Photo by Ryan Jerome @ryan_jerome  Hair+ Makeup by Brenda Ferreell  @b_readybeauty Writing by Adrienne Strand

Scoring 4th place on America’s Next Top Model, writing poetry, singing… get you a girl that can do both (and more)! Courtney Paige Nelson has moved from visual to audio and has no plans on stopping anytime soon. Find out how a night out on the town led to a career shift, over a million streams and two upcoming EP’s.

Why did you make the choice to transition from modeling into music?

I think when you find what you’re meant to do in life, it finds you. I never planned or imagined I would be in music. I went out to karaoke one night when I was living in Australia, and it was the first time in my life I had sung in front of anyone. After that experience I met a vocal coach, who did two lessons with me during my time in Australia.

After coming back from that trip, depression hit me and in 2018 I tried to end my life by suicide. After that experience, I checked myself into residential treatment where I started writing poetry and turning them into songs for fun. As I was there, I made a promise to myself that I would give it a chance. Everything rapidly fell into place, and it felt like a push or a calling. I don’t think things like this happen on accident. There is a reason the pieces fell the way they did, and I ended up doing something that finally gave me purpose.

If you had to incorporate an aspect of punk into your life, what would you pick and why?

I think ‘Punk” is an attitude and how you carry yourself. Being authentically who you are without apologizing, which I try to do every day!

Your new single ‘1-800-broke-my-heart’ comes out on February 3rd; can you tell us more about this song?

This song is actually about my last relationship which I never got closure on. Long story short, he broke up with me two days after Valentine’s Day, then in that same week started dating his coworker, and then I found out I was pregnant. I ended up having an abortion, which unfortunately he wasn’t there to support me through. So being a songwriter, I had to get my side of things off my chest. I wrote this song to give myself the closure he never had the decency to give me. I believe being an authentic artist means you have to be uncomfortably vulnerable in hopes to help someone else relate to what you went through.

For how long have you been writing songs? What does your process look like?

I’ve been writing poetry all my life! It wasn’t until I started my journey in music that I learned I can write music as well because it’s basically just poetry with more structure. My process is, when I’m writing I get very vivid imagery. Which helps me design lyrics. It usually has to be a mini movie in my head when I write. If I’m not seeing a clear picture to help me pull from, I don’t believe it’s a good enough song. I want to tell stories and not just mash words that semi work together.

What is your motto for 2023?

Life is too short to hold back your authentic self.

Any plans on releasing a debut album soon?

I would love to release an album. I think this year, I’m focused on releasing a few singles and then two EPs. 2024 is the album year in my head, but who knows.. it could happen sooner!