Soul singer Nickie Conley has been a mainstay of the Nashville music scene for many years now, and has lent her vocal talents to One Republic, Celin Dion and Zac Brown Band – and she’s getting into the Christmas spirit early with the release of the super-catchy new single ‘100 Christmas Kisses’.

Check out the new song on YouTube below – definitely a great alternative to endlessly playing the same old Mariah Carey and Cliff Richard tunes this Christmas…

We sat down for a chat with Nickie about the new single, life in Nashville and more…

Welcome to GigSoup! Tell us all about the new single…

The new single, “100 Christmas Kisses,” is a pop tune with some old school elements. It’s catchy, light, and fun, and hopefully people will find themselves humming along. It was written by Oisin Browne; he wrote it for his family while he was away working during the holidays. 

Can you give us a few of your own favourite Christmas songs, and tells us why you chose them?   

“The Christmas Song” is my favorite Christmas song of all time. It has been done by so many artists in a variety of arrangements and it never gets old! I love the chord progressions in this song. I have many, but some of my favorite versions are by Nat King Cole, Chris Willis and Donna Summer.  “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ is again, another classic holiday song that never gets old. It’s wonderfully written with a beautiful melody that’s easy to sing and has great chord progressions.  “Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day.”  has such a beautiful message that we all need to be reminded of. It has a gorgeous melody and beautiful transitions.  “The Christmas Waltz” by The Carpenters has this light and airy feeling that reminds me of holidays gone by.  “This Christmas” by Donnie Hathaway and the slower version by The Whispers.  I love the soulfulness in this song.  I have many more but I’ll stop there.  In fact, my Christmas playlist includes over 700 songs!

I can hear a mix of sounds in your songs – who are you top 5 biggest influences, musically, and why?  

Barbra Streisand: her delivery of a song is impeccable. Her inflections, and little nuances are vocal perfection.  Shirley HornShe’s smooth like butter. I love her interpretation of a song, and the way she plays piano is gorgeous. Gladys Knight:  Can we say tone for days! Her vocals are sultry and soulful and she can make any song hers. Al Jarreau:  Al’s pitch was amazing and he wasn’t afraid to experiment with different sounds and singing techniques.  Patti Austin: I love the brightness in the tone of her voice. 

Give us an insider’s take on the Nashville scene – where should we be drinking, eating, seeing bands play, etc?  

You’re asking a foodie about food in a foodie town… That’s dangerous!  I could go on for days on best restaurants in Nashville, but I won’t. No. 308 in East Nashville has excellent craft cocktails. Black Rabbit on the world-famous Printer’s Alley is an ode to old Nashville and is reminiscent of the old speak-easy of the 1920s.  They have a great selection of cocktails.  Barcelona Wine Bar has a great selection of wines and tapas. 

If you visit Nashville, you should try Nashville Hot Chicken. There are many different restaurants that have it.  My personal favorite is Hattie B’s.  When you’re more in the mood for gourmet, I recommend Butcher and Bee, Rolf and Daughters, or The Chef and I.  The Southern V  or The Wild Cow are great choices for Vegan food.  

Live music is available seven nights a week at any number of venues and is much more diverse than outsiders often assume.  Some of my favorite spots include 3rd and Lindsley, Douglas Corner, City Winery, The Five Spot (especially their Sunday Night Soul) and Acme Feed and Seed (also great food there).  I’ve sung at each of these venues, and the audiences are always engaged and appreciative, so typical of Nashville music lovers.  

What’s next for you in 2020?  

I will be releasing new music in 2020 on the AfterTouch Music label.  I’m so fortunate to be able to work with Grammy-nominated producer Roger Ryan.  The single “I Like You Like That” drops in February, and the full album will be released later in the year.  An album release tour is in the works, and some new music videos will be coming out as well. I look forward to spending significant time in 2020 writing original content and sharing what’s on my heart. I also hope to be working on some collaboration projects with other artists.  Beyond that, I’m excited to see what surprises are in store for this new year.  There are always surprises!

Find Nickie Conley at facebook.com/nickieconleymusic and https://twitter.com/Nickienew now.