BEHIND THE VOICE
Luke 21:19 - Stand firm, and you will win life.
Life is made up of trials, but music doesn't shy away from them. Time-honored songs address real life, family, weakness, and faith. That's one aspect that drew Nikki McLeod to songwriting from a very young age. Having been raised in a musical household, she developed a passion for music. Country music was only logical, being as she was raised on a cattle ranch outside a North Dakota town of 15 people.
She wrote her first song, the humourous 'Cowboy Inheritance' at age 11, and she hasn't slowed down since. However, throughout her life, music was more of a support system than a career choice. It carried her through as she moved away from ND, attending Iowa State University as part of the Marine Corps officer program. Music was also there to turn to when she was medically discharged from the Marines after 18 months.
It wasn't until she performed at a Minnesota bluegrass festival in 2014 that she got the chance to see the impact that her songs could have on people. From that moment on, she had set a new career goal. Upon completing college at North Dakota State University, she was hired to manage a cattle ranch outside of Decatur, Alabama. That got her close enough to Nashville to begin co-writing, and doing a little bit of performing. She quickly fell in love with interacting with a crowd, and after a year she switched to performing full time.
Her debut album, Some Kinda Reckless, debuted in 2017. It features 12 songs, covering everything from family to heartbreak to good times. The songs were inspired by a combination of real life, inspiration, and wishful thinking.
Nikki credits her songwriting and passion to God alone. She says, "Faith is what has carried me through the hardest parts of life. God provided me with music to get me past things that seemed insurmountable. And in turn, he provided me with the strength to carry on and keep a positive outlook. He also gave me Dixon, the pup who became my service dog once I was diagnosed with PTSD."
Dixon, a border collie, is at all of Nikki's shows, laying by her feet. As her service dog, the two are inseperable. They are a true team, traveling the country and entertaining crowds at night. Then, Sunday mornings, he goes with her to churches to speak on PTSD, traumatic events, and faith in the aftermath.
Nikki is so grateful to her family, who have been incredibly supportive in her journey. She is also incredibly thankful for her church family at No Fences Cowboy Church in Falkville Alabama. Their encouragement, along with the support of her hometown community in North Dakota, has been crucial to her success.