24 Minutes with The Heels
The Heels: Brittni Dominelli, Kyla Rawlins and Bobbi Smith. (Contributed Photo)
The Heels are a British Columbia Country Music Association (BCCMA) Award-winning Vancouver-based country music trio known for their “three-part harmonies, sassy lyrics, unforgettable melodies and outstanding heels.”
Prior to performing Friday, Oct. 13 at The Railway Stage & Beer Café, Joe Leary spent 24 Minutes with The Heels members Kyla Rawlins and Brittni Dominelli.
Canadian country music is certainly booming both on the male and female side.
Rawlins: It is definitely booming. So much support and (the) community is happening more than ever it feels like. We three ladies joined our strengths, talents and work ethic together to create this powerful powerhouse trio. We all feel the industry is ready for something fresh and new like The Heels are.
Dominelli: There is so much amazing talent coming out of Canada right now. We just went to our first CCMA (Canadian Country Music Association) Awards week in Saskatoon in September and we were blown away by what Canada has to offer. It’s truly inspiring, to say the least.
How did The Heels come together as a trio?
Rawlins: We all were looking for the right path to take it seemed. All (of us) having our own solo careers prior, it just felt like something was missing. What we found is sisterhood. We found freedom in making our own decisions. We found joy in laughing endless hours and making new memories as a group and as soul sisters. We found family. I had previous bands doing rock, pop, hip-hop, jazz and musical theatre. Playing shows all over B.C. mainly in Vancouver, I came full circle back to how I started in music which is country music. Born in the prairies and raised on the west coast, I found a natural pull back to my country roots when I first met Brittni. Joining with the Dominelli Sisters who were already a trio it just seems effortless. After a year and a half, Georgia decided music was a secondary passion and left the band. She is now working with us on the back end of The Heels Music Inc., photography and hair being her primary focus now. Meeting Bobbi was another gift. I was told by many people that I needed to sing with Bobbi Smith so I basically found out where she worked and became friends with her as I was super intrigued. After Georgia left, I was in Maui (Hawaii) on vacation and woke up a couple nights with Bobbi’s name ringing over and over in my head waking me up! So I emailed every Bobbi I knew and asked her if she wanted to join the band. She said yes. I was so surprised, as joining a band is a marriage. It was perfect timing and perfect union. We haven’t looked back since.
There have been many international chart-topping female artists who have blazed the trail for others to follow. Who were your heroes and inspirations?
Rawlins: Shania Twain and Jann Arden are my personal favourites. I love how strong they both are, how independent they are and how they both seem like boss ladies. I adore them both and can’t wait to sing with them.
Dominelli: I was not brought up with traditional country music, so as a child I would sing to my mom’s Women in Song CDs on repeat. Sheryl Crow was my very first inspiration. I would belt out If It Makes You Happy every chance I got, which was kind of a gateway into listening to female country artists like Shania Twain and Faith Hill. At eight years old I basically made my own (Shania Twain) Come On Over album.
Tell me about your new single Come Around.
Rawlins: Come Around came very organically. We all contributed our stories and ideas so effortlessly. It started with an idea, then lyrics, then music and all fit in together when we sat down to finish it like it had already existed for decades. It’s a total top-down or windows down kind of turn up the volume feel good song.
What’s on the horizon for 2018?
Rawlins: My number one dream of all dreams is for our band, The Heels, to tour North America and Europe with Brett Eldredge. His dog Edgar and my dog Sophie playing on the buses and us all having so much fun, dance parties behind the stage and on stage and us singing a song with him on tour.
Dominelli: We are so excited for 2018. We have taken 2017 to really work on building everything up behind the scenes, finishing projects and preparing ourselves for success. (Next year) will be the year we get to publicly share all that with everyone.