By Lindsay Briscoe
Locally-raised singer-songwriter Shy-Anne Hovorka will be performing at this year’s Aboriginal People’s Choice Awards where she and her team are also up for six awards for the album Interwoven Roots, including Aboriginal Female Entertainer of the Year, Single of the Year, Best Country CD, Best Producer/Engineer, and Best Album Cover Design.
She says she is happy and honoured for the nominations, especially considering the competition she is up against – namely Terri Clark – one of country music’s top female musicians not only in Canada, but across the globe.
But Hovorka says whether she wins or not, she’s happy just being nominated.
Interwoven Roots, which was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee was released back in June of this year and is Hovorka’s third album. The album artwork was created by Liane Ross-Buckler, who grew up in Ear Falls and was a childhood friend of Hovorka, and Silver Sagashie, a friend of Hovorka from Pikangikum First Nation. Its sound is much more country-heavy than her previous work and features Grammy Award-winning Native flutist Bill Miller and hip-hop artist Coleman Hell. The album has received a lot of positive attention, especially from the radio industry.
Hovorka explains that after extensive Google investigative work and networking she came across a music industry professional by the name of Don Coleman. Coleman put her in touch with a radio tracker who then found someone to remix two of Hovorka’s singles for radio.
“The Glue” was released to several country music stations this summer and only three weeks into the radio tracking campaign for “Run Run Run,” it’s already been picked up by three stations.
Finding a radio tracking professional was a huge step in the right direction for Hovorka who says that as an independent artist, it’s extremely difficult to get your music played on radio.
“I used to think you just send your CD in and they’ll either like it or not but it doesn’t work that way at all,” she says. “They won’t listen. They’ll just throw it away. You need a radio tracker and then they’ll listen.”
The remixing and radio tracking process also lead Hovorka to producer Jim Zolis – the same man who produced Celine Dion’s breakthrough album. He likes her work and is eager to produce her fourth album, if she decides to go in that direction.
“I can’t really say ‘no’ now,” she says with a laugh.
For the time being, however, Hovorka is focusing on working with her private music students (all 52 of them), her fall tour with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and her upcoming performance at the 100 year anniversary of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies in Toronto.
The Aboriginal People’s Choice Awards will take place on Nov. 2 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg and will be aired live on national television.