Radio Starmaker Fund

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Radio Starmaker Fund Annual Report

2014 / 2015

Artist Profile: Kira Isabella

Kira Isabella

In 2009, the Ottawa-born country singer Kira Isabella attracted the attention of major labels with her drive and undeniable talent, ultimately leading to a deal with Sony Music Entertainment Canada. Her first single, the title track of her debut album Love Me Like That became a crossover hit, earning her a 2012 Canadian Radio Music Award. The follow up singles garnered even more success - opening doors such has high profile performance opportunities at the Boots and Hearts Festival and Big Valley Jamboree, as well as the chance to share the stage with the likes of Gord Bamford, Aaron Pritchett, Terri Clark and Carrie Underwood. Kira received the Canadian Country Music Rising Star Award in 2012, was nominated for a 2013 Juno Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award and took home the 2013 CCMA Award for Female Artist of the Year.

The successes and accomplishments achieved surrounding Kira’s first album allowed her to become eligible for support from the Radio Starmaker Fund when it came time to release her second album, the October 2014 release Caffeine & Big Dreams. She first received domestic touring funds, enabling her to perform supporting slots at major summer festivals across the country as early setup for the album. Subsequent domestic touring funds enabled her to embark on her first ever national headlining tour. During this time, Kira also recorded a CMT “Live at the Edison” TV special.

With the domestic marketing support received from the Radio Starmaker Fund, we were able to maintain impactful advertising campaigns nationally to support and extend the life of the release. These included television and digital initiatives, radio promotions and advertising campaigns and a full second phase of marketing which coincided with the release of the third single and video “Shake It If Ya Got It”. That single sustained the album’s sales and profile through January into the spring of 2015.

We are honoured to have received the support of the Radio Starmaker Fund on Kira’s Caffeine & Big Dreams album campaign and related touring and are very grateful for all it helped us achieve. On this album, Kira was nominated in both 2014 and 2015 for the CCMA’s “Female Artist of the Year”, marking three years straight she’s been nominated for this Award. She was also nominated for the 2015 Juno for Country Album of the Year. In addition to these nominations and accolades, the single “Quarterback” (which took on the weighty issues of cyber bullying and date rape) garnered major international attention, landing Kira on some incredible year-end lists in December of 2014. SPIN Magazine hailed it as the #1 Country Song of the Year and it was #25 on their list of the Best Songs of the Year across all genres. In addition, NPR called it one of their favourite songs of the year and The Guardian UK shortlisted it as one of their best tracks of 2014.

The Summer of 2015 saw Kira receive even more major performance opportunities including a mainstage performance at the 2015 Boots and Hearts festival opening for Florida Georgia Line, a Calgary Stampede performance in direct support of Jason Aldean and a Cavendish Beach Festival performance supporting Eric Church. With the continued support of the Radio Starmaker Fund, we look forward to building on our incredible achievements to date and further establish Kira Isabella’s identity and artistry not just in the Canadian musical landscape but the international one as well.

Ian Heath
Manager, Marketing / A&R
Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc.