There is no question country singer Trinity Bradshaw has found her niche in the music world, and local audiences can witness that for themselves March 13 at Billy Bob’s.
As a native of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Bradshaw has been singing at telethons, charity events, picnics and community events since she was three years old. She appeared on the TV show Emily Of New Moon, and won local competitions, before becoming the youngest winner of the Summerside Festival Talent Search at age 14.
Music – particularly singing – was simply a part of everyday life. “None of the members of my family played many instruments. But when we would get together, we would have karaoke parties – we just love it.”
Country tunes came most naturally as well. “I love east coast elements in music, and we actually went to a lot of bluegrass music festivals with my older family members. But I’ve always envisioned myself a country music singer – Shania Twain was one of my biggest inspirations in the industry. She was exactly what I wanted to be.” She also recalls belting out Billy Ray Cyrus’s Achy, Breaky Heart hundreds of times as a kid.
“I think that was the turning point where my parents knew they had to steer me in the right direction.”
Performing has become second nature to her as she demonstrated at the age of 15 when she won Sound-Off, an East Coast Battle of the Bands that led to her first of several performances at the East Coast Music Awards.
Since then, appearances with bands from Charlottetown, roles in high school musicals, and shows with the Trinity Bradshaw band have provided opportunities to hone her talents as a performer.
In 2011, she moved to Calgary to continue developing her skills.
“I’ve lived all over the east coast, and I dipped into Toronto for a bit, but nothing feels like home as much as the west. There’s something about Calgary and Alberta as a whole that just feels right,” she explains. “And Alberta has been very good to me.”
Indeed. The relocation has done wonders for her creative output – since moving to Alberta she has co-written with over 20 writers – written over 60 songs, and has received over 250,000 views on her YouTube channel Trinity Bradshaw77.
“It’s all about opportunity and exposing yourself to new things.”
She also knows what she wants when it comes to capturing a particular sound.
“I’m painting the same picture that’s been in my head since I was a little girl, so I definitely know where I’m supposed to be. It’s just having the patience and time that it takes to get there.”
In late 2011, she was declared winner of SUGAR CRISP ‘s ‘The first 15’ Canadian national songwriting contest, including $20,000 and prizes and in January 2013, she won Calgary’s Amp Radio Rock Star $200,000 contest.
In March of last year, she was also chosen as the SOCAN artist of the month performing on the Billy Block show at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville.
She has since performed at the Rivoli in Toronto and was the first country artist selected to perform at international music conference Musexpo held in Los Angeles.
Last spring she also performed at the Viper Room in Los Angeles, and released her first official EP.
Her infectious first single Big Town also made a major splash on Canadian radio as well. The EP also boasted such upbeat cuts as Boy Crazy, Coming Home and a stirring remake of Fast Car, made famous back in 1988 by Tracy Chapman.
“It’s one of my favourite songs. It was probably about eight years ago that I was playing with a guitarist in PEI and he asked me if I had ever heard that song. But I remembered hearing it when I was really little.
“It was one of my aunt’s favourite songs, she later told me. She played it all the time when I was little. So maybe it triggered a memory for me as a little girl and I just fell in love with it all over again when it was brought to my attention a second time.”
Last summer, Bradshaw returned to Nashville to record more songs for her CD to be released this year. The tunes have essentially been done – now it’s a matter of narrowing down what will ultimately make it onto the disc.
“I like asking for outside opinions, because ultimately those are the people who will be buying the album,” she says. “I already love the songs and have put a lot of work into them, so choosing the right ones depends on what your listeners think – people who weren’t involved in the creative process already.”
The songs were produced by Russ Broom and Trey Mills.
“I’m excited because I’ve grown so much, I’ve been to Nashville a couple times since our last release, I’ve really grown as a songwriter and I’ve found myself,” she explains, reflecting on the upcoming CD. “I’ve gone a little deeper to find out who I was so it’s going to be a little bit of a different sound.
“Music just lifts my spirits – I know I’m in the right place when I’m singing and when I’m involved with music.”