LADIES OF COUNTRY
Brittni + Bobbi + Kyla
Encouragement and inspiration. Positivity and prowess. Fun and flare. None are in short supply when it comes to high-energy country trio The Heels – and yeah, the music is damn good, too.
The creative union of Bobbi Smith, Brittni Dominelli, and Kyla Rawlins was born of a desire to heal through music, and now they’re carrying that mission forward and sharing it with an ever-growing fanbase. Theirs is a message of optimism and empowerment set to a sweet country soundtrack full of monster hooks and magnetic multi-part harmonies as showcased on their heralded debut LP, 2018’s Love, Heels.
The Heels first came together at a North Vancouver café. Kyla was (and still is) a co-owner, Brittni worked behind the counter, and Bobbi was a frequent customer. Kyla and Brittni had begun making music together in their downtime and, knowing Bobbi was also an artist, invited her to join the fold.
“We all had solo careers in the past and each brought a unique style to the table,” begins Brittni. “So when we first brought it together, it really blended well and we were all inspired by what was happening.”
All three were at points in their lives where they were seeking a means to feel better, to heal from things that had taken an emotional toll, and all three knew music had the power to do just that.
“I’ve been making music for a long time, and it takes a lot to move me,” Kyla takes over, “but every time we’d sing something together, I was overflowing with emotion and excitement. I just knew we were onto something.”
Inspired by the chart-topping female and female-fronted country acts that blazed trails before them, The Heels wasted little time composing a catalogue of accessible, relatable, arena-ready country anthems. And while they will collaborate with other writers from time to time, nothing they’ve recorded to date has originated outside of their ranks – and they’re rightfully proud of that fact.
Shortly after releasing their debut single “Come Around” to radio in the summer of 2017, they were kicking up a frenzy of deserved attention. Then, when Love, Heels saw daylight in May 2018, they toured the country as radio and media darlings, took to major festival stages like the Calgary Stampede and Sunfest Country Music Festival in Cowichan Valley, BC, and racked up hundreds of thousands of streams across the major platforms. And just a little over a year after dropping their first single, they’d amassed an impressive six nominations for the 2018 BC Country Music Awards in the fall of 2018.
And as the ladies tell it, they’re just getting started.
“We want people to feel like, no matter what their dream might be, they should go for it,” Bobbi says about what’s driving The Heels forward. It’s a message that hits close to home, as all three members were performing in public at a young age, hit some bumps on their respective roads, and eventually stepped back from the spotlight feeling discouraged.
“It felt like we had to grow up, get real jobs, be adults…” Bobbi says candidly. “But The Heels is a rejection of that; this is us grabbing life by the horns and going after our goals, and hopefully inspiring other people to do the same.”
That’s perhaps most apparent in concert, where The Heels deliver a whirlwind of an unforgettable live music experience. The shows are colourful, both figuratively and literally, with each member embodying a different primary colour that, together, comprises their onstage brand. “That’s all about being true to yourself – embracing your true colours and wearing them proudly,” offers Kyla.
Their hard-hitting, high-impact performances have earned them hordes of fans from coast to coast and, often backed by a band with roots in the hard rock scene, even converted some from outside of the country music community. “We’ve played everything from main stages at major festivals to your community festival stage, where there’s really no stage at all,” says Brittni, “and regardless of the size of the stage or the crowd, we’re giving our everything to inspire people with a positive, optimistic outlook.”
After all, the three members of The Heels have grown significantly as artists and as people in their short time together, and knowing first-hand how great music and an empowering message can generate positivity and prosperity, they’re compelled to share both with every single person they encounter on their ongoing journey.