Country music artist Lisa Nicole slipped into the Rock Creek Fall Fair last Sunday afternoon, and treated a small, but receptive audience to a strong set of both original and cover material.
Born in Grand Forks, raised in Castlegar and now residing in Trail, Nicole grew up with country music, both her parents appreciating the likes of George Strait and Martina McBride, whose music would accompany them on family hunting trips.
Upon completing high school, Nicole attended the Selkirk College of Contemporary Music and Technology in Nelson. During her two years at Selkirk, Nicole experimented with other styles of music, including R&B, yet she continued to be more attracted to the storytelling component of country music, and believed she was destined to pursue a career in that increasingly popular and very competitive genre.
After graduating from Selkirk, Nicole moved to Vancouver, where she spent five years honing her craft while supporting herself as a restaurant server.
She released her first single Not Over You to iTunes in 2011 and debuted the music video with over 15,000 views.
Nicole’s first EP It Got Ugly, released in 2013, was written and recorded in Nashville with producer Bill Buckingham. It produced three singles, heard on over 50 country radio stations, and the video for It Got Ugly has had over 15,000 views. Last fall, Nicole embarked on an ambitious cross Canada tour, which began with an impressive showcase at the Canadian Country Music Awards.
In 2014, she won two Kootenay Music Awards for Album of the Year and Best Country Act alongside two British Columbia Country Music Association nominations for It Got Ugly
Upon her return from her fifth Nashville trip in 2015, Nicole spent most of her time co-writing new material and performing at music festivals such as Sunfest, Rockin’ River Fest and the Canadian Music Week in Toronto.
Recently, she has been working with engineer and producer Paul DeVilliers at his Rossland studio. Devilliers’ credits include production of eighties band Mister Mister’s best-selling album Welcome to the Real World and British rockers Yes’s 1987 album Big Generator, which reached number 15 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. According to those close to Nicole, DeVilliers is helping develop a new indie country sound in her music, which she hopes to showcase in her next recording, slated for sometime next year in Nashville.
On Sunday evening in Surrey, just hours after leaving the stage at Rock Creek’s Fall Fair, Nicole was announced the winner of BCCMA’s Artist Development Project, which will provide her with over $30,000 of support in the form of cash, prizes and a three-single recording package. Nicole will be spending several weeks in Toronto, immersed in a music program, as well as some time recording in Nashville.
“It’s kind of like a $35,000 artist development deal,” Lisa Nicole told the Times before heading for the coast. “If I win, it will definitely change some things.”
It appears Lisa Nicole’s career has just taken a huge upswing.