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The Voice contestant Amber Nichols shines light on local talent

Anna Riddel

Earlier this year local sweetheart Amber Nichols stole our hearts and our ears when she took to the stage on Channel 9’s The Voice.

The Canberra singer who has long been performing locally was propelled onto the national stage. And she did it all whilst pregnant.

Amber made judges and audiences alike sit up and pay attention to her exquisite voice. The excitement didn’t finish once she left the show either. Since finishing up on The Voice, Amber has given birth to her second child, Olive, all the while still organising shows to thank the audience for their support and use her own exposure to highlight other local talent.

Recently I had the absolute delight of speaking with Amber. She told me of her desire to use her own exposure from The Voice to help spotlight and foster other local talent.

“It is really hard developing in Canberra, there aren’t enough live venues, and you are mostly playing cover gigs,” says Amber. “So many times you’re just playing to one or two people. I’m not sure how we grow it, but I want to be a part of that.”

“There are some really great artistic hubs to build on, and people aren’t just leaving Canberra now. I want to be involved in the development of new music in Canberra. We need audiences to support us. We need to get people off their couch and to the show.”

Amber is getting straight to task with her show at the Arboretum on 30 October to say thank you to all her fans who have supported her this year.

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“I want to sing for people again because I was so close to the end of my pregnancy [on The Voice]. I want them to come to the show so I can really show them my full performance.”

Amber will be performing mostly her own songs, including acclaimed song Thief, as well as a few favourites that she performed on The Voice, including Strong (London Grammar) and Teardrop (Massive Attack).

Special guests at The National Arboretum concert will be Grace Pitts (The Voice, 2015) as well as local young singer songwriter Lucy Sugerman.

Amber is resolute in using her own recent exposure to a national audience to help benefit and develop other local acts. How? By putting a spotlight on them at her own gigs. Lucy was a real point of interest for Amber. She told me the story of how she came across the young singer on Youtube the same day that she received an email from a fan of Lucy’s, telling Amber not only about Lucy’s talents, but also of her charitable nature.

“It is important to use my own exposure for other Canberra up-and-comers to get larger crowds and develop a fan base,” says Amber.

A second concert in November is being held at The Abbey in Nicholls and will feature fellow Canberran (and Amber’s long term friend) former Australian Idol and The Voice contestant, Hayley Jensen.

But that’s not all. Amber is yet to confirm her second support act and is actively looking to showcase local talent. So, if you are a local up-and-coming performer who is looking to get some exposure and develop an audience base, head over to Amber’s Facebook page to send or post a video, or link to a track.

Amber wants to be a part of mentoring and developing young musicians in Canberra and is interested in partnering with like minded musicians. So if this is also a passion for you and you want to share ideas, or you think that you can contribute to developing performance opportunities and audiences in Canberra for local musicians, you can get in touch with Amber at via Facebook or [email protected].

And how is she doing this all with a newborn and a one year old?

“My husband has taken a month off, so I’m organising with him at home. My newborn (Olive) is breast feeding, she’s easy, it’s my toddler who needs the attention! Everyone is healthy, Olive is feeding and sleeping well. It is amazing, we’ve been really lucky, she is beautiful.”

So, get off your couch and come and be a part of Canberra’s growing music scene. What better way to start than a concert of stunning voices at The National Arboretum. Get there early to purchase a CD and have it signed by Amber in person.

the essentials
What: Amber Nichols live with special guests Grace Pitts and Lucy Sugerman.
Where: The Arboretum, Village Centre at the National Arboretum Canberra, Forest Drive, off Tuggeranong Parkway, Weston Creek, ACT
When: 30 October, Doors open 6pm, concert 7-9pm
Tickets: $30 Adult (over 18 years old), $75 Family (2 adults and 2 concessions), $20 (Under 18. Seniors. Health care card holders). Guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
More info: 02 6207 8484 – [email protected]

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Coming up in November
What: Amber Nichols live with Hayley Jensen and TBC.
Where: The Abbey, O’Hanlon Place, Nicholls
When: Saturday 28 November, Doors open 6:30pm
Tickets: Show only $30, Dinner and show $80
More Info: http://theabbey.com.au, Phone: (02) 6230 2905 Email: [email protected]

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Anna Riddel

Anna Riddel is a singer, director, keynote speaker and a passionate teacher. In 2012, her song Breathe, received a runner up position in the USA International Song Of The Year Songwriting Contest. Anna is currently a Voice tutor at NIDA, as well as a tutor in Music Pedagogy at UNSW. Her company Speak Don’t Talk consults on voice and communication across a range of industries. Anna is an avid Brumbies fan and a self professed coffee snob. Follow her on twitter @annariddel More about the Author

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