“I hope my version resonates with music lovers”: Nicollette Sullivan took a risk with the classic “Vincent” from Don McLean and it’s been a success

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Nicollette Sullivan has been immersed in music from a young age, thanks to her parents’ musical backgrounds. Her father fronted a hard rock band, while her mother provided backup vocals for various groups, introducing her to a wide range of genres, including hard rock, metal, Soul, R&B, Classical, and Funk. 

After high school, she decided to pursue a professional singing career, which marked the beginning of her songwriting journey for her debut album. Over the following years, Nicollette’s unique voice and artistic identity took shape. Today, she is actively working on her second album, dedicated to her continued growth and evolution as an artist.

The single that she has just released is nothing more and nothing less than the reinterpretation of the classic “Vincent”, an iconic song by Don Mclean to which Nicollete gives a different air, but preserves its essence.

“The words to the song are haunting and tug at the heartstrings, and tell the story of an artistic soul’s struggles. I felt I could do an interpretation of the song that would do it justice, but have its own unique style and flavor, hopefully, I’ve accomplished that. It’s never easy covering a song that is so great in its original version, but it’s a fun challenge. I hope my version resonates with music lovers”, Nicollette said.

In this conversation, she explained to us the meaning that this song has when relating it to the artistic world and much more.

We would like you to give us a brief review of how things have been since your debut album “Nicollette”, until now, with this new single.

During my first album, I was really learning the basics of how to be an artist. Getting used to being vulnerable. Learning the process of writing and then recording a song. I was still finding myself…  I still am and will always be.  I have grown a lot since then, both personally and musically. I think there is a maturity you can hear in my new work. I am more vulnerable lyrically. If you read my lyrics it’s like reading pages out of my diary. 

What drew you to “Vincent” as the song you wanted to cover, considering its iconic status?

One of my producers suggested the song. I had always liked it growing up. Revisiting “Vincent”,  as an adult made me really empathize with the song in a new way, being an artist myself now.

How did you approach putting your own unique spin on such a well-known track?

In Don’s original version, there was a purity that I didn’t want to lose. I think one of my strong suits, as an artist, is being emotive and it being an emotional song it really lent itself to my voice. I leaned into that and also created a beautiful tapestry of vocal harmonics to help distinguish it from the original. 

Can you share the creative process behind reimagining “Vincent” with your personal artistic touch?

It started with me just listening to it and trying to connect with the lyrics. After singing it a few times I started to just feel it, and let myself color outside the lines, so to speak. From there I just built off that until it evolved into what it is now.

“Vincent” is known for its emotional depth. What emotions did you want to convey through your version?

Don wrote beautiful lyrics. It’s sad to think about… One of the most renowned artists in the world and he died penniless with no recognition. It wasn’t hard for me to connect with that emotion.  I wanted to convey the emotion of being unseen, not recognized, and being unappreciated. At the same time, not make it too dark which is part of why we used harmonies to uplift the song.

Did you face any challenges while capturing the essence of the original while infusing it with your style?

Not really. Once I connected with the song it came pretty easily.

As an artist, in what aspects do you feel that you identify with this song?

I haven’t made a huge success as an artist as of yet. There are so many talented artists out there who never gain recognition. The world can be so cruel to up-and-coming artists. It can be looked at as a waste of time unless you’re making money. People are so focused on money and acclaim, especially with social media. People forget the importance of spending the precious time we have on this planet doing what feeds the soul, whatever that may be for each individual.

What can you tell us about the video that accompanies the song?

First off, the director/filmmaker, Daniel Robert Cohn is an incredible artist himself. We were so blessed to have him involved in this video. When Dan heard the song, he said that he felt the sadness in it but also hope. He wanted to create a video where there would be a shared perspective with me as the singer/ artist and Vincent. In the video, Dan wanted to show the possibilities for Vincent in his life on this planet that never happened. I think it turned out beautifully. The imagery brings the song even more to life.

We know your influences come from iconic artists such as Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, and Diana Ross. But right now, if we check your playlist, what are we going to find?

Haha… great question… I’m all over the place… You can hear everything from Cass Elliot to Taylor Swift in my library. I just went to Metallica, Beyonce, and Cigarettes After Sex concerts last month. I love music of all genres. I love to hear all the different perspectives and textures. I have an appreciation for all artistry.

Is this cover a preview of a forthcoming new album?

I don’t know if I would say this is indicative of what the album is. I’m going out on a limb exploring a few different sounds on this album. One of the freedoms I enjoy about being on an indie label. 



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