My Career Q&A
Q. When did you know that you wanted to be a singer?
DB - You know I can honestly say, that as far back as I can remember there was music in our house. But it was at the age of four when my aunt Norma set up her amp and microphone in the center of our living room, started playing her guitar and said," Sing, Debbie, sing", that the dream started.
Q. Where was your first stage performance?
DB - I used to attend a little church at the Spartan, Old West and Oldfield crossroads and I used to go up on the stage singing my little heart out!
Q. When did you first sing in front of an audience?
DB - In grade 3, for show and tell, I asked Mrs. Nickerson if I could sing a song to the class. I wasn't kidding you when I said I knew what I wanted to do.
Q. Did you ever sing in the choir?
DB - I was a member of the elementary school choir. Music was always my best friend. It helped me through my teenage years. I sang alto in senior choir and also sang in an offshoots group.
Q. As a kid did you ever dream of being in a band?
DB – Actually my family moved, and I started a new school in my last year. I formed my first band and I thought we sounded pretty good. My sister sang harmony; a friend named Reg was dynamite on the guitar and Pete on banjo and 12 string . We all sang and provided harmony for each other. We had a lot of fun. After singing in a talent show in school, an agent asked me to sing for the Victoria Days Celebration.
Q. Did you go to college?
DB – Yes, I attended college in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island , BC . I studied nursing, and although the course was grueling, playing my guitar and singing took the edge off. I was asked to lead the junior class as we bid farewell to the graduating nurses.
Q. What did you do after graduation?
DB - After I graduated, I married and set up house. I was a happy little homemaker who was learning all the latest songs on the country radio. I had plans to form another band but life had something else in store. I found out that I was going to be a momma. Wow! Well the years at home with my two boys was fun. I did the moms and tots, swimming, tumbling, skating, camp cook and you name it.
Q. What made you start singing?
DB – I realized something was missing. I needed to see where my music was going to take me.
Q. How did you get into it again?
DB - I did the usual things I guess, talent shows, charity shows, fundraisers anything that would get me out there. I joined a writing association NSAI, and worked hard at honing my skills. I am the founding Vice-President of the BC Songwriting Showcase Association.
Q. Tell me about " Makin ' A Connection"?
DB - I decided to record my debut CD called " Makin ' A Connection" in Nashville . I worked at the Gatlin Brothers Studio. It was a great experience. I can honestly say I never expected what happened next. It was like a snowball. I sent it out to the Canadian Country Music Magazines for review. I was scared to death. It did well. From there it went to Nashville and then off to Europe , Australia , Sweden , Denmark , and Finland.
Q. Who promotes you?
DB - I promote myself. I have flown out to Toronto to tape Breakfast TV and I've also been out to Red Deer , AB to tape another show. At home, I've appear on VTV, BCTV, Rogers Daytime Live and numerous other cable shows. I showcased at the world famous Bluebird Café which was a dream come true. The following night I was on stage out at Opryland in the Gibson Café showcasing for the Christian Country Music Association.
Q. What are some other performances you've done?
DB - I have performed and appeared in things that were a little out of the ordinary. A military Tattoo, Old Timers Hockey singing the National Anthem, center track for an International Race, Canada Day with an 18 piece orchestra singing a song written in the 1930's, the Stetson Bowl at the Cloverdale Rodeo singing again the anthems. At the Vancouver Zoo performing in a winter show. Modeling for my designer sponsor. A guest speaker. For a girl who hated public speaking in school. Who would have guessed?
Q. Do you perform at country music festivals?
DB - I have performed at most of the major country music festivals in BC and at the NW Washington Fair.
Q. I know you've been nominated and won. Tell me about that?
DB - Recognition and nominations started in the U.S.A. That was most exciting. I received word that my single, "You're Someone I Can Live Without" earned a "Most Promising Writer" nomination. The following year, I received a "Most Promising Writer/Artist" nomination and on to " Contemporary Platinum Writer/Artist" nomination. In BC, I was nominated for " New Artist On The Horizon". The following year again "New Artist and International Achievement" In 2000, my nominations were, "Entertainer OF The Year, International Achievement, Country Gospel Performer Of The Year" Well you can bet your boots that I was in shock when they called out my name for Country Gospel. Thank you Lord and then again in 2001 I received the award! 2002 brought in a nomination for Female Vocalist Of The Year. Album of the Year for She Drives and Female Vocalist of the Year from Europe 2006.
Q. What have you been up to recently?
DB - 2002 started with prepping for the Christmas production. Everything starts a year in advance. Writing new music, designing the new set and purchasing every Christmas tree I could get my hands on! Then I took time off the booking job to write new songs for the country CD, demo new stuff and find a co-producer for the project. I found the right guy and the music is magic. I am so happy with "The Gift" Christmas CD. It's all I wanted. Variety of styles, all the special instruments that I love, mandolin, steel , dobro , squeeze box, etc. added so much to the music. It's a unique CD with 9 of the 12 tracks written by myself. There's swing, two-step, lullaby's, ballads and then the traditional, O Holy Night, Brightest and Best and because I love this one, Old Toy Trains by Roger Miller. I have been getting great feedback on it. It arrived too late to get it out to radio this year, but listen for "The Gift" next year.
2003 - The first week on January my co-producer and I were in pre-production meetings choosing songs and arrangements for the new CD "She Drives". Editing and adding . Putting the musicians roster together and totally getting ready to get into the studio. Those guys did a great job. Wow I am so impressed. I Love This CD. We finished the recording and went straight into cover pre-production and photo shoots then onto graphics. Finally it was being manufactured and I was into marketing plans, radio distribution, promo and the whole ball of wax. Isn't it glamorous being an independent artist!!! I was performing at a few shows, fairs over the summer and then I discovered that I was 1 of 8 woman chosen as a candidate for nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year through Cameo Canada . I was asked to write and record a song for a new foundation in BC which will be included on a compilation CD for a fundraising project . I fill you in later. Getting ready for my upcoming concert on Nov 29 at the University College Theatre where I'll be debuting the new CD "She Drives". I am also preparing for concerts for Christmas. Happy Holidays Everyone.
2007 I have updated my web site. I am putting a band together. Some of the guys that I've worked with in the past jumped when I asked so I am pleased to have them back .. They are extremely talented and a lot of fun to work with. I am working in the studio recording some new material. You are going to hear some cool new sounds. I am very excited . I am also getting out the resumes for this years summer festivals. There's always something to do when you are an Indy.