Every year Canada’s emerging artists are invited to submit their music to Boots and Hearts for a shot at a competition unlike any other. The top finalists for the Sirius XM, Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase vy for a grand prize that includes A Custom Website, A Week in Nashville (for media training, a professional photoshoot and a Gibson Guitar), A Single Release through Universal Music Canada and the opening slot in front of Chase Rice at the 2016 Boots and Hearts Country Music Festival.
As we’ve done in the past we will be featuring all 7 of this year’s finalists starting with Oakville, Ontario native, Vanessa Marie Carter.
Vanessa Marie Carter was born in White Rock, British Columbia and moved to Oakville, Ontario at the age of two. Most of her life has been dedicated to her love of the performing arts. She began dancing at the age of three and danced competitively until she was finished High School. At a young age, her love of dance and live performance led her into the world of Musical Theatre and soon after she began focusing most of her time on singing. She had a dedicated professional vocal coach and naturally fell into the country genre.
By the age of twelve, Vanessa was a veteran of musical theatre, having already had the lead role in several local theatre productions. As a teen, she co- wrote and performed several songs with her best friend and sang wherever she could, including as a soloist at many company parties, weddings and other corporate functions. Her love for performing in front of an audience was developing rapidly. “I have a huge extended family…many of my cousins and uncles are incredibly talented folk and rock musicians and I grew up listening to them sing Johnny Cash, Neil Young and Pink Floyd around a camp fire. They have really inspired me to build a future in the music business…that’s a goal I’ve have had for as long as I can remember.”
“I remember liking country music before my friends thought it was ‘cool’. Thanks to crossover artists like Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, country music has become a big player on top 40 radio. I am a huge Shania Twain fan for many reasons, but I always loved that she burst on the country music scene and really shook things up…that’s something that I’ll always aspire to do.” A very talented performer who is now equally focused on the craft of song writing, Vanessa continues to perform with her band and further develop her artistry and creative identity. She anticipates that her greatest accomplishment will be to ultimately gain the acceptance of industry professionals in the Country genre.
Here’s our 7 Questions with Vanessa Marie
#1: Being selected as a finalist for Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist is a big deal. One of the 7 of you will perform on the Main Stage at Boots and Hearts this summer. Describe the moment you found out you made it? How did they contact you? Where were you? and has it sunk in yet?
I was working when I got an email from the Boots & Hearts team with the good news. I think I yelled at my desk…then picked up my phone and texted my band, my parents, and a few close friends. I have been wanting to play boots and hearts since the festival started so this really does feel like such a blessing!
#2: Every artist I’ve spoken to has a story about how / when they decided to purse music as a career. Describe the moment that you knew that music was the path for you and what inspired you to take that path.
I was a dancer my whole life, I started at age 3. So getting into music at age 8 was a natural progression. I was singing and dancing all over the place. Because I grew up on a big stage, that’s where I feel the most comfortable. I also have a family full of country/folk musicians, so country music has a very homey feel to me. I have a ton of support from my family which I’m so thankful for. I always knew I wanted to be a singer, so deciding to pursue it full time was a an easy decision that I made around age 20. I ended up graduating from university a year early and I haven’t looked back.
#3: What’s your all-time favourite movie?
Remember the Titans. I can recite the whole thing top to bottom.
#4: Your ideal brain food?
In an ideal world, my brain food would be chips. In reality it’s more like a green juice of some kind.
#5: If you could see any artist in concert, who would you see (living or dead)?
This is such a tough question.. There’s so many I’d love to see. My dance upbringing says Michael Jackson. But if I could see someone today, it would be Dolly Parton. I love everything that woman’s about.
#6: Name a fictional character most like you?
Rachel, from Friends. (My band voted for April, from the Ninja Turtles)
#7: Why should you be chosen as the 2016 Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase winner?
I’ve been in the music world for a several years now… And it’s the only place I want to be. I’ve had a few moments where I’ve almost made big strides but it hasn’t been the right fit or the right time. After years of being with my band and really getting to know myself as an artist, I can say I feel ready for whatever’s thrown at me. I’m really looking forward to playing the festival this year.
You can vote for Vanessa at http://bootsandhearts.com/showcase/