19-year-old Ottawa native Kira Isabella is living the country dream. She built a country career while balancing normal teen responsibilities like homework and hanging out with friends, and just after graduation, she’s already toured with Carrie Underwood and won a 2012 Canadian Radio Music Award in the Country category at Canadian Music Week for her single “Love Me Like That.” She talked with She Does The City Teen about touring with Carrie, her must-haves on the road, what she’s reading right now, her favourite shopping spots, and her advice for young artists.
Do you remember the moment when you really got into country music? Can you describe it?
When I was 11 or 12, Shania Twain released Up. The CD had two sides to it: a pop side and country side. I noticed I was way more interested to the country side than I was the pop side. That inspired me to seek out other female country artists like Faith Hill and Martina McBride. I just fell in love with the genre then!
What was most exciting about your first three tour dates with Carrie? What were you nervous about?
The first leg of the tour with Carrie was totally overwhelming, but amazing! A complete dream come true. It was so exciting to finally meet her. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of the country artists I admire and look up to … Carrie was the last one on my list! She was totally sweet and lived up to my expectations. On the next leg of the tour in December, I’m most excited about playing in my home town of Ottawa. The city has always been so supportive of me!
Touring with Carrie Underwood is a HUGE deal. Who else would be a dream tour for you?
I would love tour with Martina McBride – I think I’d learn a lot from her and I’ve always admired her as an artist.
I love Luke Bryan’s style of music; the energy at his show is like the energy at a rock show. I think touring with him could be a lot of fun.
Hunter Hayes has been on tour with Carrie so I’ve already played with him, but it would be really cool to do more dates together. He’s just a year older than me and has a lot of younger fans. I think that show would have an awesome vibe.
Have you ever been across Canada? What are you most excited about from a travel perspective?
I’ve been out west before, but I haven’t been out to the East Coast. Everyone I’ve met from out East is so friendly. I’m really excited to experience that firsthand! I think I’m most excited about meeting all my fans across the country though! It’s my first time really going coast to coast on tour!
What are five things you NEED while on the road?
A killer pair of headphones for all the time on the road.
My eReader. I’m never without a good book. Right now I’m really into biographies. I’m reading Elizabeth Taylor’s autobiography right now. It’s amazing!
My good luck charm; a little silver elephant that I take everywhere with me. It’s even on my CD art. You can find it underneath the CD on the inside tray.
My everyday makeup – a great foundation, lip gloss and mascara.
My Frye boots
You started your singing career when you were 13. What’s your best advice for teen girls who want to break into the music industry?
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to get your stage legs. Perform anywhere you can, for anyone who will listen. It’s most important to be comfortable on stage. It’s what separates you from everyone else. I’ve been working on that my whole life and I’m still learning!
What are three things that make you really happy?
When I’m on the road and having a tough day, a call from my mom makes me super happy.
Shopping always brightens my day! My favourite stores are Guess and Urban Outfitters.
Songwriting always cheers me up. Sometimes the last thing I want to do is sit down and write a song, but once you get it out, you always feel better.