Nicole Belanus is a singer/songwriter whose eclectic musical taste is apparent in her songwriting. Using her guitar and voice, she delivers a blend of folk-rock and a strong vocal performance with memorable melodies for fans of Joni Mitchell and Shawn Colvin.
In the classic singer/songwriter tradition, her lyrics are raw and honest, telling stories from personal experiences, yet undisguised, creating accessible language and images meaningful to diverse audiences. She writes about her feelings, faith, relationships, and her experiences of growing up with raw emotion, maturity and sincerity. Her voice has been compared to Sheryl Crow and Dar Williams.
Growing up in a very musical household, where her mother taught piano in the family living room, Nicole has always had a passion for music. Picking out instruments during the summer months and teaching herself how to play them, she has succeeded in becoming a multi-instrumentalist.
Though Nicole began to write songs in her early childhood, it was not until October 2009 when she released her self-released solo debut CD entitled “Notes on Paper,” an eclectic album that demonstrates her unique style and dynamic abilities. A local reviewer called it “tuneful and polished” and it has been a regular pick for local radio shows since its release. Also in 2009, Nicole won a local songwriting contest sponsored by the Tidewater Arts Outreach, which helped give her the motivation needed to record her first album.
She followed her debut release in 2011 with a faith-based album called “Tune My Heart,” garnering her continued praise and support from the local music scene. Nicole was selected as “Best Vocalist” in March 2012 by SingerUniverse magazine, an online publication based out of Los Angeles, CA.
In June of 2012 she started work on “Build Things, Break Things” from her apartment in Williamsburg. Working feverishly all summer long, the album was released September of 2012. She recorded all instruments, produced and engineered the release herself. With this album, Belanus felt that she had indeed earned her stripes as a true “independent artist.”
Nicole relocated from Williamsburg, Virginia to the Northern Virginia/D.C. area in the spring of 2014 to pursue more musical opportunities. She received an honorable mention in the Mid Atlantic Songwriting Competition in 2014 and has been embraced by an exciting new musical community in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Nicole reached another landmark in her career in late 2014 when she began work on her new album “Common Thread” produced by Chris Rosser at Hollow Reed Arts Studio in Asheville, North Carolina. Her latest group of 12 songs is her strongest to date and was released in July 2015. The album features a stellar line up of backing musicians and a more polished and consistent songwriting style than previous projects. It was nominated for the “Best Contemporary Folk Album” at the 2015 Wammies (Washington Area Music Association).
Nicole has performed in a variety of settings including coffeehouses, churches, outdoor music festivals, cultural arts centers, national conferences, restaurants, bars, and on live radio and television. She currently resides in the northern Virginia area.