FOR Cheshire musician Nicky Philips, the return to the stage after lockdown took some getting used to – but now she's raring to go as she looks forward to the release of her EP.

The 32-year-old indie/folk/pop artist is performing her 'open-hearted' songs across Cheshire and Manchester this summer, with Northwich's BEAR and Knutsford Music Festival making her list.

Nicky, who is also a music teacher, lives in Northwich herself after moving to the area five years ago.

But her journey with music started way before then.

"I've been doing music since I was a little kid, I was always singing," she explained.

"When I was 15 or 16, I got a guitar.

"In my early 20s I was doing a lot of live music but then I took a bit of a break with it and ended up reconnecting with it last year.

"Last year I could couldn't perform live so I spent some time recording with a producer in Canada.

"It all came about because I had set up an Instagram page and shared some stuff.

"After the first original song I posted, this guy messaged me playing some music over the top of."

And the rest is history.

Nicky now has the release of her EP coming up on August 7 – a complication of songs which she describes as being 'about love in different ways'.

Winsford Guardian: Nicky PhillipsNicky Phillips

"One of them is about letting go of loving someone in the past, one is about that fear at the start of a relationship and moving on with someone and being alone," she said.

"It tends to be quite obvious what my songs are about – they are quite open and honest.

"One thing that happened during lockdown was that I had always wrote songs on guitar but then I started writing songs on the piano.

"I've written quite a few songs during lockdown, about the loneliness.

"But it was also about having that time with the instrument too."

The transition back to life gigging on the stage was an exciting but strange experience for Nicky.

"The first one I did I felt awful afterwards, because it had been such a long time," she said.

"I'd been used to just singing on my own so it was this feeling that because there were people in the room, I couldn't relax.

"I did another and now I'm back to feeling really comfortable, it's just taken a couple of gigs to get back into it.

"I don't really get nervous usually, but I tend to get a bit self critical and I get more nervous talking to people than singing."

Nicky will be performing at BEAR in Northwich on August 7 at 7pm for the launch of her EP.

This is a free event but tables can be booked and tips are always welcome.

Nicky will be joined by Denney and Harriet Dagnall.

Winsford Guardian: DenneyDenney

Denney is a singer-songwriter originally from North Hampshire, with a signature style of captivating vocal layers, lyrics that read like a diary entry, and soft electronic sounds against traditional pop ballad backdrops.

Winsford Guardian: Harriet DagnallHarriet Dagnall

Harriet Dagnall has been a familiar face in Manchester's vibrant live music scene since 2018, performing live and writing new material.

Nicky will also be performing at Knutsford Music Festival on August 14.

Visit nickyphillipsmusic.com and @nickyphillipsuk, @denneymusicuk and @harrietdagnallmusic on social media.