Nashville-based writer, editor, social media manager | Nicole Childrey


What I do and what I’ve done:

Through the years, I’ve written approximately eleventy brajillion words about all kinds of stuff for all kinds of folks, delivered through all kinds of media. Newspaper and magazine features about Elvis Costello or Dr. Ruth. Blog posts for Realtors and companies that make Internet of Things gadgets. Website copy, Instagram posts, brochures, press releases — if it requires words, I’ve probably proudly provided words for it. Below, a few different examples that span across formats and years.


“Students, New Hat, bring a new look to Belmont Mansion”

In recent years, I’ve become a little obsessed with interior design. And since I grew up among a bunch of visual artists, I’ve long been passionate about local art. So getting to write about Nashville design studio New Hat, and their efforts to educate budding local artists at Belmont University, was right up my alley. New Hat’s impeccably cool wallpaper designs: also right up my alley. Photo by Sanford Myers. Read more here.

Powell Architecture + Building Studio LookbooK

Real talk: I am a massive, massive fan of Nashville’s Powell Architecture + Building Studio — they’re responsible for some of the city’s most visually stunning restaurants and commercial buildings. So getting asked to write copy for their gorgeous lookbook was a sincere honor. Their team wrote the intro graf — “The Design-Build Difference” — but the rest of the copy was mine. Check out the full lookbook here.

“The soul of Witt”

I’m a huge Walking Dead fan, and a Dune fan, so I was intrigued to find out that actress Alicia Witt, brilliant in both those productions and many, many others, was now making music in Nashville. Turns out she’s impeccably talented there, too, and has been working with the likes of Ben Folds, and Kings of Leon producer Jacquire King. Read more here.

Artist spotlight:

Caleb Groh

The first time I saw Nashville artist Caleb Groh’s felt sculptures — whimsical animal plaques that are detailed and quirky and all-around unforgettable — I became a big fan. Talking to him for Nashville Interiors magazine gave me a lot of fun insight into how and why he took on a creative kind of faux taxidermy. Read more here.

Ashland Place marketing

Design a flyer? Sure, why not. I don’t routinely do graphic design, and greatly admire professional graphic designers and think their expertise is invaluable. I also love a challenge, and love to learn new skills. So when a client needs something quickly — a simple website created, or a flyer drawn up — I tend to be eager to do what I can to make it happen. These are skills I’m working on sharpening now, and although I have a long way to go, I’m enjoying the process. Full picture here.

Introduction to Entrepreneurship

The Skillery started as a hub for classes, geared toward grown-ups and led by local entrepreneurs. Later, it grew into a coworking space (one of Nashville’s first) and entrepreneurship education organization, with a mix of programming designed for aspiring entrepreneurs. In 2015, alongside founder Matt Dudley, I cowrote the Introduction to Entrepreneurship workbook, a companion to a course we developed and launched at The Skillery. It went on to be offered through other coworking spaces and entrepreneurship organizations across the U.S. Read more here.

“Laughing matters”

The stand-up comedy scene in Music City is remarkable, and watching it blossom, as a comedy fan and a Nashvillian, has been a thrill. I dug into some of the players helping the local comedy scene grow for Nashville magazine The East Nashvillian. Read more here.

“Damn the Enormodomes”

Around 2011-2012, I started thinking about the idea of scarcity, and how in a music industry that’d been upended by abundance, creating scarcity was becoming a winning formula — be it creating limited-edition, high-design vinyl releases or hosting intimate house shows with limited tickets and almost unlimited access to the performer. This is what resulted: “According to guys like David Bazan, David Mead and Jack White, making a music career work in 2012 might be all about thinking small.” Read more here.


BMI, 2012
Along with writing, I’ve also spent years touring the country/world as a drummer alongside a mix of artists, including eclectic pop band The Mynabirds and Raconteurs member Brendan Benson. In 2012, as industry fest South by Southwest was approaching, performing rights organization BMI asked me to combine the two jobs and blog about my SXSW experience. It was an interesting challenge, and a fun project. If you’ve ever played/been to SXSW, you’ll grasp how interesting it tends to get, trying to string a thought together, much less a few hundred words. Read more here.

“Sound Fine Tuned: Steve Durr”

What acoustic designer Steve Durr does — fine-tuning some of the best recording studios and venues in and out of Nashville — is mysterious and fascinating to me. It was enlightening to talk about how he came to be Nashville’s A-list studio tuner for Nashville Arts magazine. Read more here.

“Takes ten to know Tenn”

At the time, there was almost nothing more of-the-moment-Nashville than singer-songwriter collective Ten out of Tenn, stocked with a changing cast of gifted pop artists sharing the spotlight, contributing to each other’s songs and spreading the good word about the local pop scene. Their genesis was fascinating, and their approach heartwarming. Read more here.

“Jack White debuts new band Dead Weather”

The very first event ever held at Third Man Records in Nashville, and I was lucky enough to be there, chronicling things for Rolling Stone. The Dead Weather was a force, and I feel pretty certain I’ll be bragging about this to my grandkids, just probably by projecting it onto the walls with my eyeballs, or whatever talking might look like in 2040. Photo by David Swanson. Read more here.

Paramore for SPIN.jpg

“Paramore is a Band”

SPIN, 2008
I was and am a big Paramore fan, and I was honored to get the opportunity to paint a portrait of them as a cohesive unit, rather than just spotlighting singer Hayley Williams, as was often the case. Not long after, the thrust of this piece turned out to be… a little awkward. (Unfamiliar? Google, and pity me.) For my part, I think she and they meant this headline to be the genuine case. Relationships are complicated, bandmate ones especially so. I spent a quick evening rolling around Franklin with the band, and turned this around the next day. Photo by Viki Forshee. Read more here.

“Song never remains same for Costello”

I’m not sure there’s a more gifted songwriter, with a more varied catalog, than Elvis Costello. So getting the opportunity to talk about songwriting — to ask him to share some of the key bits of knowledge that have kept him moving forward — was a huge bit of luck for me. His wisdom makes for a fun and enlightening read. More here.

“Progeny of successful musicians face great expectations”

Unsurprisingly, Nashville is full of second- and third-generation musicians, often striving to follow in their parents’ footsteps and emerge from their shadows. I spoke with a bunch of young musicians with famous parents — including Donna Summer’s daughter Amanda Sudano of Johnnyswim, and Steven Curtis Chapman’s sons Caleb and Will of Colony House — and got some fascinating insight, well ahead of those young folks’ own rises to fame. Read more here.

“PErfect matches”

GIBSON, 2007
I’m a drummer, but my first instrument was the guitar, and the first instrument I dreamed about, pined for, absolutely obsessed over, was a Gibson Les Paul. Some years back, Gibson invited me to write regularly about musicians who played their guitars — kind of a mishmash between marketing and journalism. It was a really fun and challenging needle to thread. I wrote a ton for them, and most of it is a blur, but this one was really popular and, I think, a good example of how you can make marketing copy fun and useful for readers. Read more here.

“Music marketing goes high-tech”

Literally the first time “Twitter” appeared in the paper, at least in the social-media context, was in this piece, which features piano-pop star Ben Folds and other musicians who were early adopters of social media as a marketing platform. Kind of a fun look at how techie music marketing was bubbling up at that point, and context for how much has changed since. Read more here.

“Rock ’n’ roll vs. real life”

This is one of my favorite Tennessean pieces, in part about a criminally underappreciated Nashville band named Glossary, but more broadly, about the struggle of fighting for a music career as grown-up concerns keep pulling at your pockets. Read more here.

“Live 8 more than music to Jars of Clay”

One of the more surreal experiences of my life, the paper sent me to Philadelphia for the massive Live 8 event, to follow Nashville band Jars of Clay. Those whip-quick-deadline front-page stories are a thrill, but super stressful — you’re reporting in a frenzy, then writing in a double frenzy, all under weird/frenzied conditions (like, in this case, wandering around backstage at one of the biggest events of the decade, while Beyonce rolls by in a golf cart and stuff). Read more here.

“West pulls no punches”

I interviewed Kanye, so early on. He told me about this new band Morrissey that he loved, and sang Fiona Apple songs to me, and called himself “ridiculously dope.” In hindsight… kind of your run-of-the-mill Kanye interview? Read more here.

“Riot Goin’ On”

I was 14 in 1991, when Pearl Jam released Ten — primed for obsession. The band led me down my path, in a sense: I fell for that record, started reading about them, got introduced to Fugazi and Minor Threat and DIY shows. Needless to say, the prospect of interviewing the band scared me almost catatonic, especially since Eddie Vedder had a reputation for being prickly with press. I needn’t have worried. The band was open and welcoming, and the conversation I had with Vedder remains one of the highlights of my career. The cover story that resulted is young and earnest, but still means something to me. Photos by Danny Clinch. Read more here.