Lisa Nicole
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Lisa Nicole

Castlegar, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | AFM

Castlegar, Canada | AFM
Established on Jan, 2010
Solo Country Rock




"Vancouver Sun - Good Music"

Country singer Lisa Nicole exudes a bright, fizzy personality on her forthcoming EP, Come Find Me, out Sept. 6. Generally upbeat, it has an element of rock at the foundation but is country in her delivery and appealing. -

"Global News Morning Halifax"

Live performance and interview on Global News Morning in Halifax, NS. - Global

"Canadian Beats - Lisa Nicole"

Castlegar, British Columbia is the home of Canadian Country Music’s up and coming sweetheart Lisa Nicole. Lisa grew up hunting and fishing and loving country music. Tomorrow (September 6, 2016) she releases her sophomore EP entitled Come Find Me. Considering she is quite the rookie within the music scene, the amount of industry support that she has is astounding. Be sure to take a listen to her work, this talented lady has what it takes. Canadian Beats had the chance to catch up with her to talk life and music.

Tell me about your songwriting process, what inspires you?

When it comes to the songwriting stage, I usually find some chords that fit together, then move on to a melody and then add words. If it’s a scheduled write, I have my list of lyrics and titles I can pull from.

One of my tricks for titles is I’ll take a title of any song like “Church Bells” for instance and try to write 5 titles with one of each word. For example, “We Went to Church”, “Sunday Church”, “Church and Cheerios” – anything that comes to my mind!

At the end of the day, I’m inspired by my own personal experiences. The music I sing represents my own life, whether it’s a song I’ve written on my own or a song that someone else has written that speaks to my own experiences.

What has been the most challenging song you have written and recorded, and why?

“Mad About It” – This song, unfortunately, came from a personal experience of being cheated on. The good news is I wrote a great song!

It was challenging to write because I didn’t want it to be too close to many of Miranda Lambert’s songs. Because she is such a big influence on me, our styles can be similar. Miranda has already covered the kerosene, shotgun, burning down your house crazy girl songs – which I love! I tried to write the same kind of topic, but with my own approach.

I think what is unique about this song is the hook at the end of the chorus, the “ma-a-a-d about it”. You can hear it on the EP!

Come Find Me is your second EP, was anything easier this time around?

There were easier parts and more difficult parts about the process this time.

Because I’ve gone through it, I understand how to self-release a lot better and to have a better handle on what needs to be done.

The difficult parts are mostly from doing new things, but they have all been rewarding! I added a lot more to my list that needed to be done after completing the EP! Anything from social media pushes to show bookings and being more creative with how to promote the EP. Whether I’m making t-shirts or planning out driving schedules, I’m constantly doing something!

I also hired an amazing publicist for this tour, which has given me new opportunities to share my story and my music with the media. I am grateful to have his help!

Your next single “Come Find Me” is the title track on this EP, what was the inspiration behind the song?

This song comes from yet again, a real life experience. I went through a point in my life where I was going through a bittersweet break-up. At the time I thought there was still hope and that maybe now just wasn’t the right time. We would tell each other that, to make it easier to let go. It was still hard, but this song explains exactly how I felt at that point in my life.

How does it feel to be backed by such a competitive industry with honours like two Kootenay Music awards, two noms at the 2015 BCCMAs and even a showcase at the 2013 CCMAs?

It’s an amazing feeling. What’s great is being recognized for your hard work, in a little or big way. I work very hard. I am self-managed and book all my own tours. Winning the Artist Development Project last year was also a big recognition of my hard work paying off. At the end of the day, I love to sing, so being nominated for anything is an honour and a sign to keep going.

What do you want listeners to take away from this EP?

I want them to hear the stories in each song and relate to them in their own ways. When I write, I take my experiences and mold them into a story that’s relatable. I also want to gain more fans through this EP because I’m really proud of everything about it!

What can we expect from Lisa Nicole next?

When I come back home for the BC portion of my tour, I will be doing an EP release party in my hometown of Castlegar at The Element on October 1st. I will be playing the show with my “band family” as I call them. I have played with them since I was 15 and it’s going to be a special night. The rest of October will include some more shows and the BCCMA Awards! After that, I will be releasing my second single, which is the title track from my EP, “Come Find Me”. Watch for it and a new music video with my favourite director Cliff Hokanson!

Here at Canadian Beats we life to compose a few “just for fun” questions to allow your fans and listeners to get to know you better…ready!?…

If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?

I would most likely be pursuing fitness as either a competitive body-builder (bikini style). Or I’d be combining music and cooking into a TV show. The Singing Chef? I have always prided myself on having a healthy diet and lifestyle. You’ll find me in the gym about 5 times a week and on hikes as much as possible. At home, I cook very healthy! I’m always searching for new ways to live and eat right, so I have an Instagram account @LisaNicoleFitness to share and trade ideas for health and fitness. Come Find Me! See what I did there?

What are 3 things (non-music related) that you can’t live without?

The gym. My kitchen. My shakes!

I’m at my best on stage when I’m at my best as a person, so working out and keeping a healthy diet are what keep me going.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

In high school, I was in the Miss Castlegar Pageant! I didn’t win the whole thing, but I did win the talent portion if you can believe it! Haha!

Who is the most played Canadian artist on your playlist?

Shania Twain! And then Justin Bieber! I also love “Leave Your Light On” by my buddy Chris Buck.

What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

I have three! Homemade whipped cream, natural peanut butter, and peanut butter cups!

And last but not least, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

Thank you for being there for me! Whether it’s seeing my shows and loving my music, following my journey on my social media and website (, it really means the world to me. Every fan counts. Thank you! I love hearing from you! Please let me know what your favorite songs are from my new EP! - Heather Young

"Daytime Ottawa"

Live performance and interview at Daytime Ottawa. -

"CRAVE - Lisa Nicole Is Canada’s Newest Country Music Star Read"

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. - Jennifer Cox

"London Free Press"

Country Music Week is coming and you can start celebrating early with an evening showcase from singer-songwriter Lisa Nicole.

Based in B.C., this West Coast wonder will be sharing songs from her soon-to-be-released EP Come Find Me. She spent her youth listening to the likes of the Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride and Shania Twain (of course) and, as she got older, added Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert to her rotation.

Now, Lisa Nicole has developed a southern twang, and will be taking it on tour across Canada. Her London show is marked for the day after her EP release, so there will be plenty to celebrate when she steps inside Eastside Bar and Grill.

If you head to her show Wednesday night, you may hear a familiar song or two: Her 2016 single Where Love Goes to Die made its way on the airwaves and has a lyric video to go along with it. Sing along to lines like “You had something on your mind / When you said we had to talk / I could feel the danger in the air.”

While Lisa Nicole may sing about heartbreak, she does it in a powerful way—she’s not going to cry, she’s going to channel that energy into songwriting. She’s been singing her heart out since she was eight years old (and by 15 she was playing in the Kootenay-area), studied music in college, and made her entrance with the EP It Got Ugly in 2013.

Along the way, she’s scooped up a few B.C. Country Music Award nominations (for both Best Country Act and Album of the Year), and picked up the prize for the BCCMA/Music B.C. artist development project (which included a songwriting trip to Nashville and you could definitely imagine hearing her single on the show of the same name).

Hear it for yourself when Lisa Nicole performs at the Eastside Bar and Grill Wednesday. Cover is $5, and the show starts at 8 p.m. -

"Lisa Nicole- Country Start Page Interview"

Why country music ?
~ I grew up listening to good ole George Straight and Martina McBride. I love the feel of country music; it’s all about real life situations, sometimes put in a funny or sensitive way.

Tell us your Nashville story.
~ I had the trip booked for a couple months now, along with a fellow musician, Jason Thomas, and my producer, Bill Buckingham. I started with booking the Socan house. From there I started booking a couple small shows, and sessions with writers such as Kathleen Higgins of the country band “The Higgins” and Daryl Burgess. During the time leading up to my dates to go (March 19th-March26th) I was in a contest called Get Me The Menu. I came in second by 20 votes with 822 votes. I was still awarded $250. I also did a successful show to fundraise money a couple days before I left. We rose over $500.
The day comes when I am set to go down to catch my flight in Nashville. Going across the border, I was so excited that I let it slip that I was doing shows. Right away, a red flag went up. I spent 2 hours at 2AM in the customs border and protection, fingerprints and everything. They wouldn’t let me through because they considered the shows as working, even though they weren’t paid. They said I could only come back with a working Visa. I was heartbroken and balling my eyes out at the customs. Nothing I said would change their mind. So I went home.
Right away I put my flight on hold. I wasn't able to get a visa in time. So I decided, what the heck, I can't give up this easy! I’ll try again. I got paystubs showing I work in Canada, emails that I cancelled my Nashville shows, letters from work saying I will return to work, anything I thought would change their minds.
Off I went the next morning at 7am. Right away the border guy asked me “Why are you trying to come through the border today if you got denied yesterday?” Then I went back into the Customs Border Protection office. I explained my situation and showed them the paperwork. After an hour, he came back and said “I’m sorry, you need to come back with a Performance Visa.” I was so upset but I wasn’t going to give up. I then asked to talk to his supervisor. The officer said they wouldn’t change their minds. After several minutes he came out and I begged him, and tried showing him more emails on my phone. He still said no. I then asked to talk to his chief. They searched my car and eventually said I could go. I couldn’t believe it!! I hugged the guy! I did a happy dance right when I walked out the door. They asked me if I was a country singer and if I could sing a song. So, I sang them a song and off I went and on the other side I met Bill. I found Wi-Fi at a local gym in Blaine, booked my flight which cost an extra $650 and off we went. We got a speeding ticket on the way, of course, as luck would have it.
In the back of my mind I was preparing to spend the week crying in a little ball. I couldn't believe they let me cross after denying me 4 times. Hard work really pays off, along with persistency!! While down there I recorded fiddle, banjo, dobro, mandolin, steel guitar, bass and dreams. It was an amazing trip of writing, recording, networking and doing shows in Nashville, a dream I’ve had since I was 15. Listen for me on JRFM and 107.1 this summer, I’m sure I’ll be there :-)

If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ Ok, this one’s easy. But I have two. Carrie Underwood and Lisa Nicole! haha, and Miranda Lambert and I… so maybe we could just do a trio and make it simple!

Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ Miranda Lambert or Carrie Underwood, or both together! I love Miranda’s lyrics and redneck feel, and Carries rockin’ tunes. Oh, and Taylor Swift, does she ever not write a hit? I love her too!

Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves.
~ I get more nervous playing in front of 10-30 people - Country Start Page

"Countrified Canada - Lisa Nicole"

You just released your sophomore EP, Come Find Me, what song are you most excited for fans to hear?

I’m really excited to share all of these songs! If I had to pick one, it would be the title track, “Come Find Me”, which was written by some of my favorite writers, Phil Barton, Brian White and Hannah Ellis. Phil co-wrote one of my favorite country songs "A Women Like You" by Lee Brice.

A big part of creating the EP was discovering who I wanted to be as a performer and as a person during a challenging time in my life. This song has come to represent that journey for me and there is something about performing this type of song that is healing to the heart. I really do love it.

You are spending the upcoming months on your own national tour that will take you all the way to Prince Edward Island coming back to your home province of BC, are there any stops along the way that you are most excited to see?

I can’t wait to check out Prince Edward Island! I never got to stop there on my last tour so I made a point of it this time. Can’t wait for a good lobster dish! It will be the first time in Prince Edward Island, but not the first time having lobster. My first lobster experience was in Nova Scotia and it was pretty hilarious.

I’m also wanting to see these wonderful waterfalls throughout Ontario that I’ve heard about. We didn’t have time to stop on the way out east, but I’m hoping that we’ll have the time on the way home. I’m a sucker for the beauties of nature!

You can keep up with my tour dates and adventures on my website at or @LisaNicoleMusic on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

As a rising artist what is one quality that draws you to country music and the industry?

What draws me most is that I love hard work and a challenge. Challenges lead to hard work and hard work makes you stronger. Of course, I also love singing. For me, being able to sing creates a physical and emotional feeling of pouring yourself out for the world to see. It’s invigorating!

“Getting to know Lisa Nicole

Last girls’ night out?

It was my girl friend’s bachelorette party at Christina Lake, which also happened to be my first bachelorette party ever! It was a fun girls’ weekend of games, boating and wake surfing! Although I was sick, so I was drinking lemon ginger tea while everyone else was sipping on margaritas!

Last thing you borrowed from someone?

The last thing I borrowed was my mom’s cowboy boots! She has this beautiful black pair that I steal from her all the time… and truth be told, it’s usually for a couple of months, rather than borrowing them for just a day. She lets me, though, because I wear them well!

Last game you played?

The last game I played would have been flip cup in the summer! Truth be told, I’m not really a person that plays many games. When I want to unwind from music, I do it by being active. So you’re more likely to find me in the mountains hiking, hunting, and camping and playing that way!” -

"Real country living comes to Charles Bailey"

Country singer and self-proclaimed redneck, Lisa Nicole, is getting ready to saddle up and ride off into a new future full of exciting opportunities. But not before she says goodbye to Castlegar and the Kootenays, the place she’s called home for so long.

On January 16, Nicole will be performing her biggest show yet at the Charles Bailey Theatre in Trail.

She will be playing songs from her previously released album ‘It Got Ugly’ as well as new material yet to be released. In addition to the expansive set list, Nicole’s performance is sure to include local guest act, Jason Thomas and superb lighting and sound effects from Enormous Productions.

“This is kind of a kickoff for me since I’m hoping to move to Nashville within a week of the performance,” Nicole said.

Up until this fall — when she moved back to Castlegar — Nicole had been living in Vancouver for the past 5 years, but she is no stranger to Nashville.

Nicole said she had done writing and recording down in Tennessee every so often but only recently decided to make this next trip a permanent one.

“This one day I was in a session with Paul De Villiers and we were talking about how I’m going down to Nashville to record, and I had a kind of epiphany, thinking why am I just going down their to visit?”

De Villiers is a sound engineer and record producer who is best known for his work on Mr. Mister’s best-selling 1985 album ‘Welcome to the Real World’.

“I want to pursue this full-on and if I’m going to do that I should be down there,” Nicole added. “Right then I decided I was going to move there.”

Nicole believes the move to Nashville will garner her additional recognition and a chance to branch out to a larger country audience.

The move back to Castlegar was necessary for Nicole to be close to friends and family before she departed for Nashville in the new year.

As for Nicole’s music, she describes it as “real country living.”

“I like to write about real country things. Especially lately, I’ve been writing a lot from personal experiences. You can either expect to hear about guns, drinking or relationships. These are always in my songs,” she laughed.

Not to worry, the part about guns comes from a dominant hunting background.

“I grew up in a hunting family, I’ve been hunting since before I could walk.”

Nicole sees a lot of herself in those she looks up to, and finds inspiration in those that have made it in the industry before her.

“My influences? Definitely Miranda Lambert is a huge one. Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, she’s a very good song writer.”

Back on the topic of Lambert, “Oh, her feistiness. I love that she sings about real country things. Real country living. I feel she really speaks the truth but also in a quirky, funny way. She writes about things I would write about.”

Lately, Nicole has been writing about many things.

“I’ve been writing a lot in the last year because I’m really ready to record a new CD,” said Nicole.

“You can whip out an album in a month if you wanted to, but I really want to focus on perfecting this one. I don’t want to rush. I mean I do feel very anxious to get something out there because it has been a couple years since I released my ‘It Got Ugly’ CD. But I’m just going to take my time and do a really good job.”

Nicole has recently had World Vision sign on as her charity and is very excited for her career to take off.

Tickets for her upcoming show are available for purchase now and more information can be found at - Chris Stedile - Castlegar News

"She’s still a country girl at heart"

Like a particular platinum tough-as-her-boots Nashville star who has been cussin’ and swillin’ her way to country music notoriety as of late, B.C. artist Lisa Nicole runs her own show, her way.

Growing up in the rough and tumble Kootenays, the Castlegar native is just as comfortable singing and playing her guitar in an intimate, acoustic show, as she will when she stops by Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo Sunday, as she is belting out a rockin’ tune in some country and western bar up in the Cariboo.

She books all her own gigs, does all the promotion and marketing, writes her own songs, and can pull up her own bootstraps, thank you very much.

“I’ve always known what I wanted to do was music,” said Lisa Nicole (born Lisa Nicole Kienas) on the phone from Quesnel, a stop on her current western Canada tour that heads up to Dawson Creek then into Alberta before returning south back through B.C.

This tour is one of many Lisa Nicole and her longtime touring partner, guitarist Jason Thomas, have done around the province. Last fall, the duo headed across the country, playing 25 shows and more than 20 radio stations, starting with a showcase at the Canadian Country Music Awards in Edmonton.

“I love the adventure of going to new cities, finding my way, and finding new gyms, wherever we go,” said the artist who likes to keep fit. “I have an extra day here in Quesnel so I’ve been walking around and promoting the show here to everyone I meet.”

Lisa Nicole’s love of the western frontier is also evident in her latest video, for the title track off her 2013 EP, It Got Ugly. In it, she plays a sassy saloon girl and an outlaw in a shoot out with a bunch of cowboys and can also be seen riding a galloping horse.

“We shot it in Langley. It has horses and guns and has a real western theme,” said Lisa Nicole. “I grew up with a mostly redneck family. I’ve been hunting since I was four and love horseback riding... If I wasn’t a singer, I’d love to be in a rodeo. I know I’m not good enough as I’ve had no time to practise. It’s a whole other career.”

Lisa Nicole’s entry into the music business was not your A-typical turn.

At the age of nine, she made her musical debut at a neighborhood pub for her friends and family, and started playing bars when she was only 15.

“I met Jason around then and we started playing bars three times a week. I had to be escorted on and off the stage,” she said, adding, “Jason and I balance each other really well and I think that’s why our friendship and working relationship has lasted all these years.”

The adventure didn’t stop when Lisa Nicole graduated from high school. When she was 17, she visited the Central American country of Honduras through her town’s Rotary Club, which also sponsored her trip to Bolivia in South America two years later.

“I had to fundraise money to go on each trip so we could carry in suitcases full of medical supplies and clothes. We stayed in orphanages and planted herb gardens,” she said. “I wish we could do it again. I loved it. It was a whole different culture. We saw people living in cardboard houses.”

After returning, she attended the two-year music program at Nelson’s Selkirk College, then moved to Vancouver to pursue her career.

However, Vancouver is a long way from Nashville when it comes to making it as a country artist.

“As an independent artist, it’s pretty tough to crack into the big radio stations. It’s a Catch 22 business. Major radio station don’t add you if you’re not on a major label. In the long run, it comes down to the song.”

With the success of It Got Ugly, which was recorded in Nashville and won Best Album and Roots Country Folk Album of the Year at the Kootenay Music Awards, Lisa Nicole hopes industry types will start paying more attention.

“I love Nashville and I’m hoping to go back soon. We are scoping who to record with next,” she said. “I’ve been working my butt off managing myself. I’m at the point where I’m looking for people to team up with for the next project and record. I hope the hard work pays off.”

Lisa Nicole, with Jason Thomas, performs at Gallery Vertigo, #1-3001 31st St. (upstairs), Sunday at 6 p.m. Opening is fellow country artist Cynthia Leigh-Ann. Admission is $10 (suggested donation.) - Kristin Froneman - Vernon Star

"Selkirk College Music Alumnae Takes Next Step in Promising Country Music Career"

The road to country music success can be long, but Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program grad Lisa Nicole is is determined to ride it out. Early in the new year she is making a major shift by moving to Nashville, but before she goes wants to pack the house at the Charles Bailey Theatre for a concert in front of homegrown fans.
The bumpy road to country music fame mirrors much of the genre’s material: Life isn’t always easy, but getting to the good times is worth the trip. It’s a lesson Selkirk College alumnae Lisa Nicole is well aware of as she embarks on what could be a major breakthrough in her career.

A graduate of the Contemporary Music & Technology Program in 2010, Nicole has been forging a career over the last four years with mild success. In the new year, the 25-year-old will make a break for the country music promised land when she moves to Nashville full time. Before hitting the road south, Nicole will play her biggest show in the region to date when she takes the stage at the Charles Bailey Theatre in Trail.

Lisa Nicole and her two Kootenay Music Awards which she won this past spring. Nicole is getting set to play the Charles Bailey Theatre in Trail on January 16.

“A lot of my friends are getting married and saving up for a house,” says Nicole, who was born in Grand Forks and raised in Castlegar. “Any money that I have goes to music, saving for a house is not something I think about. Some people ask me if I have a back-up plan… I don’t. There is no back-up plan because I’m going to do it.”

Seeds of Country Music Planted Early

Nicole’s dreams of a music career blossomed early and her muse was never in doubt.

“My family is fairly redneck… I grew up with a lot of hunting, fishing and camping. The country life,” says Nicole with a wide smile. “I remember when I was eight driving the backroads with my dad in his pickup truck listening to George Strait and Randy Travis. I just grew up with it, it’s in my roots.”

With her parents by side, Nicole began singing in pubs around the region when she was nine. By the time she was 15, Nicole was a regular at jam sessions at Banjo’s Pub in Castlegar where she first met longtime friend and collaborator Jason Thomas.

“In between sets I would do my homework in a hotel room,” she says of her early years. “My parents were always there and very supportive.”

Nicole graduated from Castlegar’s Stanley Humphries and immediately enrolled at Selkirk College’s acclaimed music program located at Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus.

“It’s close to home and it’s a really good music school,” she says. “I always knew I wanted to do music and to have such a great program with so many talented instructors was a great opportunity.”

Nicole spent three years at Selkirk College, graduating as a performance and songwriting major.

“You are immersed in music, I learned so much,” Nicole says of her Selkirk years. “You go from being just a singer to becoming an artist because you learn so much about the business and yourself. Selkirk College was amazing.”

Music Business Full of Twists and Turns

Students who graduate from the Selkirk College music programs have a variety of career pathways they can choose, but for Nicole there was never a hesitation that she was going to throw herself fully into trying to make it on stage. Though she knew it would be tough, navigating the waters of a competitive industry has been more difficult than she imagined.

“There are so many opportunities, but there are also so many of us,” she says. “Anybody can record an album and anybody can do a video if you have money. There are so many musicians like me out there going for the exact same thing, so it’s all about finding something that is different.”

Nicole chuckles when she tells the story of the first time she went to Nashville to record. When she was crossing the border and was asked her purpose of travel, Nicole excitedly told them she was going to perform and record in Nashville. Even though her showcase performances were unpaid, the border agents told Nicole her paperwork was not adequate to allow for such travel.

Lisa Nicole's official video for her song It Got Ugly.

With recording sessions booked and considerable money on the line, Nicole turned around disheartened. Determined to make it happen, she returned to the border the next day.

“I would not give up,” she says. “The next day I went back and I was at the border for eight hours, crying and talking to supervisors and going up the ranks until they let me in. They eventually let me in.”

In 2003, Nicole released her EP It Got Ugly. An ambitious cross-Canada tour followed where she played 25 shows and more than 20 radio stations.

Though Nicole has played some big shows—the main stage at Cowichan Valley’s Sunfest, the Calgary Stampede and Sturgis North in Merritt—it’s the more sparse crowds that tell the tale of a country singer trying to build a career.

While on a recent acoustic tour with Thomas, they were booked for show in Cabri, Saskatchewan, a town in the southwestern portion of the province with a population of 400. Only 25 people in the farming community came out that night, but for Nicole it was an evening she will never forget.

“It was so fun,” she says. “They were singing along and dancing… it was one of my favourite shows of the tour. I think we sold the most merchandise that night out of any show on the tour. I will definitely go back and play there one day because that is how you gain your fans.”

Finding Traction and Heading South

Nicole is fully aware that the road to country music fame is long and overnight success is rare. She figures it takes between 10 and 15 years to build a career where you can finally feel comfortable. She’s determined to stay the course.

This past spring, Nicole was provided a little bit of fuel for her journey when she took home two awards at the Third Annual Kootenay Music Awards. She was given trophies for Album of the Year and Best Roots Country or Folk at annual evening at Nelson’s Spiritbar.

“It feels good to be recognized,” she says. “I worked really hard on that CD [It Got Ugly] and this is something that makes it worth it. I was just happy to be nominated, so to win two awards was great.”

Lisa Nicole's official video for her song Not Over You.

Nicole plays the Charles Bailey Theatre in Trail on January 16, 2015. Filling the 700-seat theatre would help catapult her on to the new adventure south where she will set up a permanent home base, work on finishing her new album and take the next important step in her career.

“I want to pursue this full-on and if I’m going to do that, I should be down there [Nashville],” she told the Castlegar News.

Tickets for the January show can be purchased online by heading to or by calling the Charles Bailey Theatre at 250.368.9669. Tickets for the show are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. The show starts at 7 p.m. and will feature an opening acoustic set from Jason Thomas. - Selkirk College Contemporary Music and Technology

"Lisa Nicole wins BCCMA award"

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. - Andrew Tripp

"Country starlet is home from Nashville"

Lisa Nicole, Grand Forks born, Castlegar raised, country singer songwriter, never has a dull moment.

This year, as short as its been, has already proved busy, with a Nashville trip under her belt, along with several nominations and another cross country tour in the works – Nicole shows no signs of slowing down.

On the heels of her return from Nashville, with seven new songs in tow, Nicole spent the majority of her time co-writing, and performing at venues like the historic 12th and Porter and networking with Nashville’s finest.

Nicole is presently writing songs for her next album. Nicole will be playing a show at The Old Theatre, May 24 in Castlegar B.C. For dates on her tour go to -

"Lisa Nicole returns to Kootenays before Cross Canada Tour"

Country-rock sensation Lisa Nicole is one busy lady; not only is she in the midst of planning to film a music video but she's also touring across Canada over the summer and will be making stops in the Kootenays.

The music video is set for filming on August 18 at a western movie set in Langley and she's putting the word out for anyone who may want a role.

"I'm filming a music video for my latest single, 'It Got Ugly'. It will be going to country radio in August," said Nicole. "If anyone wants to help out, western cowgirls, cowboys and outlaws are welcome. I will also be doing an Indiegogo [crowd funding] campaign to raise some funds for the release."

In September, she is off to Edmonton for a showcase at the Canadian Country Music Association before embarking on a tour that will take her across the country with longtime fellow artist, Jason Thomas (who is from Trail).

"We will be on the road for over five weeks; all the way to Nova Scotia," she said. "I love it and wouldn't trade what I do for anything."

Nicole's exhausting tour lineup will also see her rocking the big stage at Rockin' River Musicfest in Mission, B.C. August 17.

"I'll be on the main stage, the same stage Brad Paisley is headlining. It's going to pretty cool," she said.

Tickets for the festival can be found at

Nicole will also be doing no less than five gigs locally in July:

- Wednesday, July 24: Music in the Park, 7 p.m. at Kinnaird Park in Castlegar

- Friday, July 26: Marketfest, 6:15 p.m. in Nelson and 9 p.m. at the Lions Head Pub in Robson

- Saturday, July 27: Kootenay Festival at 3:30 p.m. adjacent to the Doukhobor Discovery Centre and The Kootenay Gallery of Art on Heritage Way; then she's off to Trail at 9 p.m. at the Arlington Bar and Grill.

"I know I have a pretty good following in Castlegar," said Nicole. "I really appreciate the support of my home town." - Castlegar News

"Castlegar singer Lisa Nicole releases CD"

Castlegar may not be the cowboy capital of Canada, we certainly take a back seat to our Albertan neighbours; however, one Castlegar lady hasn't let that stop her from putting out a country album and having a couple of songs picked up by country radio.

"We had the CD release party for It Got Ugly on Nov. 17," said Lisa Nicole, who is from Castlegar but lives in Vancouver now. "We started pushing the first song If You Say You Do to country radio in October. It's on over 31 country stations throughout Canada right now. That's pretty big for a first song."

Lisa recorded most of the album in Nashville, which she enjoyed tremendously. The CD has five songs on it and was produced by famed producer Bill Buckingham.

"Besides producing most of the album there, I also co-wrote all the songs," she said. "Being in Nashville was amazing. When I left I thought, I'm going to be living here one day. I can't wait to go back. The artists I worked with down there are all so talented. It was really cool."

Lisa was born in Grand Forks and grew up in Castlegar. After graduating from Stanley Humphries, she went to music school in Nelson at Selkirk College.

"Then I moved to Vancouver by myself and just started networking," she said. "That's where I met my vocal coach and my producer."

Lisa has been back in the Kootenays several times and performed at different venues. She really enjoys performing at the Concerts in the Park series at Kinnaird in Castlegar.

"I've been playing in Castlegar since I was in high school," she said. "I always love coming home and doing shows at home. Since then, I've gained so many more fans in Castlegar. It's great."

The second single from Lisa's CD, Real Men Stay, is going to be pushed to radio in January. She also recently released a Christmas video for Oh Holy Night.

Nicole has a new website at Also, be sure to check her out on Facebook and Twitter.

"If anyone wants to message me or add me on Facebook, I love talking to all my fans," she said. - Castlegar News

"Lisa Nicole Hopes This is her Big Break!"

Castlegar-raised Lisa Nicole Kienas is on the edge of going big-time, with her brand of country rock soon to be released to the masses.

Between rehearsing, putting up posters for shows, playing shows, copyrighting and registering her music, writing new songs and practising them, as well as filming her music video, the 21-year-old Kienas is into her music 100 per cent.

The first time Kienas got her taste of the limelight was when she was nine years old and performed at JB’s in Balfour.

“Oddly enough when I was about 11 my parents put me into piano lessons and I hated it,” Kienas said. “I now own a piano.”

A few years later, at 15, she met Jason Thomas at a jam at Banjo’s.

“From there we would hit at least three jams a week; the Legion in Rossland, the Arlington in Trail and Banjo’s in Castlegar,” she said. “We would sit in the doorway at the Arlington in the middle of winter waiting for our turn to sing. I think they eventually felt bad for us and started putting us upstairs in one of the hotel rooms, where I would do my homework and practice with Jason in between sets.”

Kienas has also performed at the Fruitvale Music Fest, various fall fairs and the B.C. Talent Search. When she was 16, she tried out for Canadian Idol without success. She tried again two years later and made it through three rounds.

“All throughout high school I never had anything I wanted to do as a career other than music,” she said. “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”

After graduating from Stanley Humphries Secondary School, Kienas enroled in Selkirk College’s contemporary music and technology program.

“It wasn’t until music school that I realized how hard it was going to be,” she said. “Music is the hardest business to choose to do, and even harder to be successful at. It’s all about hard work. You have to have the drive to push yourself.”

After graduating with two vocal majors in song writing and performance, the timing was right to move to a bigger city.

“I knew I had to move to a bigger city for music if I wanted to succeed,” she explained. “I was antsy in Castlegar; I wanted more. Bigger. More opportunities. My mom was moving to Alberta so I thought, ‘why not?’ My uncle, I love him, moved me all the way out here. “

“On our first meeting we shook hands and made a deal that I would be on the map within a year and a half,” she said. “In another words, I will be on radio, CMT, have an album, more music videos … This is a big deal. He is the first person to really believe in me and my music and have the connections to take me somewhere.”

Kienas just finished the finals for the B.C. Karaoke Competition and is currently in the Next Country Star (the winner of which opens for Travis Tritt, Lonestar and Sawyer Brown).

Next on Kienas’ never-ending to-do list is recording her album.

While recording the album, she’ll release her song “Not Over You” to national radio and CMT.

“Another important aspect I am working on is finding a dedicated band that is willing to tour,” she said. “One of my focuses is to play as much as I can, anywhere I can. I need to build a good fan base down here.”

Lisa Nicole Kienas will be playing at Music in the Park at Kinnaird Park on July 27 and the Lion’s Head Pub on July 29. For more information, visit
- Castlegar News

"Lisa Nicole performs at Music in the Park"

Lisa Nicole (formerly Kienas) will be performing at the Concert in the Park this Wednesday along with Jason Thomas.

Nicole, who hails from Castlegar, got her start at 15 playing at different jam nights in the Kootenays. She graduated from Selkirk College Contemporary Music and Technology with a Songwriting and Performance Major in Vocals.

She has recently spent some time in Nashville recording and working with producers and musicians there.
- Craig Lindsey- Castlegar News



Come Find Me EP (2016)
Where Love Goes To Die - Come Find Me EP (2016)
Do You Like That Single (2015)
It Got Ugly (2013)
Oh Holy Night Single (2013)
Real Men Stay (2013)
It Got Ugly EP (2012)
If You Say You Do (2012)
Not Over You Single (2011)


Singles released to Canadian Country Radio:

Where Love Goes To Die (2016)
Do You Like That (2015)
It Got Ugly (2013)
O Holy Night (2013)
Real Men Stay (2013)
If You Say You Do (2012)


Distribution through Believe Digital under Sugar Pistol Records.


WHERE LOVE GOES TO DIE (Lyric Video) released June 2016 with 7,845 views.
WHERE LOVE GOES TO DIE (Acoustic Live Music Video) released August 2016 with 350 views.
WHERE LOVE GOES TO DIE (Live Music Video) released June 2017 with 929 views.
DO YOU LIKE THAT (Lyric Video) released July 2015 with 2,531 views.
IT GOT UGLY (Official Music Video) released October 2013 with 23,227 views.
IT GOT UGLY (Live Acoustic Music Video) released July 2012 with 3,526 views.
(Official Music Video) released July 2011 with 16,707 views.


Booking Agent: Rob Pattee
Publicist: Nova Current Creations
Producer for "Come Find Me" EP: Carly and Tom McKillip
Producer for “It Got Ugly” EP: Bill Buckingham

Radio Tracker: Adrian at Pitbull Promotions


The Piggery Theatre was very happy to present Lisa Nicole to our theatre on September 20th 2013.
This very talented and versatile young lady had the audience clapping their hands as she sang some old country favourites
and crying as she performed some of her original songs. Her talent in composing and singing these songs was a special treat. This performance was very well received and the audience had them coming back for an encore. She would be a wonderful asset to any festival and we really enjoyed having her.

The Piggery Theatre
North Hatley, Quebec



As the 2015 winner of the BC Country Music Association/Music BC Artist Development Project, Lisa Nicole is poised to become the West Coast darling of the Canadian country music scene with the release of her breakthrough EP, Come Find Me

Defined by story-driven lyrics fused with a modern country sound and a carefree stage presence, Lisa Nicole has earned warm admiration from fans and deep respect from industry peers and players alike who value her tireless work ethic, her fun-loving personality, and her growing accomplishments as a true musical self-starter. 

Hailing from the mountains and nature of small-town Castlegar, British Columbia, Lisa Nicole grew up hunting, fishing, camping and embracing country music. As her authentic country upbringing was sprinkled with the sweet sounds of Shania Twain, Martina McBride, and the Dixie Chicks, Lisa Nicole discovered her own love of singing at the age of 8. By 15, she was playing regular jam sessions at Kootenay-area bars, which required her to be escorted on and off stage due to her underage status. 

After high school, Lisa Nicole followed her musical ambitions to Selkirk College of Contemporary Music and Technology, completing a Songwriting and Performance diploma with a Major in Vocals.

In 2013, Lisa Nicole made a strong entrance into the Canadian country music industry with her debut EP, It Got Ugly. She promoted the release with a coast-to-coast radio tour, including a showcase at the 2013 Canadian Country Music Awards. Industry recognition followed with two 2014 Kootenay Music Awards for “Album of the Year” and “Best Country Act”, along with 2014 BC Country Music Association Award nominations for the “Ray McAuley Horizon Award” and “Music Video of the Year”. 

As Lisa Nicole’s career upswing sent her to the mainstages of Sunfest, Rockin’ River Fest, The Calgary Stampede, Sturgis North Music Fest, Canadian Music Week and the Cloverdale Rodeo, she enjoyed a banner year in 2015. Lisa performed at the 2015 BCCMA awards along with a pair of nominations for Female Vocalist and Country Club Act of the Year. Included in the ADP prizing was a songwriting trip to Nashville and a spot in the Canada’s Music Incubator 10-week ‘Artist Entrepreneur Program’ in Toronto. Recently, Lisa has been nominated by her peers for Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2016 BCCMA Awards.

Lisa Nicole’s hot streak has only continued with the release of her 2016 radio single, “Where Love Goes to Die” and her sophomore EP, Come Find Me, produced by Tom McKillip and Carly McKillip. Inspired by Lisa Nicole’s recent personal journeys. The Come Find Me EP was supported by a national tour including 16 radio station visits/interviews, 15 shows in cities such as Toronto, London, and Chartlottetown; 13 publicity interviews and 3 TV appearances including Global News Morning Halifax. The tour invited fans new and old to discover the talents of this Canadian country music gem.

Band Members