How many artists have a JUNO Award on their shelf before even releasing their first album? That was the recent remarkable position of B.C.-based country songstress Stacey McKitrick. She was a member of the star-studded Young Artists for Haiti collective, one that took home the 2011 Single of the Year JUNO for their version of K’Naan’s anthemic “Wavin’ Flag.”
Now it’s time for McKitrick to step into the solo spotlight. She has just released a dazzling self-titled debut album (on Fontana North) that confirms she is a young artist of immense talent and potential. The record has been a long time in the making (three years, in fact), but Stacey’s patience has been rewarded. She has surrounded herself with an A-list of producers, songwriters, and musicians, carefully constructing a killer record devoid of filler.
Producers ensuring the highest sonic quality here are Dean Maher (Chad Brownlee, Aaron Pritchett), Kevin Churko (Shania Twain, Ozzy Osbourne), Tom McKillip (Lisa Brokop, One More Girl), and platinum hit-maker Brian Howes (Hedley, Simple Plan, Daughtry). Songwriters featured include Bruce Wallace, Liz Rose, Johnathon Cain, Victoria Banks, Gretchen Wilson, and Tracey Singer, not to mention Chad Kroeger
That’s right, the lead singer and superstar of the Hard Rock band Nickelback offered his song “Friends For Life” to Stacey, with magical results. “Chad heard we were looking for one last track for the record and said ‘I’ll give you one of mine,'” recalls McKitrick. “That was such an honour. Lyrically, it grabbed me right away, as it talks about building memories with your best friend, and, musically, it’s driving and uplifting.” Stacey nailed the song, and it’s out now, kicking up its heels as the first single off the album.
As well as taking material from the cream of the crop of contemporary country writers, McKitrick co-wrote two of the album’s songs. A co-write with Brian Howes and Tracey Singer, “Somebody Else” is a passion-filled and irresistibly catchy song with an original take on a universal subject. “We wanted something a little edgier,” she says. “It’s about missing another person, the love of your life that got away.” A positive message of self-affirmation is delivered on “Loved By You,” a song Stacey says “felt as if it was written for me. I want people to stand up and feel happy about who they are.”
Stacey’s influences and inspirations range from Reba McEntire, Shania Twain and Gretchen Wilson through to Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Nicks. “I love the richness of their voices,” she says of those last two artists. “I think it’s important to listen to all types of music, and that has helped me develop a unique sound that pulls from different areas.”
Singing has always come naturally to Stacey. “I sing all the time, in the shower, the car, everywhere,” she laughs. “But getting to sing for and meet people is the biggest reward for me. It’s like giving a present and getting to see people enjoy it.” She started early too. “We listened to a lot of Reba in the house. My mom tells me that at nine months I was singing Reba songs!”
After a two year journey with Austin Belle, Stacey Mckitrick has decided to once again to pursue her solo career. In 2016 we will see her sign to Mid-South Music Records out of Memphis Tennessee. With new management and a fresh new direction she looks forward to interacting with her fans and once again bringing her music and entertainment to all of them.
© 2015 by MID SOUTH MUSIC RECORDS ENTERTAINMENT INC.