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Dallas, TX-born, San Francisco-based independent soul singer and songwriter Rhonda Nicole released her debut EP Nuda Veritas in 2010 (Candle House Records). A collection of original material penned primarily between 2001-2006, the EP gives listeners a taste of what Rhonda Nicole has to offer as she deftly melds soul, funk, rock, and blues, and delivers a record that represents the tip of the iceberg. She describes her sound as “wild honey rock”: An unpredictably delectable fusion that moves the spirit, the heart, and the feet.
Rhonda Nicole’s musical roots were planted firmly the day her parents brought her home from the hospital, placed her in her crib, and turned on the radio. Her father--who was born and raised in New Orleans and who studied jazz and classical music before entering the seminary—introduced her to everything from “easy-listening” to Zydeco. Rhonda Nicole’s mother, in contrast, brought the sounds of Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Sly and the Family Stone, and the Fifth Dimension into her world. Rhonda Nicole’s formal music training began at age six with piano lessons, then later saxophone, choir, and musical theatre. From the very beginning, singing was Rhonda Nicole’s one true passion.
A prolific songwriter since her “tweens”, Rhonda Nicole honed her craft as a lyricist by ingesting music by a multitude of artists across a variety of genres. She sharpened her vocal performance skills at Dallas’ famed Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and continued to perform while earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Southern Methodist University. In 2001, Rhonda Nicole scored the once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of the inaugural cast at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, where she portrayed Mabel--a character loosely based on Aretha Franklin’s role in The Blues Brothers film—in USJ’s “Blues Brothers Revue”.
In 2002 Rhonda Nicole teamed up with Dallas-based musician Montrose Cunningham (co-producer of Nuda Veritas) and began performing around the city with him and his band at local live music venues and festivals. The band’s big break came in 2008 when Montrose was tapped to perform on the annual Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage Cruise, and in 2009 Rhonda Nicole made her solo performance debut on the Fantastic Voyage. She has also performed as a solo artist at the Red Vic Sessions in San Francisco, CA, the 2007 and 2008 GoGirls Music Festivals in Dallas, and numerous other events and venues.
In 2010, on the heels of the release of Nuda Veritas, Rhonda Nicole performed before an audience of 80,000 at musician/activist Michael Franti’s 12th Annual Power to the Peaceful Festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and has a cameo in Michael Franti + Spearhead’s video for their song “Hey, Hey, Hey”. That same year, Rhonda Nicole performed at the Atlanta Live music showcase during the 2010 Soul Train Music Awards, and “SoulLover”, the lead single from Nuda Veritas, was added to Dallas public radio station KKXT 91.7’s “Texas Mix” program that July. Rhonda Nicole has been profiled on SoulTrain.com and SoulTracks.com, and featured on the Houston-based “The Soul Brother Show” internet radio broadcast.
Now thriving in the San Francisco Bay Area, Rhonda Nicole is writing new music for her next project and preparing to embark upon the next phase of her journey as an artist. Currently she is performing with the San Francisco-based band Midtown Social, playing coveted venues such as the Elbo Room, Bottom of the Hill, the Boom Boom Room, and Hemlock Tavern. And just to keep a few additional irons in the fire, Rhonda Nicole is also a freelance contributor for and managing editor of SoulTrain.com, at the helm of the exclusive Artist to Artist series and covering live performances and music reviews.
Stay up to date on Rhonda Nicole’s new music and upcoming performances at www.rhondanicole.com. You can find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rhondanicolemusic, and on Twitter @WildHoneyRock.