Nicolle Maroulis has been making music under the name Hit Like A Girl for several years, all while simultaneously running an nonprofit called No More Dysphoria. The New Jersey outfit puts all their cards on the table with the latest album Heart Racer, which features their most polished songwriting and arrangements to date, as well as exciting guest appearances from Bartees Strange, Petal’s Kiley Lotz, and more.
To celebrate the release of Heart Racer earlier this month, Nicolle Maroulis sat down to talk talks Taylor Swift, ‘Mean Girls,’ and sleeping in Walmart parking lots in the latest Indie Mixtape 20.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
raw, passionate, poetic, inspiring.
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
I definitely try to make a conscious effort to write music I hope will age well. I would hope it is remembered as staying relevant and relatable throughout the years!
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
I like to reference Taylor Swift a lot when writing songs. She’s one of my favorite artists solely based on her lyric writing alone. She has this unique way of telling detailed stories that paint a vivid picture in your head, and that is something I try to replicate in my own work, too.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
My favorite place to eat is only (to my knowledge) located in Indiana and Ohio but it’s called Bibibop [Editor’s note: this restaurant is scattered across the US], and its like a mid-tier “fast food” sort of place. Think “Chipotle” style ordering, but with Korean fusion type food. Their tofu, kale, sweet potato noodles, and sauce choices are so good. AND you get a mountain of food for like $8.
What album do you know every word to?
Sunset Blush by Kississippi.
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
I don’t know if festivals count as an answer, but I think in a concert setting, I had the most fun of my life during Fest 18 in 2019. That whole weekend was just filled with fun, rowdy-ness among friends. I did a lot of screaming and crowd surfing that weekend, and lost my voice before our set, but it was worth it.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
I love Halloween shows where people dress up in costumes during a set, especially if they’re matching/coordinated somehow because it really adds to the fun of it all. I also think it’s sick when artists wear their own merch on stage, that’s a power move in my opinion.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
On Instagram I think I would have to say “notallgeminis” for the memes or “kaydargs” for kay dargen’s BEAUTIFUL/inspiring photography. On Twitter it’s @ConorShack (Conor Kinkade from The Summit Shack) and @emonormie – they never miss.
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
“Hold Me Down“by Motion City Soundtrack.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
“girl trash movie streaming” to find where I can watch Girltrash which is a great movie fyi.
What album makes for the perfect gift?
I guess that would depend who you’re giving it too, but if you’re asking what album is a good blanket gift that everyone will like, I might say Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen!
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
It’s hard to answer this without calling people out specifically or describing it in a way where someone would know i’m talking about their house. So for the sake of providing a real answer, there’s been countless nights sleeping in the van in a Walmart parking lot. One of those instances I slept in a hammock outside that was kind of cool.
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
My first tattoo I got in someone’s kitchen when I was 14 and has since been covered up. My favorite tattoo I have is the word “Thanks” on my right wrist because i’m grateful for everything I receive.
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
I REALLY love modern radio pop and will really listen to anything on the radio, but I get especially excited for like Carly Rae or Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, etc.
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Oh man! This is tough, I am pretty blessed with some amazing people in my life who have given me so much, or given me chances that no one else ever would have otherwise. My friend Daria had given me money for rent before while I was in between jobs and that was really awesome. My friend Lando from Orlando once also gave me money because I was trying to sell my Minilogue and he texted me and was like “Whatever you do, don’t sell gear to pay rent. Take this.” and that was really awesome.
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
I always kind of wished I had gotten into music and pursued it as hard as I am now when I was younger. I see a lot of bands doing big stuff at 20 years old & if I could go back in time and give 18-year-old me advice, I would tell them to put down the drugs and pick up a pen!!
What’s the last show you went to?
March 2020 we were on tour with a band called Short Fictions, so as the pandemic was unfolding and getting worse and worse by the day — our last show was March 11th or 12th I believe in Charlotte, NC. It was Hit Like a Girl, Short Fictions, Placeholder, Downhaul at The Milestone. Everyone’s sets were amazing and I wish I knew at the time, that that was going to be the last gig for over a year!
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
I haven’t had cable in years but I would have to say Mean Girls or 50 First Dates.
What would you cook if Obama were coming to your house for dinner?
I would make him one of my famous vegan tofu stir fry’s.
Heart Racer is out now on Refresh Records. Listen here.