Name: Dr. Nicole Wright
Where do you live now? Manhattan, New York
What does it mean to you to have a voice? To have a voice means feeling free, strong, independent, purposeful, and nervous all at the same time.
How did you find your voice?
I grew up in Brownsville Brooklyn. During my childhood, it was one of the most dangerous, low-income, areas of the city to live in. Even though my family did not have much money growing up my mother did not want our financial background to stop me from reaching my full potential. She did everything she could to make sure our financial hardship did not have a negative impact on my future. When I was in elementary school she sent me to a school in Manhattan that held free specialized violin classes during the school day. From 6th grade on, she sent me to boarding school, and over the summer she sent me to an all-girls camp run by nuns. My mother searched high and low to find the best opportunities for me. Seeing her struggle to make sure I had the best possible future helped me find my own work ethic which in turn also helped me find my voice. Resilience is key. You do not have to be the smartest or the most talented person in the room to be successful. Success comes with never giving up. You must be persistent in what you want, then work hard to achieve it.
What event or series of events helped you find your voice?
There was not a defining moment when I began expressing my voice, but if I had to choose a time period in which I noticed I became more out-spoken, it would be my twenties. In the early years of my life, I feel like I was trying to consume all the information I could and process my feelings. My voice began to develop more and more with life experiences. Since
there was not a defining moment when I realized I found my voice I do not know what it felt like when I finally found it. However, I have an array of feelings now when I express myself. I feel free, strong, independent, purposeful, and nervous all at the same time. I have all of these feelings expressing myself because I truly want to use my voice to help others.
How did 2020 help you refine/redefine your voice?
2020 was undoubtedly a challenging year, however, I learned a lot. Since everything went online it forced me to share my work virtually. As a result, it allowed me to reach more people with my work and connect with others all over the world.
There are opportunities and blessings even in the darkest of times.
Whose voice are you influenced by?
My mother is my inspiration and mentor. She helped me solidify my voice. Not only did she do everything she could to give me a better life, but she also made sure I knew the lord. Seeing her work ethic and growing up knowing god helped me to live a spiritual based life. I truly believe everyone was put on this earth for a purpose, I believe mine is related to music. My mother helped me find my path, and grow in my music career. She went to all my lessons, shows, and heard, critiqued, and cheered me on during all of my practices. She sat with me and uplifted me many times when I would cry to her thinking I couldn't do it because I wasn't smart or good enough. She gave me the confidence I needed which helped me find my voice. It is truly a special relationship we have and I am beyond grateful to have been blessed to have her as my mother. I want to make her proud!
How has your voice influenced others, particularly those in your community?
I know what it is like growing up with financial hardship which is why I want to help ensure students have the ability to learn the violin no matter what their financial background is. As a result, I currently work for a nonprofit establishment, which brings violin classes into East Harlem Public schools. I also developed a series on my Instagram page where students can learn the violin for free by watching my mini violin lesson videos.
Music has brought me to where I am today. It might be able to do the same for someone else as well.
I support also support other women, by sharing their voices on my Instagram page, as well as support their ideas by giving positive feedback to help them grow and be the best version of themselves.
Where will your voice lead next?
I hope to create a platform where I can help aspiring musicians on their musical journey. This could be in performing, teaching, or both. I also hope to continue to share my own music and collaborate with other artists.
Dr. Wright is a performer of many genres. She was an onstage musician at the Metropolitan Opera, Manon Lescaut. She was a section violist in the symphony in C orchestra. She appeared with the Carnegie Hall Linked up orchestra. She recently returned from Guadalupe, France with Ensemble du Monde, and Panama City Panama with the Funsincopa organization. She toured with the wordless orchestra playing backup for Jonsi and Alex, and she performed with DJ C. Devone at the White House Correspondents Dinner Pre-party, hosted by Google and the Atlantic, under the Obama administration. Dr. Wright has performed at New York’s Fashion Week and in a series of television shows such as the David Letterman show, Saturday Night Live, and The Tonight Show. She has performed backup for Halsey, G-Eazy, Metroboomin, Jon Batiste, Jon Bellion, and Miley Cyrus. She played backup for Miley Cyrus in Mileys, Vevo acoustic Music video “Nothing Breaks Like a heart,” and she performed backup for Jon Bellion’s, acoustic music video, “Stupid Deep.” Ms. Wright has performed Backup for Miley Cyrus at the 2019 MTV Music Video Awards.
Dr. Wright holds a Master of Music Degree from Mannes College of Music, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree from Rutgers University. Along with performing Dr. Wright is also a teaching mentor and music educator at Opus 118, Harlem School of Music.