She might be rockin’ out in Nashville with the stars, but homegrown talent Raquel Cole hasn’t forgotten where she came from.
The Vernon-raised talent is still very connected to the Canadian music community and is hoping to make her hometown proud with some big opportunities.
Cole has been nominated as Female Artist of the Year by the BC Country Music Association for 2020.
The Okanagan talent has also been chosen as one of the eight semi-finalists in the SiriusXM Top of the Country contest. Partnered with the Canadian Country Music Association, the semi-finalist showcase airs this Friday, Sept. 25, at 6 p.m., on the official CCMA YouTube channel.
Over the next year, Cole and the other seven Canadian musicians will learn from the best in country music through virtual mentorship, new gear to hone their craft and a platform to showcase their talent. Then three will be chosen as finalists in 2021 to battle it out for the Top of the Country crown and $25,000.
“Some really exciting opportunities have come my way this year on both a provincial and national level and I hope to make the Okanagan valley proud,” Cole told the Morning Star.
The 2015 CCMA Discovery Artist winner has opened for such big name artists as Carrie Underwood, Jonny Land, Brothers Osborne, Scotty McCreery and Josh Turner.
Cole recently released a new three-song EP called The Essence of Me, stripping it back with only her voice, her guitar and a cello player. It has gained more than 30,000 streams on Spotify alone.
Singing has been Cole’s first love for as long as she can remember. Acquiring her first guitar at the age of nine Cole started to write songs not long after that. She was inspired by hit songs she heard on the radio from artists like Shania Twain and Bryan Adams, but also from jamming with her dad, a drummer, in the basement learning how to play ’70s rock and roll.