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Amber Nichols: Our new ‘Voice’ hopeful

Laura Peppas

When Hayley Jensen made it to the top 50 on reality singing competition The Voice last year, good friend and fellow Canberran Amber Nichols was in the audience, watching proudly.

This time it was Hayley’s turn to watch on as Amber blew the judges away during her blind audition in the show’s fourth season, which aired on WIN television tonight.

Amber says she was “floored” when judges Jessie J, Ricky Martin, Delta Goodrem and Joel and Benji Madden all turned their chairs to signal their seal of approval.

“When Jessie J turned just moments into the song, I was shocked and so honoured, because she is such an incredible singer,” the 32 year old folk-pop singer says.

“To be performing in front of people so established in the music industry is such a crazy experience. I’m lucky that Hayley was able to give me some advice on what to expect.”

Amber, who currently works as a senior account executive at the Telstra business office in Civic, says she has been singing since she was a child.

“I was always so shy, so it wasn’t until my 20s when I got asked to join [Canberra rock band Angels are architects] that I got used to performing in public,” she says.

“I used to get so nervous I’d throw up before every performance, but the more I performed the more I loved it.”

Amber was the lead singer of Angels are architects for seven years before going solo: her debut album, Oh my lullaby, was released in 2012.

“It was a bit scary to step out solo, and it took a while to get my confidence up and realise this was really something I could do,” she says.

Listing Sia, Joni Mitchell and Kate Miller Heidke as her major influences, Amber admits she was an avid watcher of The Voice before her audition.

“I’m a bit of a reality TV nut and was always the one sitting at home judging others, so now that I’m the one performing on stage I’m a bit worried about how I’ll be portrayed,” she laughs.

“I wanted to audition because I’ve been singing for ten years, slowly building up my fan base, but the kind of publicity you get on the show…you could tour for years and not get that kind of exposure all at once and so quickly.”

The mother of one is expecting her second child in September, and says if she progresses in the show, she plans to take her maternity leave early.

“I’m not really thinking about that too much just yet, I’m just taking it day by day because if I think about the bigger picture I get too overwhelmed,” she says.

“This pregnancy has been a bit of a dream so I’ve been okay performing, I’ll see what happens.”

Amber says her younger brother Ethan, who has Down Syndrome, is one of her biggest inspirations when she steps out on stage.

“When I perform, I really just think about my family as they are so important to me,” she says.

“Growing up I always compared myself to others, but Ethan has taught me it’s important to be yourself and be unique.”

UPDATE: Amber has now made it through a couple of live rounds. Don’t forget to vote to keep her there!

For more information on Amber, visit ambernichols.com.au

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Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra’s senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra’s wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she’s not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea.

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