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Nora Collins is a dreamer with a practical streak. When she moved to Nashville from Milwaukee, she lived in a sparsely decorated apartment for over a year.
“I knew I was going to give my career everything I had, with every bit of my attention and time focused on writing, recording, meeting people, and growing as an artist,” she said. “Decorating was a distraction and honestly, if I had to move home, I didn’t want to pack.”
It’s time to unpack. Collins will be staying for a while with a new EP around the corner produced by standout creative force Marshall Altman, who has worked with Natasha Bedingfield, Amy Grant, Eric Paslay, and Frankie Ballard.
"Nora Collins - all I can say is get ready! Real artist, real voice, real attitude with something to say. Loved every minute of working with her and can't wait for the world to hear what I've been hearing." - Marshall Altman
The MV2 Entertainment artist/songwriter is quickly making a name for herself by penning and performing new-world topics with an old-soul voice that seems effortless, yet emotional and crystalline.
Respected music critic, author, and historian Robert K. Oermann had this to say: “Love her country drawl, as well as the fact that she applies it to such a contemporary song and production. An unmistakable winner…Sign me up for the fan club.”
A quiet converter, Collins’ charm draws you in, and her light-as-air vocal style holds you in place.
“This brilliant, brilliant woman,” wrote Lora Kaelber of OnMilwaukee. “It's been so long since I've walked in to watch an opener expecting one thing and being served up the sweet, delicious, utter opposite of that. Collins, thank you for your incredible artistry. Mark my words, this girl is going places…She was seasoned in the way only someone who's totally comfortable with her sound can be…This woman’s pipes are a beautiful blend of power, grit and silk.”
Her beyond-her-years stage presence was honed averaging more than 200 appearances a year for the past six years opening for a broad spectrum of performers including Lee Brice, Brandy Clark, Kelsea Ballerini, Jon Pardi, Maren Morris, Ashley Monroe, Josh Tuner, Michael Ray, High Valley, Mo Pitney, Country Music Hall of Famer Ronnie Milsap, and many more.
During a recent performance in which Collins was the opener, Brandy Clark said to the audience, “This is the second time I think I’ve shared the stage with her, and she really is something else – quite the singer. I think you’ll see her name on many, many marquees through her life, a few billboards too maybe, a few awards as well. She’s really, really great.”
Collins’ talent is matched with a tireless work ethic that has her routinely writing with some of the most innovative songwriters in Nashville, including No. 1 tunesmiths Terry McBride and Clay Mills. She composes with a startling level of honesty, whether it’s her girl-power anthem “Who Knows Who,” with its catchy I-can-play-that-game-too attitude; recognizing when love isn’t in the cards with “Guess I Woulda Known by Now”; or the pain of not liking what you see in the mirror, but not losing sight of hope in “Plain Jane.” But she also knows when to have fun with the flirty “Pink Lemonade.”
As a writer, Collins has captured hearts as a recurring participant with the Song Suffragettes, performed in the round at the world-famous Bluebird Café, and even participated in a SESAC social takeover at a Key West writers’ retreat.
The last year had many other highlights. She was a correspondent on the red carpet for “The 51st Annual CMA Awards.” She co-wrote and recorded the on-air theme song for the TV series “Wild Outdoors.” She was chosen to judge auditions for “American Idol” in her hometown of Milwaukee. Country Living spotlighted her “stunning vocals” in several online features, including a “Country Living Coffeehouse” acoustic performance. She won her fourth consecutive Best of Milwaukee Award for Female Vocalist and made her second consecutive performance during Milwaukee’s Best Country radio powerhouse, WMIL-FM 106.1 Class of 2017 sold-out concert event, sharing the stage with Maren Morris, Brett Young, and Tucker Beathard.
In addition to winning the 2016 Best of Milwaukee Award for Female Vocalist, Collins was recognized as Best Female Vocalist and Best Acoustic Musician in 2013-2015. She has received eight Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award nominations, including three wins as the 2014 WAMI Singer/Songwriter of the Year and two consecutive wins as WAMI Rising Star (2012, 2013), in addition to being selected for CMT’s Artist Discovery campaign.
Collins released her first MV2 Entertainment EP in 2016 and followed that up in November 2017 with a holiday EP, It Must Be Christmas. For the release, she challenged her social followers and friends to support charities and causes they believed in over the holidays by donating their time because she said, “Giving comes from the heart, not your wallet.”
Collins did her part by visiting hospitals, shopping for the needy, delivering cookies to first responders, collecting supplies for an animal shelter, donating coats, stuffing backpacks for adopting families, and playing for tips that were donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. She was named WISN-TV’s Person of the Week for her charitable endeavors.
With heart, talent, and the drive to make her dreams a reality, Collins won’t be packing up anytime soon, unless it’s time to hit the road for more touring dates.
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