupts one's thoughts. Often with uncanny control...she lingers.
Her own compositions acknowledge life's obscure and melancholy moments that so easily turn into beauty, and life journeys of the many faces of love. Her music exudes strength in the midst of tenderness and often soars so freely that the listener is caught up on wings of mystery and intrigue. It makes sense then that her influences run from Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan to Nina Simone and the queen of storytelling, Nancy Wilson, with whom Mercedes shares her birthday.
Nicole's unique infatuation with music began early, but it was always a private affair. At age seven she sat at the feet of her father as he played and replayed the warped albums he treasured of the great women in jazz, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan. Seeing her complete fascination with jazz, her father began sneaking her into clubs in Los Angeles, where she spent most of her childhood, teen years seeing and hearing greats like Nancy Wilson, Bobby Hutcherson and Cal Tjader. However, being brought up as a strict Baptist, Mercedes did not venture into music like her peers in high school or college, but majored in Sociology and Social Work.