Exclusive Interview with Lisa Nicole
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 than I do for hundreds or thousands. There`s something about the intimate thing and knowing everyone is really there to see you. Means you can`t screw up! Haha, more pressure! So, yes I still get a bit nervous, depending on the venue.
Rituals… I drink water all day and never eat 2 hours before I sing. I don`t really have anything I do right before I go on, maybe a couple deep breaths.
Whisky wine beer or water?
~ Vodka? Haha, I’m not much of a drinker, but when I do its vodka water, the healthiest drink choice I guess! But I do have a song based on Jack Daniels called “Jack D”.
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ Who supports your music the most?
My family and friends, but most importantly my Dad! I even have a song about him on my upcoming album, called “Redneck Daddy” needless to say it`s about fishing, hunting and even his mustache. Lol
He basically works to pay for my music. He has been funding most of the expenses for music here in Vancouver like vocal lessons and recording my album. I do chip in when I can, but this is a hard and expensive business, even if you do have the talent!!
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ Ooo, something pink and zebra print! Lol just kidding. I would have to say something with a view! All the studios I`ve worked in generally have little or no windows. It`d be more inspiring to have the sun shining in!
Johnny or June ?
~ Both! Because I love doing their duets. I`ve never sang any June Carters songs alone.
What is the one thing that readers/fans would be surprised to know about you?
~ I love being a girl. I love anything pink, sparkly or zebra print. BUT, on the other side of things, my family is redneck so I’ve grown up fishing, hunting, and camping all my life. I know how to rough it and I love it! lol
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ Hm, I think the most memorable days are going to come this year! With releasing my album and playing all these festivals.
But, I did a video release party last summer for my single “Not Over You”. It was tons of fun, I had a wireless mic and extended stage so I got to rock out. I would have to say most of my memorable days are performances, when I can really feed off the crowd. My whole Nashville experience was pretty memorable too. Even just the living room rounds were awesome; I love it when people love my music!
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Answers given on april 17, 2012