Keep an eye out for Nice Horse, an all-female group making waves in Canada. Composed of four badass women, Nice Horse released their debut album "There Goes the Neighborhood" just last year. The release was a success, leading the band to be named a CMT Fresh Face Artist and appearing at this year’s CCMAs.
Their single “Pony Up” related to their audience most, offering the message that you don’t need money to have fun. Forming a strong bond on and off the stage, Nice Horse won’t be going anywhere.
You can listen to their music on iTunes and Spotify or on their website at nicehorsemusic.com.
Read our full interview with the group below.
1. What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
BRANDI: I have always wanted to be a musician, for as long as I can remember (with the exception of a brief six months in my childhood when I wanted to be an entomologist.) We lived in the country, and so I spent a lot of time in the car singing harmonies to the songs on the radio with my mom and grandma. It’s one of my fondest memories of my childhood. I would listen to all my parent’s cassette tapes: The Judds, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Earl, Juice Newton. I would put on those tapes and dance and sing along to all of them. As family, we would watch the Tommy Hunter show together every week—and I would dress up and dance and sing along to all of the music guests. Then I discovered Shania Twain. I was ten years old when I got her first record, and I lived and breathed that record. If I had to pinpoint a moment in time when I was most inspired to pursue a career in music, it would be Brandi at ten years old, belting “Dance With The One That Brought You” into a hairbrush, dressed in an old bridesmaid’s dress from my mom’s closet.
KRISTA: Like Brandi, I couldn’t ever imagine NOT doing music! It’s been a huge part of my life since as far back as I can remember. What I couldn’t have predicted was where my career would take me – I had a very unusual path to becoming a drummer. I started out as a classical musician (first on piano, then on bassoon), and got two degrees in orchestral bassoon performance before getting into pop music… and then eventually drumming in Nice Horse.
KATIE: I actually started singing because my older sister did and I wanted to do everything she did. And I was TERRIFIED at first. I cried the first time I had to sing in front of people when I was around 8 years old. But my mom taught me never to give up, so I got up and did it again…and it’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
2. Which artists do you look up to?
KRISTA: We’ve been very lucky to share the stage with some amazing acts. Our first tour as a band was opening for Canadian icon Tom Cochrane, and recently we had the chance to tour with the legendary Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I am in awe at the career longevity these artists have had, and when you meet them, you begin to understand why. They all love what they do and have such a passion for their craft as musicians, even decades in – and, most importantly, they are all truly lovely people who treat everyone around them with kindness and respect. It would be an amazing thing to have a career as long as these guys have had. I admire them so much as artists AND as people.
3. What message do your songs convey?
KRISTA: Our songs are very true to us. When we began writing for Nice Horse, we were writing just for the pure joy of it, so what came out felt really authentic to who we are as people – we like to have a good time, and we’ve got some strong opinions! Even our love songs don’t tend to be too passive – Six String Outlaw, for example, isn’t a song about someone getting swept off their feet and then left. It’s about two people who have really met their match, and who know all each others’ tricks! Those kinds of songs feel much more true to our point of view than a more traditional “damsel-in-distress” style.
4. Why country music over other genres?
BRANDI: I love so many different genres—country, classical, pop, rock. This is very clear from my career path in music. I went from being a university student studying opera, to a marching band musician in the Canadian Forces, to a solo folk singer, to a member of an indie pop band, to the bass player in a math rock band…and then to Nice Horse! My love for all these genres I have been lucky enough to be a part of will never die, and each of those experiences has shaped me into the artist I am today…but for me, country was my FIRST love. It’s what I grew up with, it’s what is in my bones, and being in country music just feels so…right.
KATIE: Country music has always been my first love and true love. I explored other genres over the course of my career and while I love those too, country music just feels like home to me.
5. Are you working on new music?
BRANDI: We are continuously working on new music. When we first started working with our producer, Jeff Dalziel, he pushed us to be writing as much as possible, to get the best songs for our album. We listened, and came back to him with 120 songs. Haha! But, he has really started us on this path of continuously creating and writing. We come down to Nashville once a month to write, we write songs together, we write songs on our own. Plus, we just finished recording two new songs (that I am SO excited about) that we will be releasing in the new year!
6. Any performances that stand out in the past?
KRISTA: It’s hard for me to pick just one, but we have played some truly unforgettable summer festivals. Boots & Hearts (Barrie, ON), Big Valley Jamboree (Camrose, AB), and Stars & Thunder (Timmins, ON) are a few of my absolute favourites! Summer touring is busy, but it’s so much fun.
KATIE: It was an absolute honour and thrill to sing with Tom Cochrane, that was an incredible experience I’ll never forget. And now, we recently got to do that with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I grew up on their music so standing on stage with them was completely surreal.
7. Where do you see your music going in the future?
BRANDI: I believe the wheels are already in motion for the evolution of Nice Horse. With the addition of our newest member, lead guitarist Tara McLeod, in May, we have started to notice a real shift in our sound. The four of us together really converge into this great blend of classic country nostalgia meets hard rock. We love this path, and we just want to continue to follow it and see where it takes.
KATIE: World domination. We dream big.