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Nicole C. Mullen
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Great songs not only reflect the life of the person who wrote them, but also serve as a mirror in which others see their own reflection. Nicole C. Mullen is an artist who creates those kind of moments, and it’s that kind of songs that populate her new collection “A Dream to Believe In, Vol. 2.”

“It’s a celebration of reconciliation between spouses, between a mother and a son, between family, between the generations,” Mullen says. “The songs on the album deal with all these different issues. They are pages from my journals of life and hopefully people can look at them and say, ‘Not only am I reading Nicole’s journal, but I’m reading mine as well.’"

Mullen’s ability to relate her experiences and celebrate her relationship with God in a way that has universal appeal has been a hallmark of her distinguished career. A Cincinnati native who got her start singing in church, Mullen has won multiple Gospel Music Association Dove Awards including the female vocalist of the year and songwriter of the year honors as well as song of the year awards for her hit “Redeemer” and the Jaci Velasquez hit “On My Knees,” which she co-wrote with her husband David and Michael Ochs. Her acclaimed album “Talk About It” was recently certified gold by the RIAA, signifying sales over 500,000 copies.

In addition to the accolades she’s won for her musical gifts, Mullen is also well-known for her tender heart. She established The Baby Girls Club, which mentors and encourages young women. She also supports the International Needs Network, an organization that works to free the Trokosi slaves in Ghana.

It’s that heart for people that informs the music on “A Dream to Believe In.” “A lot of ideas come from conversations that I’ve had after concerts,” Mullen says of the inspiration for her songs. “That’s always been my favorite part of the night, singing on stage and then being able to talk to those who are actually listening and get feedback from them. I live a similar life to them. I have a different job, but there are things that are common. I have heartache. I have pain. I have laughter, the same emotions. These songs are my way of saying that in the midst of the routines of life, this is where I see God walk in. These are my experiences in life. These are my victories and hopefully they can help you.”

The songs on the album are lyrically rich with insights and images. Musically, it’s a diverse collection that showcases the breadth of Mullen’s talent with songs ranging from buoyant pop to soulful ballads and funky up tempo rockers. “Like a Lady” boasts a cool vibe and an important message. “That one was actually written for my boys and the young men of this world,” she says. “We girls can be complicated and sometimes it can be frustrating, but the greatest thing you can do is treat her like a lady.”

“Brainwash” is an infectious song that is garnering enthusiastic response from fans who love the innovative production and the message about cleansing our minds of the things this world can do to pollute them. “It says be not conformed to the ways of this world,” says Mullen. “We don’t need to be brain washed, we need a brain wash.”

“Start Over Again” is a tender ballad that showcases Mullen’s breathtakingly beautiful voice. “That’s for every marriage. Do we get frustrated? Yes,” she candidly admits of married life. “But when you’re at those moments instead of saying, ‘You know, this isn’t worth it,’ just start over. We all have to work at something in life. Why not work on the things that really count? Marriages count!”

There’s also a jubilant worship song, “Forever You Reign,” that Mullen plans to use during her appearances on this year’s Women of Faith conferences. “That’s one that I wrote several years ago,” Mullen says. “It’s praise and worship, straight vertical. It’s the declaration of who he is and how he is to be adored and worshiped. No one can do the things that he does and this is just the acknowledgement of that. That song came really easy for me. It was one of those that I think is simple and because I’m simple, it’s a natural extension of me.”

On the other end of the musical spectrum, the project concludes with “Work With Me (Dance).” “That was my workout song,” Mullen says. “People have asked me for many years to do a workout album and so this is just my tip of the hat to that kind of a thing. We actually do that one at Women of Faith and have the women huffing and puffing and cracking up. We have a lot of fun with that song.”

Whether she’s leading worship, designing fashion for her clothing line or encouraging people to get up and joyfully dance, Nicole C. Mullen’s intelligence, creativity and passion fuel everything that she does as a singer, songwriter, wife, mother, entrepreneur, mentor and human rights advocate. She’s living her dream and encouraging others to do the same.

“This is music that celebrates the travels of life--where we’ve been, were we are and where we’re going,” she says of her new collection. “I think ‘A Dream To Believe In’ says let me tell where I am and where I want to go. It’s definitely an album of celebration. It’s one you can dance to and in the midst of your dancing, hopefully you’ll hear the message of truth.”