"Sometimes even the best-laid plans can take a sudden turn. Such would be the story of Britt Nicole.Growing up in her grandfather’s church, joining the kids’ choir and the youth choir, Britt it seems was destined to sing. At 13, she, with her brother Bryn and a cousin Candace, started a contemporary/Southern gospel group, performing at churches for two years. As they reached high school though, they found themselves going in different directions. Turn No. 1.
Knowing salvation in her head but not fully in her heart, Britt spent her teenage years going to the right places but never finding anything deeper in God. “I loved the Lord but I also knew there was something deeper to encounter,” says Britt. At 17, she knew God had called her to a career in ministry. “When the Lord spoke, I audibly heard him. I felt him speak. He said, ‘You’ve got to surrender everything. I only have part of your heart. Don’t hold on to your life because I have a plan for you. I will make every dream come to pass.’” Turn No. 2.
Graduating from high school, Britt prepared to move away from all the activity with which she had surrounded herself. Supported by family and friends, this was to be her chance to escape some pressure and responsibility, to just take time with her and God, to find freedom to be herself. Accepted to Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., with a scholarship in the commercial music program, Britt was heading off to college. “But I battled God telling me not to go the whole summer, and three weeks before I was suppose to leave, I made the decision to listen. I just didn’t have peace about it, I said I can’t go.’” Turn No. 3.
Staying home in Salisbury, N.C., Britt took stock of her surroundings. Two local producers wanted to help her, so they formed indie record label, MGS Records, with her in mind. Over the course of several months, they assisted Britt in creating a nine-track album, Follow the Call. “Then I sat back and got lazy. I worked at a gym and taught dance. And I thought, ‘OK, God, do something. You called me. Now do it.’”
Make a challenge such as that and one usually gets another answer. “God was telling me, and my mom and dad were telling me, ‘If this is going to happen, you have to do something.’ I started making phone calls to local churches and booking myself to sing. At my first concert for my CD release, 600 people lined up at the door. From that point, I still booked myself but churches also started calling me.”
In Fall 2004, her six-song EP Britt Nicole came into the hands of a Nashville booking agent and a management company. After a showcase in Asheville, N.C., Britt signed with manager Scott McReynolds, who led her to The Breen Agency for booking as an independent artist. Britt played a showcase in the Nashville area, and a representative from a record label saw major potential. “He loved the heart behind it, my ministry and voice, but there was need for growth, and I understood that I needed time to prepare musically and spiritually. I’ve always been told that you can only take people as far as you are and nowhere past where you’ve been.” Turn No. 4 of a development deal became Turn No. 5 when change happened at the label six months later.
By this time in the journey though, Britt knew more about herself and her purpose in music than when she started. Writing with songwriters like Pete Kipley (Mercy Me, The Afters), Jeremy Bose, Aaron Rice, and Jamie Moore, helped Britt find her sound and her message. Her music and style are pop/rock with some hip-hop; to put it in pop music terms, think Gwen Stefani, the Killers, and Madonna.
“I feel ready spiritually and more prepared through what God’s doing in my life,” says Brittl. “I needed this development time to find out what God wants me to say. Before, I couldn’t write from personal experience because I didn’t feel free to show the real things.”
Letting go of insecurities, working through forgiveness in past relationships, including her parents’ divorce that happened when she was 7, have all brought Britt the ability to speak to her audience. “I’ve always been nervous speaking in front of people. I always felt like I was too much of a mess myself to be offering anything. But 1 Chronicles 28:20 says, ‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task. For the Lord my God is with you, He will not fail you or forsake you.’ I finally let those feelings go. If we think that we can’t do anything until we are fixed, we’ll never get anything done. But in our weakness, God makes us strong.”
Britt now feels free to share her heart with those who are discouraged and disenfranchised, brokenhearted and complacent. “I feel I’m speaking to those affected by divorce, to those seeking affirmation, identity, and love, in other places besides the cross, and to those who are stagnent in their christian walk, and need a real, life changing encounter with Jesus Christ.” – the very things she’s seen and been along her journey of God’s best-laid plan."