Jade Nickol transforms pain into song after losing a loved one to COVID

(Please note: this song contains language that some might find offensive.)

Losing a loved one to COVID-19 is a new tragedy that many people are dealing with. To sing about that loss publicly, facing crowds every night, is a different beast. While others grieve in private, Lewisville musician Jade Nickol bares her soul for strangers and must keep fighting to be okay nightly, as she plays the same venues she used to play with Droo D’Anna, her partner, who passed away due to complications from COVID-19 in August 2021.

Her haunting song “Bumps in the Night,” paints the picture of how she’s navigating life, grief and coping with loss.

“We used to joke about haunting each other if one of us died,” Nickol said. “The song is a reference back to that conversation. We talked a lot about life and death. We were both fascinated by the paranormal, but he didn’t believe in mediums, and I haven’t gotten any signs like you’d think spirits might give since he passed.”

D’Anna was diagnosed with COVID pneumonia and shortly after succumbed to the sickness after his heart stopped twice, leading to irreparable brain damage.

“When they die of COVID, it becomes a whole other layer,” Nickol said. “People immediately ask questions, and it distracts from the fact that someone I love died. Why can’t we just be sad that someone died and not make it a statistic?”

Through the support of her family and grief support groups, Nickol marches on and continues her music career with her heavy heart still beating in her chest. She adopted her puppy, Provolone, to help keep her company as well.

A young woman with long brown hair holds a small dog while smiling.

Jade Nickol and her new puppy Provolone. Furry companions have been shown to be helpful for easing anxiety in times of grief. Photo: Jessica Waffles

“My job requires me to be lively,” Nickol said. “But [the grief] is always there. I can find ways to push it to the front or the back of my mind when I need to, but I’ve accepted that I’m a completely different person now. I’m more evolved.”

Her debut album Murphy’s Law was released on State Fair Records in 2019, lifting her up to be able to play more stages in North Texas. She can be found playing most nights of the week, often promoted on her Instagram page.

Nickol has a show coming up with SoFar Sounds in Old East Dallas on January 15th, playing with a couple of other artists not yet announced. (SoFar shows normally have secret performers for the audience). You can find tickets here.

A young girl with long brown hair holds a guitar while smiling.

Jade Nickol is a 21-year old musician from Lewisville, TX. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT. 

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