Local country singer Alecia Aichelle is gearing up to perform during Canada Day festivities at Cranna Lake.
Her acoustic set begins at 6:15 p.m.
Currently living in Red Deer, the gifted songstress has certainly had a busy few years – releasing several singles and dividing her time between Alberta and ‘Music City’ – the historically-rich Nashville, Tennessee.
Aichelle’s first full-length CD – Golden – was released in 2016.
“I released three singles off of that album to Canadian country radio,” she said. “Since then, I’ve released about 10 more singles. I’ve also been really busy building my career in Canada over these past few years.
“Back in 2018, I got to open at the mainstage during Westerner Days (in Red Deer) for Aaron Pritchett and Aaron Goodvin, and then I was able to open for The Bellamy Brothers at the exhibition hall. That was huge because they are legends! It was such an honour to open for them,” she said.
In 2019, she relocated to Nashville.
“I had been living there for nine months before the pandemic, then I had to move home because they weren’t issuing work visas anymore,” she explained.
Of course, things ground to a halt in terms of performances.
“When we didn’t have those shows, it was really hard. It was almost like a piece of myself was missing,” she said.
But she was thrilled to see things normalizing last summer.
And it proved to be one of her busiest ever.
This summer is also looking to be pretty hectic.
“I’ve got a tonne of shows so I am super thankful for that, especially after those couple of pandemic years where things were really uncertain for musicians.
“I have a really strong faith, so it was also just a time to really trust God and say, ‘OK – where do you want me? Help me to make the most of things’.
“My heart is in Nashville, but my heart is also in Alberta. So it was a time of saying, ‘Use me where you have me’. I want His plan and purpose for my life because I know that will be fulfilling, and purposeful – and better than anything I could plan.
“My ultimate dream would be to live in both places because I have an incredible band here in Canada, plus family and friends up here.
“And in Nashville, you are surrounded by music everywhere you go. And it’s not just country – every genre of music is big there. But there is so much country music history. For me, I love the greats – Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, and Dolly – all of the old country.
“There are also lots of opportunities to perform, and there are a lot of co-writing opportunities, too. But when I’m there, I miss my band up here because it’s such a solid group.”
Aichelle’s passion for music was sparked early – she’s been singing since she was just four.
But just prior to entering Red Deer College to study music, doctors found a large tumor on her thyroid gland.
It was about three weeks before starting at RDC that she underwent surgery.
Although she had been originally told it wouldn’t affect her voice, that wasn’t initially the case.
After several weeks without improvement, she was sent for more follow-up where it was found that there had been complications resulting in permanent paralysis of her right vocal cord.
“I was told I would never sing again and most likely never talk normally again.”
She was devastated but the support and prayers of friends, family, and her parents and her foundational Christian faith brought her to a place of hope.
And eventually, to complete healing.
After six months her voice was fully restored and it was deemed to be nothing short of a miracle.
Meanwhile, she has certainly found her niche.
“For me, country is where my heart is,” she said. “The music is real – about real things that we go through whether it’s sad and heartbreaking, or fun and exciting. It’s down-home and it’s real.”
Aichelle will also be performing during the Ponoka Stampede on June 27 and June 29 in the beer gardens.
“On the 29th, we play after Washboard Union and we will be doing a music video during the show, so it’s going to be really fun!”
She’s also scheduled to perform July 12 for Lacombe’s Music in the Park series.