Lisa Nicole Is Canada’s Newest Country Music Star

Lisa Nicole is a BC-born rising star in the Canadian country music scene. She’s also the winner of the 2015 BC Country Music Association/Music BC Artist Development Project, which earned her a songwriting trip to Nashville last winter and the opportunity to register in the Artist Entrepreneur Program through Canada’s Music Incubator in Toronto this past spring. In July, she released her newest single to Canadian radio called “Where Love Goes to Die.”

On September 6th, Lisa is releasing her sophomore EP, Come Find Me, and she’ll be touring all the way to Prince Edward Island with stops like Toronto, London, Ottawa, Halifax, Charlottetown, and Fredericton before coming back to BC in October for shows in Castlegar and Kelowna. Here’s what the country star had to say about her upcoming tour and what she thinks of the booming Canadian country music scene.

CraveOnline: Tell us about your latest projects and your new EP, as well as your upcoming tour.

Lisa Nicole: My latest project is printing T-shirts and tank tops for my upcoming tour! Ha! I made the silk screens myself and then there’s the printing process, hang to dry, press, and package! It takes a really long time!

My new EP is really important to me and I love it so much. The songs are truly the story of these last few years. There are songs rooted in personal heartbreak and others from when I fell back in love. I hope that people will listen to it and hear their struggles in my lyrics, but come away feeling just a little bit better about the brighter days ahead.

My upcoming tour is going to be four weeks long and we’re excited to hit Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax – among others – and of course, London for the Canadian Country Music Awards!

I will be touring with my guitar player Jason Thomas and a tour manager to help with merchandise, driving, and just keeping the Lisa ball rolling! This is my second time touring coast-to-coast across Canada with Jason. He’s been my music partner for 11 years now, so we have a pretty good chemistry going. The tour is a full schedule of radio stations visits, enjoying the sights and sounds of each beautiful Canadian city, and of course – shows! We have a few back-to-back 12 hour driving days. Those can be challenging! You’ve gotta love the road to be able to do it, and I do!

How did you get into singing, particularly country music?

I got into singing when I was 7 years old, sitting on top of my dresser, listening to “My Baby Loves Me” by Martina McBride. When I was 9, my parents took me to a karaoke bar/restaurant called JB’s in a small town in the Kootenay region of British Columbia called Balfour. At age 15, they started taking me to local jam sessions three times a week at bars all over the Kootenays. I’ve never really looked back.

I think I chose country music because that is what I was surrounded by as I grew up. Or maybe it chose me! My parents always had Country Music Television on in the house and I remember driving in Dad’s old yellow Ford listening to Randy Travis, Martina McBride, Vince Gill, and many other country artists. When CDs came out, my favourite was Shania Twain’s Come On Over! The sounds and styles of these artists have never really escaped me and I feel like I’m a more complete artist from listening to them and applying their influence in my own way.

Who is someone in the business that you look up to and why?

I look up to my music buddy, Chris Buck. When I first moved to Vancouver to pursue music, I hired him to play a video release party for my first song “Not Over You.” We’ve really watched each other grow as artists since then and it’s been incredible seeing him get to where he is now. We always get on the phone and have long conversations about the music business. He’s a humble, down to earth, and hard-working artist. I think that’s why we get along so well because we both work really hard!

If you hadn’t gone into singing, what do you think you might be doing professionally?

Fitness! I love health and fitness, cooking healthy meals and working out! I would 100% do a bikini body-building competition. I would love to do one now, but there’s no way you can do it with this career. Some day! I love going to the gym, but it’s tough when you’re driving 8-12 hours a day on the road to even make time for it. That’s one thing I love about being home is being able to be in my gym and cooking routine. In another life, I would have started some kind of healthy cooking show! Even with my current career, I like to share some of my healthy living on a special Instagram @LisaNicoleFitness!

Tell us about your impression of the growing Canadian country music scene.

The biggest thing I am noticing as an artist and an observer in the industry is change. While we’re still in the bro country era in many ways, that’s slowly evolving, which is a very good thing. As female artists, we really have to try hard to pull out the uniqueness in each of us and build on that. It might feel like a challenge, but it helps us discover where our place is in the industry and what makes us special.  

I also think a lot of artists are scared of making the wrong moves, which makes sense because it’s such a critical industry. That said, I think we should always be looking to take more risks, myself included.

From my perspective, country music in Canada really feels way more popular than it was 10 years ago. It’s “cool” now, even if it’s always been cool to me.

What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?

One thing that people would be surprised to know about me is that I volunteered with Rotary International in my late teens and spent time visiting orphanages. When I was 17, I spent a month in Honduras and spent another month in Bolivia when I was 19. In both cases, I brought school supplies, hygiene accessories and some clothing in my suitcase. With Rotary, we spent time building bridges, painting murals, playing with the children and planting gardens.

Experiences like these have helped me adopt a personal philosophy of being humble and grateful in life and always considering others.

Check out Lisa Nicole on YouTube.