Welcome, Dear MilspoFAN Readers!
I have a lovely treat of an interview for you today!
Nicole Dufield is an amazingly strong, spirited singer in the Hampton Roads, VA area.
I met her through a mutual friend when I lived there but had no idea that she had a musical background until I was about to move away. That’s a frustratingly familiar story! But this is exactly why MilspoFAN exists now- to quickly connect artsy milspo folks (and enthusiasts, organizations, other military family members, etc.) with each other so we have as much time as possible to build personal and professional relationships.
I’m very grateful that I did finally get a chance to hear all about Nicole’s work in this interview. You can feel the buzz of her passion and confidence come through as she shares with us about her singing. I’m quite excited to introduce her to you all. So, without further ado…
MilspoFAN: Tell us a little about yourself, your journey as a military spouse, and where you are today.
Nicole: I am a mom of three girls, 5, 3 and 6 months! I was born and raised on Long Island, NY. I lived with my mom, grandma and aunt growing up. I was raised to be a strong, independent woman! I started playing piano at 5 years old and learned to read music before I could words. I started playing violin at the age of 8 and started singing at age 10. I knew I wanted to pursue music by middle school age and never wavered. I went to college in Rhode Island and a couple years after graduation met my sailor while he was stationed in Newport, RI. We got married a year after we met and moved while I was pregnant with our oldest. Doing a move while 9 months pregnant was quite the challenge. My sailor checked into his new command on a Friday, he went underway that next Monday and I went into labor that Thursday evening. I had to drive myself to the hospital while in labor and quickly learned how to be on my own in this Navy life. I met sailor on shore duty, and sea duty was quite the shock. Sailor has been in the Navy for 15 years, I have been with him for 8 of those 15 years and wouldn’t change a thing. I have loved the friendships it has given me, and the new home it has blessed us with.
MilspoFAN: How and why did you get into music and start singing, and how has your music/singing evolved to where you are today?
Nicole: My aunt was taking piano lessons when I was still 4 and I would sit and “play” and not just bang like my cousins. She taught me a couple things and it just clicked for me. Music just made sense in my brain. My piano teacher agreed to start teaching me once I was in Kindergarten. But I could read music before words made any sense to me. I started to sing in elementary school, and I was good at it. I enjoyed singing much more than playing piano, so I started focusing on my voice and my gift just exploded. I started taking lessons which led to wanting to be a voice teacher. I started singing in church and it all just snowballed. After college I started singing in churches more and now I sing weddings and funerals at my church and weekly services.
MilspoFAN: Besides singing do you have other artistic interests?
Nicole: I enjoy the theater. I used to perform in musicals and loved to make my life a song! Acting was another artistic passion of mine.
MilspoFAN: Do you prefer working creatively as a soloist or do you enjoy collaborating with other artists (either musical artists or artists of other disciplines such as dance, visual, film, etc.)?
Nicole: I enjoy being a soloist, who doesn’t love the limelight? But I do miss being a part of a real choir. I love being able to harmonize and listening to the different parts blend together and create this masterpiece. After a while singing the melody gets boring, haha. I love being able to harmonize with someone without even practicing. When finding someone who is also so well trained that you can just feed off each other is the biggest high in my book!
MilspoFAN: What are a few of your favorite pieces of music to sing and why?
Nicole: I love to sing musical theater music and I LOVE, LOVE to sing classical music/operas. I am classically trained and love to sing arias when I have the opportunity. But musical theater is a favorite. I love playing a character and getting to put emotion in what I’m singing because it’s not just a song, it is a story.
MilspoFAN: What role or purpose does singing play in your life today?
Nicole: Singing is who I am. It is my outlet and my way to express myself. It has been the way that I am Nicole, not just mommy. It is the part of me that was me before I became a mom and that is not something that can be taken away. I get to share my gift with my children and we sing together and I get to share my love of song with my girls now.
I’ve done music obviously my whole life. It’s who I am, no matter where our life takes us, no matter how old I am, or my children are, music will be in me. It’s in every fiber of my being. And it makes me ecstatic to have it that way, I wouldn’t want it any other way!
We wouldn’t want it any other way, either, Nicole! Thank you for taking a moment to get acquainted with Nicole and her work. Holy mackerel, did you catch where she said she drove herself to the hospital while in labor?! That’s some stone cold military spouse-ing! The way she speaks about her relationship to music is electrifying. As always, I encourage you to show your support for Nicole by adding a comment or question here on the blog or on our Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/822074921231550/