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. “
Recently, Kienas has connected with Nelson-born country rock singer Jeremy Keith Goodrick.
“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 lisanicolemusic.com.