Nicole Springer has been a dedicated musician since she won a children’s pageant with her four-year-old rendition of “Tomorrow” from Annie. She got her start singing gospel and has grown up with a love of motown and the blues. All of these influences have come together to give her a powerful sound, which she describes as “soulful folk pop.” Though she’s been in several bands over the years, she currently performs under her own name with a four-piece group in and around her hometown of Kansas City, where she plays four to five shows a week.

There was a moment when Springer thought she’d relocate to Nashville and pursue her music there, but ultimately found that the way she’s doing things now feels right. And while she hopes her music will eventually take her around the globe, Kansas City will always be home. “It’s a supportive scene and everybody kind of crosses into all the different venues, supporting all the different sounds,” she said. “It’s a vibrant scene. I’m really proud to be a part of it.”

Despite the many artists based in Kansas City, Springer has found her own unique voice. “I’m making music that is completely from the heart. I’m being completely myself, for better or for worse. Sometimes that’s rewarded and sometimes it just isn’t. You keep going. But in my music, I hope people can hear and connect to the type of peace I’m trying to find through my music—how I express what I’ve been through in my life.”

Clearly Springer is doing something right, because her band’s very first gig was at a festival where they opened for Grammy-winner Melissa Etheridge. If you’d like to see them in action yourself, you’re in luck, because Springer’s show schedule is constantly full (she’s playing twenty shows this month alone!). Next time you’re in the Kansas City area, be sure to check her website to find out where she’ll be performing. She also has an EP due to come out in March, and the music video for the lead single, “Break Up Museum,” can be viewed now. Otherwise, she has two singles available on streaming services. She suggests starting with “Good Time,” which offers an intimate glimpse of Springer’s vulnerable side. “It’s just me on piano,” she said. “It’s a live performance. It’s a song that has kind of saved my life, so if you want to know me and you want to know how I help myself in my life, that’s a good one.”

You can keep up with Springer and her music by following her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and you can hear a few songs that aren’t available on streaming services by checking out her YouTube channel.