The days of summer may be coming to an end, but not for 22-year-old singer and actress Megan Nicole. The YouTube sensation stars alongside Stephen Colletti, Alyson Stoner, and Anna Grace Barlow in the new movie Summer Forever (available for digital download today), which follows the story of three best friends spending one last wild weekend together before heading off to college.
Last week, Megan stopped by InStyle’s New York City offices to chat about her role as Sydney, a singer who’s faced with the last-minute choice to head off to college or pursue a career in music—a situation that hits close to home for the actress. “I was able to connect with my character through a lot of my own experiences, like her love of music and the decision she has to make when faced with record label deals,” said Megan. “We’re very similar when it comes to being focused on our craft and work, but still trying to make sure we make time for a social life.”
Having a sense of normalcy outside of her career is important to Megan, who became a YouTube star when she began sharing her covers of hit songs in 2009. “My life stories are the inspiration for my music,” she said. Her songs may take shape based on her own life experiences, but one of Megan's favorite things about taking on her first acting role was the chance to tell someone else’s. “I got to get into the head space of another character, which was unique and different since I’m usually telling my own story,” she said. Her character’s story includes plenty of adventure. “She and her friends make a list of things they want to accomplish before the weekend is up, and it’s all about facing their fears and showing the world that who they are going to be is not who they were in high school.”
Megan's character definitely has big plans for the future, but she’s not quite ready to put herself out there just yet. “Sydney is always telling everyone around her to chase after their dreams, but she’s actually a little afraid to go after her own,” she said. Although her character may need a bit of a push, Megan has a clear vision when it comes to her own career. “Summer Forever started as just an idea of wanting to make a movie,” she said. “And then my song, which is also called 'Summer Forever,' became the inspiration for that movie, and I had the chance to write on a few more of the songs.”
But this isn’t the first time that Megan has taken charge of her career. “When I was 17, I was signed to Bad Boy Records,” she said. “One of my first meetings was with Diddy at his house, and even then I had a very clear direction of what I wanted to do and what I wanted to accomplish. So I just went in there and played him a few songs.” And she had to be extra cautious while doing so, thanks to Diddy’s all-white décor. “When you got there, you had to take your shoes off and put on complimentary slippers,” Megan said. “I was drinking a colored drink while sitting on his white couch, and that did make me a bit nervous!”
Luckily, she didn’t spill. And ever since, Megan has been full-speed ahead. She’s currently touring throughout the U.S., but she still remembers the stage of life that her character is struggling with in Summer Forever. “Sydney is taking a different path than I did, but she’s still just following her journey,” said Megan. “It’s really cool to see how each character deals with the transition from high school to the rest of their lives, and to know that it’s okay to not have everything figured out. In the end, all that matters is finding what you’re passionate about and going after that to follow your dreams.”
Watch the trailer for Summer Forever below, and download the movie for $9.99 on iTunes today.