Sue Bonzell:                 This is Up in Country on 93.7 The Bull. It’s powered by Vee Livecast. I’m your host Sue Bonzell. Let’s get this show started. My guest today is Nicole Marden. Hello, Nicole.

Nicole Marden:            Hi!

Sue Bonzell:                 How are you?

Nicole Marden:            I’m great. Thanks for having me.

Sue Bonzell:                 Of course. I’m so glad that we’re able to meet in person.

Nicole Marden:            Yes.

Sue Bonzell:                 It always makes it a little more fun.

Nicole Marden:            I agree.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yes. So now, you’re a musician.

Nicole Marden:            Yes.

Sue Bonzell:                 And from what I understand, you started a little bit later in life. You didn’t really start as a young person in music.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 Tell me about how you got into country music.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah! So, I’ve always been a singer, always loved singing. But I never really had the confidence to do it in front of people until, I was an adult. I went through a big life change and I was tired of saying, I wish I could play guitar and sing. I wish I could do this professionally. I just kind of started taking every class I could take, just really digging into songwriting and surrounding myself with other musicians that I could learn from. Now six years later, I’m gigging every weekend, I’m writing songs, I’m getting them produced out in Nashville and it’s just been a really fun experience.

Sue Bonzell:                 That is so cool. Well, I’ve seen you play many times here in Sonoma County and you do you, you’re playing all the time.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 So, what’s that like? I mean, do you feel like sometimes you’re maybe missing out on other things, since you’re working kind of in the prime times when other fun stuff is happening?

Nicole Marden:            Sometimes, but I love it so much, that I feel okay turning things down.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah.

Nicole Marden:            Because I work and then I gig. Then you also, when you’re an independent artist, you’re, writing your music, you’re producing the demos. You’re doing all your own promo, so everything’s very time consuming and then you look up and go, oh my God, I haven’t done anything. I haven’t gone on vacation, but it’s such a passion. Because I waited so long to do it, it’s all I can think about all the time.

Sue Bonzell:                 Well, and you’re great and I love the way you interact with the audience.

Nicole Marden:            Thank you!

Sue Bonzell:                 And, and I know that you kind of have, tell me about, a mission of serving women to empower.

Nicole Marden:            Yes!

Sue Bonzell:                 Some empowerment.

Nicole Marden:            Totally! Because I feel like in this day and age, it’s so easy for women to get to a certain age and feel like, well, I’m too old to do this now. Or, I should have done it when I was younger. No, if you want to do something, do it now. Because, no matter what age it’s going to fulfill you.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yes.

Nicole Marden:            Learning something new, honing in on a passion. It’s something that we all need.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah, I agree with you. It took me a little while, but here I am.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah, exactly.

Sue Bonzell:                 I’m trying something new.

Nicole Marden:            But you’re so good at inspiring too, even at my gig building me up and giving me advice, it was just what I needed!

Sue Bonzell:                 She’s wonderful. Well, we got to help each other. Right?

                                    That’s that’s the goal to help each other.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah, totally.

Sue Bonzell:                 So now you have a new song.

Nicole Marden:            Yes.

Sue Bonzell:                 Called obsession. Tell me about writing that song and your inspiration.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah. So Obsession was a song that came out last May actually, and it was one of the first songs that I really spent a lot of time and energy outside of producing in Sonoma county, went out to Nashville to get it mixed and mastered. My band and I actually did most of the work from my house. [crosstalk] after I wrote it, and then we sent it off and just were so in love with what we got from it and did a whole music video on it and out in LA and it’s just been a great experience.

Sue Bonzell:                 That’s so cool. So you mentioned Nashville, any plans to actually move to Nashville?

Nicole Marden:            Yeah. Eventually that’s the goal is to keep plugging along, get some money going where I can get there and be comfortable, and I know it’s the type of thing where you get to Nashville and everyone’s doing music.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yes.

Nicole Marden:            It’s very competitive, but also I feel like that could be so inspiring.

Sue Bonzell:                 Absolutely.

Nicole Marden:            To be around people that are like you. Cause although Sonoma County has that, it’s such a different feeling in Nashville. Cause that’s like they breathe…

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Nicole Marden:            Music, and I’m just making connections as I go and I keep visiting a few times a year and yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 So have you met anybody or, is there anybody that you have in mind that maybe you would like to collaborate on with a song?

Nicole Marden:            Oh, that’s a good question. Oh my God. I don’t even think of it myself as worthy enough.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh come on! Stop, stop, stop, stop.

Nicole Marden:            I mean, there’s so many people. I’m just lucky enough that I’m getting to collaborate with some female vocal coaches and producers out in Nashville. I started working with Kate Malone. She’s amazing. Just to get that female perspective.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh totally.

Nicole Marden:            On my song is the lyrics I’m writing and then just the way you want your voice to sound.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah.

Nicole Marden:            When it comes to hearing back what they’re doing. I mean, dream collaborations…

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay yeah, dream. Okay, I want to hear it. I want to hear the dream collaboration because we’re going to speak it into existence right now.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah, totally.

                                    I absolutely love Maren Morris. I think she’s amazing.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yes.

Nicole Marden:            Love, love, love everything about her and Chris Stapleton is amazing.

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay, yes.

Nicole Marden:            His voice is [crosstalk] just gold.

                                    So those would be female, male.

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay. That’s good. I Like that. We just said, hey Maren and Chris, just in case, you’re looking for somebody to collaborate with. We’ve got Nicole here.

Nicole Marden:            Yes.

Sue Bonzell:                 She’s ready to go. There you go. So as far as opening for somebody, who would be the dream concert or tour to go on to be an opener for?

Nicole Marden:            I feel like, Kelsea Ballerini.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh yeah.

Nicole Marden:            Cause she seems like such a fun human being and her music is a really good blend of country, but also she has like a good beat to her stuff and [crosstalk] all her outfits. I feel like that’s very me.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh yeah.

Nicole Marden:            I think an all female…tour would be so cool.

Sue Bonzell:                 I could see you guys being like besties.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 Hanging out on the tour bus. She probably doesn’t share her tour bus, but you know.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah, I’ll come over. I’ll get out of my van.

Sue Bonzell:                 I brought cocktails, or some wine, I don’t know. She likes wine, right? Let’s see, you’ve got the new song coming out or it’s already out.

Nicole Marden:            It’s out.

Sue Bonzell:                 It’s already out. Is it part of an album or is it just a single?

Nicole Marden:            The newest song that’s out is Champagne Remedy.

Sue Bonzell:                 That’s the new one, okay.

Nicole Marden:            So that’s a single, I’m kind of releasing things as singles because as an independent artist, it’s easier.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah.

Nicole Marden:            Doing the albums, it’s fun.

Sue Bonzell:                 [crosstalk] It’s a lot of work.

Nicole Marden:            But when you’re doing everything on your own.

Sue Bonzell:                 [crosstalk] Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nicole Marden:            One song probably takes as long as it would take a professional artist a whole album.

Sue Bonzell:                 Who has a team to do everything [crosstalk] help out with everything and do everything.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah. So for me, I’m sticking into singles. It makes each release extra exciting. And I get to be creative with each album art cover [crosstalk] and the video and stuff like that.

Sue Bonzell:                 Kind of put you’re… infuse your style into it.

Nicole Marden:            Yes.

Sue Bonzell:                 Make sure it’s all you.

Nicole Marden:            Exactly.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yes. I love that. I love that.

Nicole Marden:            Eventually, maybe an album. Cause I have a lot of things that I’m, [crosstalk] working on and that I have written and done nothing with, so hopefully eventually…

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh yeah. It’s speeding it up. It’s in there. [crosstalk] It’s in there. Or then you might even come up with something new and be like, oh, forget those. Let’s do this.

Nicole Marden:            And that’s happening. That was Obsession. Yeah. Cause we had a lot of other things actually champagne remedy was written three, four years ago. Obsession I just wrote before I recorded it.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh wow.

Nicole Marden:            I was just so excited. I’m like, we’re doing this first.

Sue Bonzell:                 That’s so cool. When you get excited about something then you’re ready to go. Okay, I got to ask you a couple of questions. We’ll get a little more personal.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah, totally!

Sue Bonzell:                 I follow you on, Instagram and all the socials and everything. I see a lot of pictures and a lot of super cute videos of your dog.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 Tell us about your dog.

Nicole Marden:            My dog’s name is Charlie. He’s a golden doodle. He is just so cute. An angel. I can’t ever stop hugging him. He’s like this big fluffy guy and I’m such a dog person. I had a small little West Highland White Terrier for 12 years. He passed away two years ago and he was my best friend in the whole world. I swore, I was so devastated. I was like, I’m never getting another dog. Why would I put myself through this ever again? [crosstalk] And then of course I found Charlie and I was like, okay I have to have a dog at all times.

Sue Bonzell:                 Now you said he’s an angel. Has he gotten into any major trouble before?

Nicole Marden:            Yes. He is an angel at home.

Sue Bonzell:                 At home, okay.

Nicole Marden:            But, he has this thing where he wants to eat chickens.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh! Tasty.

Nicole Marden:            He’s a hunter. So those experiences, killed a few of my sister’s chickens. Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 Uh oh.

Nicole Marden:            It was not great.

Sue Bonzell:                 Will she still invite you over?

Nicole Marden:            Yeah, but there’s limitations. Brings dead rats in my house.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh my gosh.

Nicole Marden:            But we try to look past that because he’s just so cute.

Sue Bonzell:                 He is so cute! I know.

Nicole Marden:            And spoiled.

Sue Bonzell:                 Right? Oh, I’m sure.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 Well you also have some nieces and nephews that you spoil pretty well.

Nicole Marden:            Yes they are so cute. They’re so into my music too. I’m actually teaching one of my nieces, Peyton, to play guitar right now. She’s so into it. [crosstalk] Making her little charts. She’s really into Taylor swift right now.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh, perfect.

Nicole Marden:            We’re learning Red.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yay. Oh, how fun for you to do that with her too? Oh my gosh. That’s so awesome. Well, are you willing to play a little song for us?

Nicole Marden:            I am. Okay, great! We’re going to take a little break and when we come back, Nicole is going to play a song for us.

                                    This is my new single Champagne Remedy. This is my version of a drinking song. Here we go. (singing).

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay, that was fun. That’s her new song, it’s Nicole Marden. It’s Champagne Remedy. And where can we find that song?

Nicole Marden:            It’s out on all stream platforms. Spotify, Apple music, YouTube, Amazon, all that stuff.

Sue Bonzell:                 All the good things. Go download it. And I’ve got a couple more questions for you, [crosstalk] but then we’re going to do something really fun. We got something fun to cook up here. All right. What’s the best dish that you can cook?

Nicole Marden:            My family always asks for my mac and cheese.

                                    Yeah, it’s one of Guy Fieri’s old recipes [crosstalk] from a while back, but it has, crisp breadcrumbs and cheesy, a million types of cheese.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah. Right.

Nicole Marden:            It’s very decadent.

Sue Bonzell:                 Well, it’s kind of hard to go wrong with Mac and cheese. I mean it’s got cheese.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah. It’s delicious.

Sue Bonzell:                 It’s delicious. All right, your favorite pizza topping.

Nicole Marden:            Ooh.

                                    Most people are going to be like, Ew, but mushrooms.

Sue Bonzell:                 I like mushrooms on mine too. I like mushrooms and olives.

Nicole Marden:            Yep. Same.

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay, there we go. We can eat pizza together.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah, exactly.

Sue Bonzell:                 We’ve determined that. Beer or wine?

Nicole Marden:            Probably wine these days. I like beer, but…

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah, a good Sav Blanc.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh yeah, nice and crisp. It’s perfect. Probably go with the Mac and cheese too.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah, exactly.

Sue Bonzell:                 It could. Beach or mountains?

Nicole Marden:            Mountains.

Sue Bonzell:                 Mountains. She was quick on that one.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah, I do not like swimming in the ocean.

Sue Bonzell:                 No?

Nicole Marden:            I’m scared of sharks. I’ll hike all day, every day. I’ll go camping, whatever. I know it’s very odd.

Sue Bonzell:                 That’s funny.

Nicole Marden:            Most people are beach people.

Sue Bonzell:                 Well, where’s your favorite place to go hiking?

Nicole Marden:            A place called Burney Falls, it’s up in Northern California. [crosstalk]

                                    Yep. It’s gorgeous.

Sue Bonzell:                 Nice. Okay. Well, what is your favorite drink to make?

Nicole Marden:            Mojito. I love mojitos.

Sue Bonzell:                 They’re so good!

Nicole Marden:            So refreshing, light.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yes. Exactly.

Nicole Marden:            They don’t give you a headache if you don’t do too much sugar. [crosstalk]

Sue Bonzell:                 You got to be light careful about it.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah, exactly.

Sue Bonzell:                 Are you willing to make us your famous mojito?

Nicole Marden:            I sure am.

Sue Bonzell:                 All right. See, I told you there was fun coming up. So we’re going to take a quick break and when we come back, Nicole Marden is going to share her mojito recipe with us all.

                                    Okay. We’re back on, up in country. I’m with Nicole Marden and her favorite drink is the mojito.

Nicole Marden:            Yes.

Sue Bonzell:                 Let’s make up a little mojito together.

Nicole Marden:            Let’s do I haven’t made one of these in a while, [crosstalk] but I feel like it’ll come back to me.

Sue Bonzell:                 Well, we’ve got a team and we’ve got all the right ingredients. It’s hard to mess it up, right?

Nicole Marden:            Yeah, exactly. You’re going to assist me and [crosstalk].

Sue Bonzell:                 I’ll be your sous-chef.

Nicole Marden:            Okay, perfect.

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay.

Nicole Marden:            We’re going to start off with some fresh mint and lime, with the mint.

Sue Bonzell:                 The mint smells so good.

Nicole Marden:            This is a little trick I learned a long time ago. I don’t know where or when, but if you smack the mint, it brings out the flavor.

Sue Bonzell:                 It makes it even [inaudible].

Nicole Marden:            You can smell it even.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh wow! There we go.

Nicole Marden:            It’s odd. But smack your mint.

Sue Bonzell:                 Step one: smack your mint.

Nicole Marden:            We’re going to do a lot actually.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah, I like it minty.

Nicole Marden:            Me too.

Sue Bonzell:                 I like the mint, it’s good.

Nicole Marden:            Let’s do a lot.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh man, it smells so good.

Nicole Marden:            These are going to be for both the cups.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah. Smack your mint.

Nicole Marden:            There we go. You think that’s enough?

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah, that was good.

Nicole Marden:            Okay.

Sue Bonzell:                 Perfect.

Nicole Marden:            Then lime. I like to squeeze a little bit of the juice out when I’m putting this in. We’re going to muddle this, but…

Sue Bonzell:                 So we got the major muddler right here. I got the big daddy. Now, this is not only a regular muddler, I got the power action muddler. For some reason…

Nicole Marden:            That’ll do the job.

Sue Bonzell:                 That’s what they had and that’s what I got.

Nicole Marden:            That will do the job. A little pat pat. Thank you. And then we need some sugar. Cause we’re going to have to muddle the sugar with all of this. It’s kind of going to be a little sweet, a little sour. It’s probably good. We’re not measuring.

Sue Bonzell:                 We’re not measuring.

Nicole Marden:            So, if this tastes gross…

Sue Bonzell:                 It won’t taste gross. See look at how cool that is. See, it’s power action. Isn’t that cool?

Nicole Marden:            So we’re going to muddle this all together. The juice, the lime. And the mint and sugar.

Sue Bonzell:                 And then we have booze. I don’t know, I got this stuff. It’s Blackwell Fine Jamaican rum.

Nicole Marden:            Let’s try that.

Sue Bonzell:                 I don’t know, it says black gold. This might be dark rum. Who knows?

Nicole Marden:            Do you put that in here and shake together?

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah, let’s throw some ice up in there. Just a little bit.

Nicole Marden:            I’m using my hand.

Sue Bonzell:                 That’s fine.

Nicole Marden:            Want to look over?

Sue Bonzell:                 No, you’re good. We got our cookies. We’re going to be pairing this with some cookies.

Nicole Marden:            My favorite.

Sue Bonzell:                 There we go. You ready?

Nicole Marden:            Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 Here we go. I’ll let you handle this part. It is a dark rum! Oh my God. That’s a lot of rum. Holy crap.

Nicole Marden:            She’s going to kill it.

Sue Bonzell:                 We don’t have to drink it all.

Nicole Marden:            Okay. That’s it, right?

Sue Bonzell:                 That’s it. And then we’re going to shaky. Make a mess. Don’t make a mess. Shake shaky.

Nicole Marden:            Now, we need some ice in our cup.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yep, some ice in there.

Nicole Marden:            Minimal pause.

Sue Bonzell:                 It’s all good.

Nicole Marden:            I don’t have the fancy little scooper for the ice.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh yeah.

Nicole Marden:            I’m going to do a little more.

Sue Bonzell:                 Perfect!

Nicole Marden:            And then I just want to do some fresh [crosstalk] sprigs.

Sue Bonzell:                 She knows what she’s doing.

Nicole Marden:            I’m fancy.

Sue Bonzell:                 You’re fancy.

Nicole Marden:            Sometimes.

Sue Bonzell:                 Fancy, fancy.

Nicole Marden:            And then we do one more fresh lime in there.

Sue Bonzell:                 She knows what she’s doing. She’s trying to pretend like she doesn’t know.

Nicole Marden:            I don’t drink that much anymore. I need to have more of a social life. Okay, now we’re going to dump.

Sue Bonzell:                 That’s a lot of booze.

Nicole Marden:            So we’ll do…

Sue Bonzell:                 There we go.

Nicole Marden:            Wait, I need to even it out.

Sue Bonzell:                 I hope we don’t have to go anywhere after this.

Nicole Marden:            I just have to sing for two hours after this!

Sue Bonzell:                 You just have a gig, you’re fine. You’ll be great. We’re going to top it off with a little fancy club soda here.

Nicole Marden:            Some bubbly.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oops, I spilled.

Nicole Marden:            Then we got to have our little…

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh, we didn’t cut them.

Nicole Marden:            Oh yeah. Cause I feel like this is going to be really strong. We’re going to do a little more lime juice. There we go.

Sue Bonzell:                 There we go. Perfect.

Nicole Marden:            One sip. There you go.

Sue Bonzell:                 Here we go I guess. We got fancy straws!

Nicole Marden:            Cute.

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay, let’s try them. Stir it up.

Nicole Marden:            Cheers.

Sue Bonzell:                 Cheers. Okay, here we go! That’s good rum!

Nicole Marden:            Yeah!

Sue Bonzell:                 It’s good rum, I like it.

Nicole Marden:            Refreshing.

Sue Bonzell:                 Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, that’s the mojito recipe.

Nicole Marden:            That’s how you do it. And then you can always add berries. You can do pomegranate. [crosstalk] You could do a little grapefruit juice instead of the sugar. If you want a little less…

Sue Bonzell:                 This is actually really good.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 It’s very smooth.

Nicole Marden:            Yeah. You can do light rum too. You can do Malibu rum. That’s my favorite.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh my gosh. I have never done that with Malibu rum.

Nicole Marden:            I know, you’re supposed to stop drinking that after high school, but it’s still my favorite.

Sue Bonzell:                 It’s still so good.

Nicole Marden:            It’s so good. It’s so good.

Sue Bonzell:                 Awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining me today.

Nicole Marden:            Thank you so much for having me!

Sue Bonzell:                 This was super fun and you can catch Nicole Marden on all the socials. She’s on TikTok and Instagram. Make sure you follow her. And of course, follow us on Up in Country. I’m Sue Bonzell. That’s where you can find all of the episodes on my socials on TikTok and Instagram and Up in Country dot com. Got the cookies.

Nicole Marden:            We cannot forget the cookies. [inaudible]

Sue Bonzell:                 I want to take one. There you go.

Nicole Marden:            Thank you.

Sue Bonzell:                 Take a bite. What kind are these? Lemon sugar sparkler!

Nicole Marden:            Woo!

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay. Cheers. Cookie. Cheers.

                                    Thanks for tuning in to Up in Country where we have new episodes every Tuesday and be sure to visit Up in Country dot com for all of the episodes and information about our V.I.P. club, where you’re going to get exclusive backstage access. And if you’re on Instagram or TikTok, make sure to follow me, sue Bonzell. I’ll see you next week!