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Kansas City musician shares queer identity, mental health journey through music

Nicole Springs
Posted at 5:55 AM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 06:55:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Nicole Springer’s love of music began when she was very young.

She was just four-years-old when she won her first pageant singing the song "Tomorrow," from the musical, Annie.

“The hope in that song alone? You know, I think I felt that at four years old,” Springer said.

But there was something that Springs was hiding.

After her first year of college, Springer’s family found out she was gay, and that’s when her world turned upside down.

Springer’s family wasn’t supportive, as they kicked her out and didn’t let her go back to school. She became homeless.

“I was staying in basements and I slept in my car in a parking lot,” Springer said.

She eventually found support in her cousin, Kristie.

Although they were a decade apart in age, and never very close before, Kristie took Springer in, and the two built an unbreakable bond.

“She just loved me unconditionally,” Springer said. “And that's all I ever wanted, really.”

Although Springer had found the support she needed, that wasn’t the end of her struggles.

She was dealing with a lot of trauma, financial struggles and issues with her mental health.

Four years after she was kicked out of her home, Springer attempted suicide.

“I just gave up. I had nothing left to give,” Springer said. “That was my rock bottom, and it's taken me basically 12 years since then, to get where I'm at today, which is healthy. That long.”

Music returned to Springer’s life and pulled her out of that dark space.

“I need to use music as the tool to face the fears of my past and to face my traumas,” Springer said. “It's also my gift back to anybody who's going through this, and it's not even just somebody who’s a queer person, but anybody that's dealing with any kind of rejection, or just lack of support and love."

Springer said she hopes to show others that if she can do it, they can too.

"They have a mental health journey they have to make it through," she said. "I made it through mine, so I gotta pass that music on.”

Now her first album is a tribute to that journey. "Chase the Light" came out earlier this year.

“Chase the light is just kind of my mantra right now," Springer said. "I just refuse to look at the dark clouds that surround the light anymore."

Springer wants to use her music and her journey to show young people that there’s hope, and to not give up.

“I’m very out and proud, and glad that I can kind of talk about my mental health as a queer person in my music,” she said.

Springer is preparing for some important gigs.

Her band will be headlining the Overland Park Star Spangled Spectacular on July 4. She will also take her music to sea at the end of the year, for a two-month contract on a cruise ship.

Anyone interested in checking out her music or even catching one of her gigs live, can find all of the information on her website at nicolespringersings.com.